Thursday 16 April 2020

Five Ways to Cope with Studying From Home During Lockdown

Rhia shares five ways to cope with studying from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

- Rhia Hogarth

Time off of university or away from the pressures of lectures is something we all crave, no matter why or when. No reason to leave the house and you can do everything at your own leisure-what could be better? Well, if you're anything like I was at the start of my extra-long holidays, you're learning the hard way that it's not as easy as it seems to be taught 1/3 of your degree from the comfort of your own home. 

It feels as though there's no real guidance for your subject. Who is going to force me to write this 2000-word essay on media law? Certainly not me. Sadly, deadlines won't wait for anyone, and the work has to be done at the end of the day. Depression isn't easy, and it hasn't been an easy ride getting to the point where going to class was easy. It can feel like a setback, like the lockdown is permitting my disorder to act up and make work seem like the most daunting thing imaginable. It can become overwhelming with nowhere to run to, so, I've considered my top five ways to cope with continuing my studies from home during the lockdown to help others, like me, who aren't sure how to proceed without the guidance of scheduled teaching. Here they are:

1. That One Hour of Exercise! 

No one likes the idea of going for a jog when they're feeling uninspired, let alone when they're in the middle of a country-wide lockdown. Lucky for us in the UK, we're allowed one hour of outside exercise a day. It may not seem like much, but that one hour is enough to lift your mood and set a better tone for the rest of your day. Getting ready to go out in public should be enough to jumpstart a burst of energy, and the fresh air will help clear your mind. Even a half an hour walk would be enough time to consider the day ahead and figure out how you want to spend your time in order to feel and be more productive! 

2. Keep Up with Your Schedule!

Sticking to a schedule right now seems like a laughable concept with everything going on, but it's one of the few things that will help break days up into sections and make them feel less like one big, colourless blob. You don't even have to alter your previous schedule if you prefer! Just take the time you would usually spend in lectures and dedicate it to something else. It doesn't necessarily have to be work! Spend a little bit of time with something fun and productive before knuckling down for the rest of your session. 

3. One Activity a Day!

One activity a day is one of the most effective ways for me, personally. I find it a lot harder to be demotivated once I've actually gotten out of bed and had a shower. That one activity could be the reason you write 200 words on that essay you've been avoiding, or the reason you send that e-mail you'd been putting off. It's one of the best ways to ensure one thing, no matter how small, gets done that day. That one activity is enough on its own too! 

4. You're Not Alone!

Schools being closed means that teachers have few ways of communicating lessons to their pupils. Some pupils are better at learning through lectures and face to face guidance. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to remind yourself that this isn't your fault, and your teachers are just as worried about it as you are. Talk to them, there will be things in place to help out the students who are struggling right now. 

5. Try Your Best and Be Kind to Yourself!

At the end of the day, this is the most important thing you can do to cope with your days at home. It's not your fault you're in this situation, and there will be plenty of people struggling to come to terms with this new arrangement too. It doesn't make you any less intelligent if you aren't able to learn as quickly as you were before. All of it is manageable, don't be afraid to rely on people around you, especially your professors. 

Times are hard right now, but take comfort in the knowledge that everyone is going through this-there will be lots of people out there feeling lost and alone; I'm sure at least one will be willing to offer guidance about what to do. Do your best and be safe! That's all any of us can do.

For more information Student Space is here to make it easier for you to find the support you need during the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information on looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 lockdown, please visit the Student Minds website here.  

At the moment, I'm a Journalism student living in the North West of England. I've struggled with mental health difficulties throughout my studies and it's something I've learned to embrace rather than be ashamed of. Writing about mental health, and my experiences with it, is my way of letting people know they're not alone. No one is alone. 

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