So you're having to stay at home...tips for you!
Across England, from Thursday 05 November we're having to stay at home. This post is dedicated to how we can look after ourselves and our welfare.
I'm having to self isolate. Don't worry I've not got any COVID-19 symptoms but I got an NHS Test & Trace notification to tell me to self isolate. Usually, this would be okay...but I was on holiday with my family in Dorset. So we had to evacuate me back to my home in Derby while my family got to continue their holiday.
I've got 6 days left to self-isolate but by that point, we'll be back into a national lockdown so I thought I should reflect on what I think helped me last time.
Be imaginative online
A lot of us are having to do a lot of video calls as part of studying or working from home. That's why it's really important to be imaginative when you're video chatting with friends.
Ideas you might like:
Tasting Nights - this could be with food or drinks.
Games Nights - common boardgames have video game counterparts (Catan, Monopoly, Risk, other board games available...) which you can play online with your friends and family.
Hobby Night - some in my group have taken up online crochet classes together (I passed) or you could host a reading group, cooking club.
Learn Something Different
You might find it useful to take up a new hobby or learning something new. I know some people who've taken up yoga, getting better at baking, learning an instrument or learn a language.
There are a lot of different options to take on a course online. If you're studying you might not want more online tuition but a change of topic might be useful in breaking up your day.
Avoid 24/7 News
I found this really important but I felt so much better about the whole thing after I'd deleted the news apps off my phone. I used to sit down and watch the daily broadcasts but I always felt deflated. After news came out about high government officials failing to follow the rules with little repercussion I stopped.
If something was important I'd inevitably hear it from someone else, though it's important to try to make space where there's no COVID-19 talk.
During our last lockdown, I took up a lot of new subscription services - hot chocolate, audiobooks, online learning, video services, plants delivery. I rationalised this because I was saving petrol and gym membership...
One of the great things I signed up to was recipe delivery boxes. I guaranteed that I was going to get decent planned meals, that the ingredients were going to get delivered and gave me a break by encouraging me to cook from fresh.
Subscriptions can seem pricey but trust me my family took some peace in mind that I was getting decent food without the stress of going to the supermarket.
Get a puppy for company....(or be social)
I'm cheating here... It's been a lifetime goal to get a puppy. I mean it's the reason to become a homeowner. Well later today I'm welcoming home our Mable who I have no doubt will transform my lockdown.
If you can't get a puppy then the crucial thing is don't isolate yourself from everyone. Take the opportunity to connect with people you've not spoken to for a while, an old school friend, or your old flatmate. It's really worthwhile reaching out to those you think maybe most vulnerable, they could be living alone, or elderly or clinically vulnerable. You might make their day with a phone call.
Working in Partnership
The project is nation-wide, and we're making a real effort to engage with everyone interested in international student mental health, including universities, mental health services, students unions, sector bodies, charities and organisations such a private student accommodation.
The project is led by the University of Nottingham, in partnership with the University of Nottingham Students' Union, University of Leeds, Leeds University Union, SOAS, SOAS Students' Union, Student Minds and Campuslife Ltd.
Project funded as part of the Office for Students Mental Health Challenge Competition.