written by Evelyn Jame
Lockdown has been tough on everyone – especially for students who are living away from home for the first time. Dealing with normal university stress alongside the current uncertainties and restrictions has been a serious struggle for many students. However, there are plenty of ways to ensure that you are happy, healthy, and productive during the pandemic. Here is our survival guide with lots of tips and tricks to help you beat lockdown cabin fever.
Follow a daily routine
The measures brought in to help fight the spread of COVID-19 have caused huge disruption. University campuses all across the UK have been forced to close and many lectures and classes have been cancelled and replaced with online learning sessions. This disruption has made it difficult for students to stick with a learning schedule. We understand that finding the motivation to complete university work from home can be a challenge. However, you should try your best to follow a routine that includes getting up at roughly the same time each day and completing your university work at a specific time. Following a schedule will keep you organised and productive during the lockdown. It will also help you stay on top of your uni work and make you feel more confident when you are able to return to lectures and classes.
Go on a daily walk
The current government guidelines are that you should stay at home. However, you are allowed to leave your house once a day to exercise outdoors. It is a good idea to get out of student accommodation at some point every day and go for a walk to get some fresh air.
Did you know that studies have found that spending just 20 minutes in nature can reduce stress and anxiety? Getting outdoors can be the perfect way to relax when you are feeling stressed or anxious during the lockdown. Going on a daily walk will also keep your activity levels up and help you avoid unwanted weight gain – we’re all guilty of lockdown snacking! Online exercise classes are another great way to stay fit and healthy while you’re stuck indoors and the gyms are closed. There is an amazing selection of fun online workout classes that you can stream live or download for free.
Choose healthier food options
We’re all guilty of reaching for unhealthy food and snacks during the lockdown. However, eating junk food and doing less exercise is likely to cause weight gain and may also put you at a higher risk of health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. Instead of eating junk food, choose healthier alternatives like fresh fruit slices, carrot sticks with peanut butter, or popcorn. These snacks are super tasty but won’t add loads of extra calories and fat to your diet. Use lockdown as an opportunity to experiment with new healthy food recipes and sharpen up your skills in the kitchen. Make cooking more fun by planning themed food nights with your housemates. Some fun themes to try include Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, and Fish Fridays. Get all of your housemates involved and use meal times to have fun and support each other during these difficult times.
Connect with family and friends online
Being stuck indoors and unable to meet up with family and friends can take a serious toll on your mental health and wellbeing. Many students have felt lonely and isolated during the lockdown, but remember, there are loads of ways to stay connected online. According to Glide: “Staying in contact with our friends and loved ones has never been more important, and luckily, there are so many ways to do this using technology like Houseparty, Zoom, and WhatsApp.” You can even join virtual pub quizzes or host your own if you’re missing your weekly pub quiz down the local. Make an effort to stay in touch with family and friends and don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you’re struggling during the lockdown.
Lockdown is a difficult time for everyone. Many students have found themselves stuck in their student homes and separated from their family and friends. It is natural to feel down or anxious about the current uncertainties and you should place a special focus on your health and wellbeing during these challenging times. Luckily, there are countless ways to beat feelings of stress and make lockdown a more enjoyable experience. Try the above tips to help you survive lockdown cabin fever and stay healthy and happy over the coming months.
- UK, Coronavirus (COVID-19), https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Science Daily, Stressed? Take a 20-minute ‘nature pill’, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190404074915.htm
- Kitchn, Go Beyond Taco Tuesday with 20 More Meal Templates, https://www.thekitchn.com/beyond-taco-tuesday-20-more-ideas-for-meal-templates-223100
- Glide, home page, https://glide.co.uk/