Monday, 6 July 2020

Alternative Activities to Look After Your Wellbeing in Lockdown

Hannah shares her top tips to keeping a clear mind during lockdown. Whether you're a student who has ongoing course work, upcoming exams or an entire 10,000-word dissertation which is yet to write itself, it's important to remember to keep looking after yourself and allowing time for self-care too. 

- Hannah Chow

As we near the start of our third month of lockdown, like much of the world, we probably feel as though we've exhausted all possible forms of entertainment and done all the DIY that we never knew needed doing. Whether you're a student who has ongoing course work, upcoming exams or an entire 10,000-word dissertation which is yet to write itself, it's important to remember to keep looking after yourself and allowing time for self-care too. 

Research shows that there are five simple actions that we can take to improve our wellbeing. I want to focus on three which I find especially important for my wellbeing, but which can be more challenging in lockdown: connect, take notice, and learn new things. So, in no particular order, here are some fun things to do this week to achieve your ways to wellbeing despite the limitations of lockdown, and when you've already made your third batch of banana bread for the day and all the dalgona coffees you could ever drink...

Connect
  • Book an AirBnB experience to connect with the world - just because we still need to keep our distance, doesn't mean we can't still see the world! AirBnB continues to offer the option to book an 'experience'. Take an online trip to see the dogs of Chernobyl, compete in an Argentinian tango dance off or learn the histories of gin and how to make your own homemade cocktails!
  • Netflix Marathon and happy hour to connect with friends - pick a friend, pick a series, pick a (daily?!) time session to regularly watch each episode with! There's the option to download the Netflix Party extension for free to sync up with multiple accounts simultaneously. A group chat function is embedded as a feature to enable you to make those comments and keep the conversation going. It's kept me sane having a consistent check in with a close friend from home and I guess the by-product of this is that we're now nearing the end of the 'Handmaid's Tale' - which we would both recommend!

Take Notice
  • Virtual art gallery afternoon to relax and take notice of the beauty of your surroundings - this is the kind of afternoon outing which I'm looking forward to resuming! But for now, galleries such as the Tate Modern are offering short YouTube tours for curators such as Andy Warhol, who helped shape modern pop culture, and Aubrey Beardsley, who was famed for his distinct black ink drawings and rapid rise in fame before his sudden death at age 25. 
  • Stream a theatre - thanks to technology, we can tune in with the National Theatre's YouTube stream of a free full-length play every Thursday! 

Learn New Things
  • Make Disney's famous foods - your home could become the happiest place on Earth when you try out the new recipes released by Disney to make their famous churro bites and dole whips.
  • Learn calligraphy - platforms such as SkillShare are offering free classes for a limited time only! It's the perfect opportunity to be taught by some of the world's most talented creatives all from the comfort of your own home. 

We can often feel that unsaid pressure to keep busy, stay productive, and maximise all this newfound time. Sometimes, this is necessary. But sometimes, it's alright to slow down and recharge too. We need to continue looking after ourselves not only physically, but also mentally. Taking regular breaks and practising self-care can be beneficial both for wellbeing and productivity. An encouraging outlook which has really stuck with me during this time is this: we can't control the situation we are in, but we can control how we respond to it. 


For more information on looking after your mental wellbeing during lockdown, please visit the designated Student Minds page



Hello, I'm Hannah! I'm currently a student at UCL and, like many of you, I'm in the process of writing my dissertation. I'm aware that whilst this time has been difficult for many, here's a friendly reminder that you're not alone! As we near the final leg of this stamina-enduring marathon that is uni, let us maintain that much needed momentum and remember why we started! You've got this! 

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