During this difficult time for students, under the pressure of exams and lockdown simultaneously, it is worth taking the time to consider your mental and physical wellbeing and ensuring you’re looking after yourself, as well as working hard to ace your exams.
International master’s students Payal Mehta, MSc International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations and Jacob Roberts, MSc International Business and Management, have both reflected on how they’re keeping well and focused during the global pandemic.
I am no expert on how to deal with mental wellbeing during a pandemic but the following are some things that worked for me and I am hoping they are useful for you too!
- Take your time. No one expects you to be as productive during such difficult times. Do not pressurise yourself.
- Keep in touch with your loved ones. Put social media to good use. Reach out to your friends.
- Do things together on a video call! Watch a movie together, play charades or Pictionary. We may be far away from each other but can still bond by doing things together.
- Read that book you have really wanted to read but haven’t had the chance to.
- Experiment with food.
- Binge-watch your favourite series.
- Reach out to the university in case you need any help, they will definitely do all they can to help you.
Strange times call for extra amounts of love and care. We can’t control what is happening globally but we can contribute in our own small way. Hang in there, this too shall pass and we will come out of it stronger. More power and strength to everyone out there.
Obtaining higher education is no small feat. Even when you’re given the best of cards, deciding what it is you want to study, moving to a new city or country, getting along with new classmates, and trying to prepare for a career are all difficult tasks. I haven’t even mentioned the actual course work which is meant to be the most consuming aspect.
Working diligently is just that—work—but if you’re taking care of yourself first, your busy life can be motivating instead of crippling.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, I’ve done my best to focus first on my mental and physical wellbeing. Nothing else matters if you aren’t feeling okay, and you will perform much better when you’re in good health. I’ve found several great ways to stay positive, healthy, and productive during this time.
These four tips can help you succeed now, and when things feel a bit more normal.
- Develop Routines. A great way to stay on top of things is to develop morning and evening routines. Habits and routines keep you headed in a good direction even when you’re unmotivated.
- I recently read “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker. I’ve always been a fan of snoozing, but this book changed my view of sleep from positive to absolutely essential. Prioritise your sleep like you do your meals. Sleep strengthens your memory, helps you problem solve, betters your mood, repairs your muscles, and more.
- Along that vein, exercise is not only good for your physical health but your mental health. Make this a priority and your studies will improve. I try to get a solid 30 minutes at least, every day. Whether it’s yoga, running, or a home workout, get it done.
- Do Nothing. This is one of my favourite tips. Sometimes the best way for us to get back on the right track is to simply do nothing. Slow down, don’t rush, you have plenty of time to get what you need done. When feeling unmotivated to write, author Neil Gaiman gives himself an ultimatum, “You can sit here and write or you can sit here and do nothing, but you can’t sit here and do anything else.” Before long, we all get bored of doing nothing, and we’ll do the thing we’ve been putting off.