a hand holding sanitiser


A Student Survival Guide To Self-Isolation

By HWResLife 19 Mar 2020

If you are one of the many people around the world currently hiding away in self-isolation due to COVID-19, we're guessing that this was not on your to-do list for 2020...?!

You can either get upset and frustrated and generally exhaust yourself with negativity (which is understandable - but not necessarily helpful) or you can choose to accept the situation and try to make the best of a rubbish scenario.

The article below is written by Dr Dominique Thompson on the Truestudent blog and has been adapted by Reslife to suit our campus. It is not offering medical advice, there's plenty of excellent expert advice available if you need it. We are really hoping that this article will inspire you to get creative and not go stir-crazy!

Break the days into 'manageable chunks'
Blocks of an hour or two, then decide on activities for each block. Don't look too far ahead, and focus on each day. It makes the time seem less overwhelming and might even feel like it goes more quickly. If it helps, draw out a timetable and fill it in with activities for each block of time, and each day.

Get into a routine
Don't spend all day in bed, just because you can - unless you are actually unwell. Get up when it's daylight and go to bed at a reasonable time. Eat regular meals and snacks. Tune into lectures or webinars online, if they are available to you. Don't let the days blend into one, as it will feel endless and confusing.

a close up of a calendar

Finish that to-do list
Now is the time! Research your essays, revise or plan your projects- look up the 'extra/ bonus info' you wouldn't normally have time to and make your work even better. If you've always wanted to write a blog, or an article, or even a book, make a start.

Get creative!
If writing is not your thing, then be creative in other ways- plan some holidays and trips for when you are'free'; again. Scroll through websites of beautiful, faraway places (avoid checking the news websites too often), check out Instagram travel feeds, dream about where you might visit, and start to plan or create a 'mood board'; of travel ideas. If that feels all too much, try being creative on a smaller scale- and make birthday cards for people you care about- you might not normally have time, but it will mean a lot to them!

a mood board

Exercise (gently!)
In your space, use the floor for yoga/ Pilates, or some other type of light exercises. Open the windows and make sure you get some fresh air every day. If you can go outside that’s even better, but be guided by up to date medical advice.

Be sociable (online!) You may not be able to see people in person, but don’t isolate yourself from your loved ones, and try to stay upbeat where you can, to help each other through. Try to avoid feeling like you're in 'solitary confinement'; if you possibly can. If you're really struggling and feeling down, let your friends know or contact your Reslife, who will be more than happy to chat with you.

Don't forget all those people (family and friends) out there who love you, even if they can't hug you today. Give each other virtual hugs via technology. If you need more help, check out the NHS website.

a person sitting at a table looking at a cell phone

Relax when you can If you love films or TV then you have a brilliant opportunity to binge-watch the series you have been meaning to see. Make yourself cosy nest in your room, and settle in to watch some quality entertainment.

Organise your life And finally - have a really good sort out of your clothes, decide what you want to keep, what would make for a good swap with friends (in a week or two…), and what might be ready for donation to a charity shop. It will feel productive to do, and you'll be doing something nice for others as a bonus.

The next few weeks and months are going to tough for a lot of people, and self-isolation will never be fun, but we hope that this gives you a few ideas to make it more bearable, and together we will get through whatever 2020 throws at us, as best we can.

If you ever need to chat with somebody, contact the Residence Life team and we are more than happy to support you.

Virtual hug from your Residence Life team in Christina Miller West!

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