Maintaining positivity Whilst practising social distancing

Student Blogger Ellie Bixby talks us through some techniques for maintaining our positivity during this difficult time:

This post was published on 30th March 2020 Any references to self-isolation, travel or meeting others was accurate at the time of writing but the guidance may have changed since. Please always refer to the latest Government advice.

Self-isolation and social distancing can be extremely difficult at times. Whilst it is normal to feel frustrated, sad or bored, it is important that we find ways to look after our mental health during quarantine.

Now that lots of us are not at university, school or work, your normal routine might be disrupted and for some people that can be quite stressful. One way in which you can tackle this issue is by planning your days and time in advance. Each morning or night take time to write down what you want to get done each day and set goals that you want to achieve. Planning your time can provide you with a sense of calm and normality, and it will help you to get things done whilst also spending time doing the things that you enjoy.

Creating a structure can be really important

Spending time doing things that you enjoy is especially important whilst self-isolating or social distancing. It is very helpful that to give yourself time to relax and escape the anxiety that the world is currently experiencing.

Whether this be reading a book, getting crafty, playing games with members of your household or going for a daily run (as long as you’re social distancing) – give yourself time to unwind as you adjust to this new routine. Relaxation and having some form of daily routine or structure can be key here!

Whilst you most likely still have deadlines to meet and online lectures to attend, as the academic year comes to an end you might find that you have time to learn something new. This might be learning a new language, completing some online training or taking up a new hobby, there are always opportunities for self-improvement and an unlimited number of resources that can be accessed online. Alternatively, for final year students, this is the perfect time to start job hunting. Start scrolling through job sites, contacting companies and perfecting your CV’s and personal statements. Whatever you get up to, make sure you don’t waste the time that we now have.

Make time for hobbies

Something I did on the first day that the isolation period was announced was clean out my social media. We all know that too much time on social media can have a negative impact on our mental health and with extra time for endless scrolling, there are things that we don’t need to see right now.

My advice would be to block or unfollow accounts that make you feel unhappy, to limit your screen time and remember, what you see on social media isn’t a true representation of what someone might be doing in real life.

However, whilst social media can be something negative, it can also be a platform for positivity. During a time where we are unable to socialise, social media allows us to engage and interact with each other online. Across the internet, individuals are sharing positive messages, posting uplifting images and starting online movements.

A movement that the whole family can get involved in is the #rainbowtrail – where you can see rainbows being made by citizens across the UK who wish to express thanks to key workers. However, you choose to spend your time, be productive, stay positive and stay safe at home.

For updates from the university regarding student support and the Coronavirus pandemic please see their website pages.