We know having to self-isolate will come with challenges, especially if you live alone. It may be difficult, but by following guidance on social distancing, or staying at home, you are helping to protect yourself, your family, the NHS and your community. Public Health England has prepared some useful advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during this time. Everyone reacts differently to events and the way we think, feel and behave will change over time. It's important that you take care of your mind as well as your body and get further support if you need it.
It can be easy to slip into a negative way of thinking so below are some tips from TrueStudent blog on how to look after yourself and on getting through this new ‘normal’. They may not all work for you all of the time, so mix and match!
Break the days into ‘manageable chunks’
Blocks of an hour or two, then decide on activities for each block. Don’t look too far ahead, and focus on each day. It makes the time seem less overwhelming and might even feel like it goes more quickly. If it helps, draw out a timetable and fill it in with activities for each block of time, and each day.
Get into a routine
Don’t spend all day in bed, just because you can - unless you are actually unwell. Get up when it’s daylight and go to bed at a reasonable time. Eat regular meals and snacks. Tune into lectures or webinars online, if they are available to you. Don’t let the days blend into one, as it will feel endless and confusing.
You’ve got work to finish
Now is the time! Research your essays, revise or plan your projects - look up the ‘extra/ bonus info’ you wouldn’t normally have time to and make your work even better. Really grasp the opportunity to get ‘stuck in’, and do something you’re really proud of. If you’ve always wanted to write a blog, or an article, or even a book, make a start. Use the ‘headspace’ and quiet solitude to let your mind wander and be creative.
If writing is not your thing, then be creative in other ways - plan some holidays and trips for when you are ‘free’ again or make birthday cards for people you care about- you might not normally have time, but it will mean a lot to them!
In your space, use the floor for yoga/ Pilates, or do star jumps and squats. Don’t overdo it, but maybe have breaks from your other activities, and do a few stretches, or if you feel up to it, go crazy to a Zumba video on YouTube. Open the windows and make sure you get some fresh air every day. If you can go outside that’s even better, but be guided by up to date medical advice.
Be sociable (online!)
You may not be able to see people in person, but don’t isolate yourself from your loved ones, and try to stay upbeat where you can, to help each other through. If you’re really struggling and feeling down, of course, it is important to ensure a person you trust is aware.
Talk to them regularly to help you through. Don’t forget all those people out there who love you, even if they can’t hug you today. Give each other virtual hugs via technology. If you need more help, contact our Student Welfare team on Studentsupport@brunel.ac.uk or by Skype on +44 (0) 1895 267045.
Relax when you can
If you love films or TV then you have a brilliant opportunity to binge-watch the series you have been meaning to see for ages or relax in front of all the 80s films of John Cusack or Molly Ringwald - they’re well worth a look- and the very definition of ‘feel-good movies’, which might be just what you need! If you’re a big fan of a particular actor or director, treat yourself, and catch up on their back catalogue. Make yourself a cosy nest in your room, and settle in to watch some quality entertainment.
Organise your life
And finally - have a really good sort out of your clothes, decide what you want to keep, what would make for a good swap with friends – in a while - and what might be ready for donation to a charity shop or clothes recycling point. It will feel productive to do, and you’ll be doing something nice for others as a bonus.