We’ve all had to deal with constant change and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year The Prince’s Trust happiness and confidence survey found that a quarter of young people have felt ‘unable to cope’ during this pandemic. However you might be feeling right now, your emotions are valid!
Here are a few tips to help you focus on your wellbeing during this period of remote learning:
1. Take time for yourself
This past year has been very emotionally draining, and it’s bound to have an impact on your productivity. Don’t beat yourself up about it, and accept that it’s OK to have those ‘off’ days. With schools closed again since Christmas, we all need time to re-adjust and adapt to the situation. ‘Zoom fatigue’ is real, but it is important to keep in touch with friends. Remember the old saying, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, share your thoughts and feelings with your fellow learners, you are all going through this together.
2. Get into a good routine
Set up a designated work area, if this is not possible, clear some space where you can work for a few hours. This will help you separate home life from your studies and help you form a routine. Having a daily routine can reduce stress levels and stop you from feeling overwhelmed. Organising your day allows you to prioritise self-care exercises, which in turn will help improve your mental wellbeing. This could include: allocating time to relax and zone out by reading a book or listening to a podcast. Incorporating self-care into your daily routine will make it easier to maintain in the long run, as it becomes part of the ‘new norm’. An essential part of any routine is your ‘sleep routine’. Going to bed and waking up at similar times is very important to your mental health, as it sets your ‘sleep-wake cycle’. Sleep has been proven to improve productivity and performance, so never underestimate the power of a good snooze.
Take advantage of what you are allowed to do within the current restrictions and get outdoors for some well needed fresh air and exercise! This will boost your mood and help you feel calmer. Gentle exercise, such as walking can help create a sense of clarity, allowing the mind to feel refreshed and reinvigorated. You could take it a step further, by using the opportunity as time to ‘un-plug’, by leaving your phone at home, or turning those notifications off. Making routine plans to exercise will help you to get in touch with exactly how you are feeling. If you aren’t ready for this yet and don’t feel up to leaving the house, going outside your front door or stepping into the garden can help. Breathe in the fresh air and adjusting your eyes to natural light, it will help to break up your day.
4. Reach out
The most important thing to remember is to take care and be kind to yourself! If you are worried about the impact of COVID-19 on your mental health and wellbeing or need additional support during lockdown, here is a list of people and support groups you can reach out to:
The helpline service for children and young people up to the age of 25 in Wales
0808 802 3456
Call 0800 068 4141 Text 07860 039 967
116 123 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eating Disorder Helpline
0808 801 0677
Rape crisis and sexual abuse
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
0808 2000 247
Llamau Homeless Helpline
0800 495 495
Specialist Support for BAME Communities
0800 731 8147
Drug information and support
03444 775 774
Text SHOUT to 85258