An Antidote for the Social Distancing Blues

The UK has finally stepped up the measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 in a necessary yet frightening way. Personally, I am so glad things are getting stricter as I feel much safer knowing that everyone now has to stay home, but things are getting rather lonely. Luckily, the Her Campus Leeds team are here to share their top tips for staying at home so that we can make the most out of a sucky situation. 

  1. 1. Keep Busy

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    I have been finding isolation rather difficult but over the last week, I have made habits that have made the ‘new normal’ much more bearable. The biggest thing has been making post-it note lists every-day and completing them for the satisfaction of checking off every task. 

     

    Today my to-do list is:

    -Walk with household family and dog

    -Write for Her Campus

    -Seminar preparation

    -Painting for Grandma (Mother’s Day gift - to drop off outside!)

     

    Obviously, the list can be completely personalised, but make sure you have a good ratio of doing work to having fun and don’t make the list too long or impossible - it’s not as fun when you can’t check it all off. 

     

    Another big thing, one that is usually at the top of my to-do list, is to work out. I usually go to the gym 3 times a week but now that the gyms are officially closed, I am working out from home. I highly recommend the Nike Training app that has countless workouts that do not require any equipment, with video demonstrations and tips. Working out is great for the body but more importantly the mind, so be sure to take care of yourself. I have just started using the app to learn yoga too which I am really enjoying.

     

    All in all, my antidote to feeling isolated is just to keep as busy as possible, instead of spending all of your time checking for corona updates. Afterall the show must go on! 

     

    By Alice

  2. 2. My Social Distancing Rules

    I’m the type of person who enjoys my own company and even I have had to make some rules for myself so that I don’t go stir crazy during social distancing. 

     

    My Top Ten Social Distancing Rules:

    1. Wake up before 9am every day

    2. Go to sleep before 1am every night

    3. Brush your teeth morning and night

    4. Wash face before bed

    5. Exercise at least every other day

    6. Go outside (in the garden) once a day unless it’s raining

    7. Stay on top of university work

    8. Facetime someone every day

    9. No Tik Tok past midnight

    10. WASH YOUR HANDS!

    Some of these rules may seem simple or obvious, such as brushing your teeth morning and night but when you aren’t leaving the house it’s the little things that can be surprisingly easy to forget. I think it is important to have the set times for going to bed and waking up. I highly recommend doing this as it could be too easy to fall into unhealthy sleeping habits during self-isolation, making you feel groggy and unmotivated in the day.  

     

    Yesterday I stuck to my rules well by waking up at 9 am, starting the day with a work-out and making sure I not only did my university work throughout the day but I also spent time with the family that I am isolating with in the evening.

     

    Here is my day broken down:

    9:00 AM – woke up

    9:15 AM – worked out

    10:00 AM – showered + got dressed

    10:20 AM – made and ate breakfast (avocado toast with hot sauce)

    Chill until 11 AM

    11 AM – university work

    1 PM – made lunch and ate outside (broccoli noodles)

    1:30 PM – more uni work

    2:00 PM – embroidery

    3:00 PM – online seminar

    4:00 PM – watched YouTube and chilled

    5 PM – chilled with my family

    6 PM – ate dinner (vegan pizza)

    6:30 – 10 PM – watched T.V. with my family

    10 PM – came up to my bed and watched YouTube

    12:30 AM – went to sleep

     

    Obviously, what you do with your day is your personal preference however I hope that some of these tips help you to feel productive and happy during your time at home. The thing that helps me get through this strange time is knowing that by staying at home I am protecting others and contributing to helping end the pandemic.  

     

    By Kate

  3. 3. It's All About Routine

    Like a lot of people, the most difficult thing for me during this isolation period is finding motivation, whether that’s with work or just getting up early in the mornings. To combat this, I’ve taken a little inspiration from a ‘Quarantine Routine’ I saw on Twitter to help me keep on track and still be as productive as I can during this time. 

     

    You don’t need to follow every step in this routine, you could just use it as a template like I did. Do whatever works best for you! Give yourself little time periods where you should be doing something productive like work or exercise but also remember to give yourself some time to rest and do something you enjoy, even if that just means watching a new Netflix series. This is a very confusing time and it can be quite stressful and draining, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself! 

     

    By Tara

  4. 4. Distractions, Distractions and More Distractions

    As someone who prefers staying in over going out, even under normal circumstances, I figured quarantining would be pretty easy – and it is, well, for the most part. Over the past week or so that I have been self-isolating, I’ve found myself frequently shifting from complete content to frustration. I mean, it’s not like I would have gone out anyway, it’s just the fact that it’s no longer an option, and that I miss both my sisters and my friends. But, in saying all of this, I’ve managed to think up a few things which currently seem to be helping and will (hopefully) work for you, too:

     

    1. Re-watching ‘The Office’ or another one of my comfort shows

    2. Sending relatable memes to family and friends because we’re all in this together (except maybe Vanessa Hudgens)

    3. Spend some time in the garden, or just longingly stare out of the window if it’s raining

    4. Watch a film at least once a week with my parents (an easy way to shift the conversation away from Coronavirus)

    5. Stick to a good, balanced diet, with a healthy intake of Fruits and Vegetables

    6. Maintain a steady engagement with university work

     

    By Kirti

  5. 5. Staying Motivated and Looking After Your Mental Health

    It can be very easy to go down the slippery slope of staying in bed all day and scrolling through Instagram, Snapchat and watching endless Tik Toks! Although everyone has these days, it can be detrimental to your mental health to spend weeks like this. Here are some tips to help you feel motivated:

     

    -Don’t stay in your pyjamas all day! You don’t have to wear jeans and a nice top but getting changed into some comfies will help you separate the daytime from the evening and motivate you to get up and begin your day. Sometimes it helps me to pick an outfit the night before, so I feel prepared for the next day.

    -Make your bed and shower in the morning. Obviously, the shower goes without saying, but in the morning it can really help freshen you up and get you feeling more energised and ready for the day. Making your bed is a little way of making your room look tidier (tidy room, tidy mind!) and makes sure you get up out of it! 

    -Try to avoid your phone for the first half an hour of waking up. Sometimes your phone can put your mind on overtime, try avoiding it first thing and instead do some exercise or meditation before you check it. This can give you some relaxing time to reflect before you start your day. 

    -Try to have a different routine for weekdays and weekends, as the days can all feel the same when you have the same routine. Maybe schedule a lie in and some different fun activities for the weekend.

    -In this worrying time, meditation can really help reduce anxiety and relax you. Remember to stay positive and take some time for self-care! 

     

    By Monica

If you need more than a routine to get through this tough period, do not be afraid to reach out for help. The Leeds Nightline is still running from 8 pm-8 am every night during term time and will lend a non-judgemental ear. If you need help outside of term time you can contact Samaritans- Tel: 116 123 or alternatively they have instant messaging on their website.

 

 

Words by Alice Colton, Kate Mitchelhill, Kirti Shah, Tara N West and Monica Hartley.

 

Edited by Dasha Pitts.