Due to Covid-19, the majority of schools, colleges and universities have made the switch to online learning. Student’s across the UK are in self-isolation and things are pretty stressful right now. It is scary, confusing and things feel uncertain.
Looking after your personal wellbeing is more important than ever, so I have compiled 5 tips targeted to students to improve wellbeing and mental health. Keep reading to find out what they are!
1: Continue to wake up and go to bed at the same time
One of the biggest changes for students right now is the disruption of sleep routine, which can totally throw you off balance and make you feel stressed. When you don’t have to be somewhere at a certain time such as class, you may want to sleep in or stay up really late, but did you know that this is actually very bad for your health and emotional wellbeing? Disruption in your sleep cycle can cause digestive issues, decreased cognitive function and increased levels of stress.
Sleep is regulated by two main systems; sleep/wake homeostasis and circadian rhythm, also called the biological clock. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day and night has many benefits such as feeling happier, better cognitive function and even improved academic performance!
Researchers at Harvard University looked at 61 undergraduates and found conclusive data to link irregular sleep schedules of waking and sleeping to lower grade point averages, because those with irregular schedules had later circadian rhythms and were therefore less alert at key learning times in the day! You can read more about this by clicking here.
Start tonight by going to bed (at a reasonable time) and setting your alarm. Try sticking to it every day. Instead of hitting the snooze button, jump straight of bed and get in to a warm shower! The change in body temperature will help you to feel more awake. The body natural cools down before you fall alseep, so a hot shower will work wonders to perk you up.
2: Eat your vegetables!
Okay, so we hear this all the time. However, in the wake of an infectious disease, looking after our physical health is vital. I am not going to recommend that you make a fancy green juice, loaded with £20 vitamin powders or anything like that, but including a few humble bits of veg that you can get from the supermarket will work wonders. Broccoli, carrots, potato and cabbage are extremely good for you; its all about how you cook it.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A which help to support the workings of immune system. They also make a delicious healthy alternative to fries! Drizzle those babies with some olive oil and sea salt and stick them in the oven for 30-35 minutes on 180 degrees for a yummy snack or lunch!
Avoid deep fried foods, highly salted foods and processed crap like Pizza and ready made chips. Use this time to perfect your cooking skills and see what you can come up with. I recommend checking out the blog Spoons Of Flavors for the best, easy to make Indian recipes which are not only drool worthy, but totally healthy. I recommend the veg kurma and peanut and coconut chutney!
3: Clean your study space
I personally think that a clean space equals a clean mind and I cannot study when the room is messy. Wherever you work, be it at a desk, dining table or even the floor, keep it clean and free of clutter. Notes should be kept in labelled folders and organising your pens makes it much easier when making notes because you wont be scrambling to find what you need.
Making your space feel calm and cosy helps to get you in the mood for studying. I use homemade candles (which you can learn to make by visiting my Instagram craft highlight!) to make the atmosphere smell gorgeous and inviting. Plus, how good does it look when a candle is burning?!
4: Start a study group on WhatsApp or watch live Study With Me videos on YouTube.
Just because you can’t see your friends in person, it doesn’t mean your study group has to stop. You can set up video calls with your friends to keep virtual company whilst studying. If you are unable to do this, Youtube has 100s of “Study With Me” videos that you can play in the background. Sometimes there are live streams on Youtube where you can chat with students around the world! Online studying doesn’t have to be lonely.
5: Take time away from Social Media and go outside for a walk
I know that we are self-isolating, but one form of exercise outside a day is still allowed and I always would recommend a daily walk. Unplugging from the world is good sometimes, especially when so much rubbish is going on. Fresh air and sun is good for the mind and soul. It is also a good use of a study break! I am always more focused after a walk and it makes me feel so happy.
If you cant go for a walk, sitting out in your garden or opening your curtains and windows for a bit of fresh air and sunlight can really help with cabin fever.