Students, Isolation and Coronavirus: Tips for Coping

open days

Students around now, like all others, should be looking forward to warmer longer days packed with social activities, events and for many, the last summer before heading to university. By all accounts, that last summer is a special one and whilst some of it is inevitably spent anticipating results days and whether or not you’ll be able to head to your chosen unis/colleges, it’s a bit of a life milestone.

Students are being hit hard by the coronavirus. It’s hit them the transition between phases of life and education and it’s all become very confusing very quickly. Exams and school have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, possibly until September. Wellbeing for young people is a topic that needs to be discussed.

So how should you try and stay well during the coronavirus crisis?

Look Forward to Summer

Coronavirus will likely persist through some of the summer to an extent. Does this mean you won’t be able to enjoy it? Absolutely not. Summer is incredibly important for all students, it’s a major block of time where you can enjoy relative freedom. Looking on the bright side, it’s highly likely that some lockdown restrictions will be lifted throughout summer. Don’t think your entire summer will be ruined!

Yes, events will be cancelled and the normal gatherings you look forward to might not be allowed but still, there will be plenty to get stuck into and as summer progresses, you’ll be able to see your friends and enjoy some normality. Look forward to summer!

Stay Connected to Friends

You might not be able to see your friends but they’re likely not far away! Keep in mind that although you can’t see each other, you’re still there for each other. Talk regularly, ask questions about how people are, talk on the phone and video chat. Now is the time to show your friends you’re there for them, all of them!

The Purpose of Isolation

It might seem silly but staying aware of why you’re self-isolating is very important. At the moment, no unnecessary journeys should be made and social gatherings with others outside of your household are prohibited. This is for the safety of you, your family and others. It matters and everyone has to take their responsibility seriously.

The strategy is to take action now so we aren’t living with coronavirus for longer than we need to.

In this time you have alone, you have the opportunity to do the things you would need to do anyway, but also to try new skill and hobbies whilst taking time to take care of yourself and prepare for the future. This time allows you to get ahead, to concentrate on elements of your life now so you don’t have to later on when the lockdown is over.

Try and view isolation as a reallocation of time. You aren’t losing time, even though it might seem like you’re missing out on many things you enjoy doing. You can do those things later on but for now, reallocate your time in different ways. Learn something new, finish an old project, start a new one, reconnect with old friends via messaging, go for walks, exercise….there are tons of things you’re able to do with this time.

Keep your Routine Going

You might have read that last section and thought ‘but I’m not motivated!’ That’s totally fair – staying motivated is hard for many people. You’re not alone here and if you’re struggling to kick yourself into action then you should try not to worry. Instead, take rational steps to get yourself moving again. The key area is routine.

Most of us confined to our homes have to forge new routines that we’re not used to and it isn’t easy. We get used to our normal lives, whether they involved school, college or work and being disjointed from that demotivates us.

It’s time to start a new routine. Write down goals for what you want to achieve from lockdown and schedule your day around certain tasks that help you achieve them.

Avoid Obsessing Over the Media

It’s great to keep up to date but obsessing over the news can lead to anxiety. Of course, it’s crucial to remain in the loop to some extent but if watching the news makes you feel bad then stop watching it.

Stay Active and Healthy

Here’s another tough one. Staying active whilst living a sedentary life in lockdown is tricky and you’ve got to find ways of putting the time in to keep yourself moving whilst getting plenty of sunlight and eating healthily.

Watch your diet to make sure you’re getting your five-a-day but also, comfort eating is pretty normal in this scenario so don’t be too harsh on yourself here! Just make sure you stay within reasonable limits and if you find bad habits emerging then don’t hesitate but to stomp them out quickly.