Looking After Ourselves in Lockdown: Students Share Their Thoughts

Student Top Tips for Lockdown Study and Wellbeing

Continuing in our series of posts by students, two of our Level Five students share their ideas for how to maintain a healthy study/life balance. We hope you find them uplifting and inspiring.

Annie Denton, Level 5, English Literature: The importance of space

When we first transitioned our university studies online, it was temporary. No one could have imagined that this strange system would become our new normal. Or perhaps, we just didn’t want to imagine it so that we could continue our hope of seeing our friends and tutors in September. As the autumn closed in, the glare of sunny screens and book pages fluttering in the summer breeze disappeared, and a darker season took over. There was the curfew, then the rule of six, the tiers and then another lockdown. But how do you keep up with the workload and deadlines with all the extraneous stress and confusion? For me, it was important to separate the spaces in which I work, ensuring that I do not work, eat, and sleep in the same spaces. When possible, I would work in the library or at my desk to ensure that I could mentally differentiate the places and associate them with different tasks. I advise this to anyone who is feeling as though they are unproductive, or not sleeping properly due to their university work, even if you just move to another space in your bedroom. Also, throughout the pandemic, I found my connection with nature has strengthened. There have been so many occasions in York, and at home, that a walk outside has saved my sanity. When the weather is miserable, it is so easy to associate your mood to the weather – I’m convinced all Literature students think about the pathetic fallacy between our thoughts and the weather! I have found that on the darker, more dreary days it is good to curl up with a good book, a hot-chocolate, and a candle to change your day from being ‘unproductive’ to a cosy treat for yourself. This semester should be something to look forward to. Tutors and students alike have had a chance to get used to online methods. We’re leaving behind our January blues, and despite still being in Lockdown, we can look forward to a time when we can safely return to York.

Leah Figiel, Level 5, English Literature and Creative Writing: Have a ‘Favourite Things’ Day

Admittedly, this isn’t my own idea, but a self-care tip that I have “stolen” through watching posts on YouTube by visual artist and filmmaker Shayna Klee on her channel The Purple Palace. The concept is that once a week (or whenever you feel like), schedule in an entire day where you do your favourite things queue Julie Andrews singing. This could include activities such as cooking and/or eating your favourite meal, painting a picture, watching a comfort film or reading your favourite book! Nourishing your hobbies and interests is key when everyday can feel like it’s groundhog day. By planning this time in advance, it allows you to look forward to something, which sounds very simple, but is such an important feeling that we all need, especially in this wintry lockdown.

Remember that if you are feeling that you need to talk to somebody about your situation or mood there is support available here.