Tips on surviving isolation from one anxious student to another

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Amongst all the seriousness of Covid-19, which should not be taken lightly, I, as someone with anxiety and depression, have to keep my mind off from the world’s current situation and I know many others who need light-hearted tips for self-isolation, especially as the UK is now in a relaxed lockdown which could become stricter as the situation develops. Here are some personal tips that I have been doing for the past week which I hope can provide you with even an hour of peace.

 

Art Days

If you are an art hoe like myself, then you will have old art supplies littered around your house from previous projects. Now is the time to get those paints, pens and pencils out! If you have old sketchbooks, I recommend reworking old pieces with fresh eyes or redoing old pieces! This lulls me into a false sense of accomplishment which is oddly satisfying and it’s always fun to see your art progression because more than likely, your art style has changed since you last finished that piece.

Taking inspiration from your current scenery is a good way to see the beauty in the mundane, I was able to escape to the local park for one more day out with my boyfriend before lockdown and I enjoyed drawing a simple tree which stood beside our bench. I also have flowers in my room which will make good painting subjects but any household objects will make great subjects and you do not need to stick to realism! Why not add a contemporary flair to your piece by making it a funky combination of colours or using a new art material to test your abilities.

Art days can also include crafting. I, for one, love models and clay, sadly I have no clay with me currently or any new models that I can build, however, I am planning on going back into some of my older models to clean them up. Again, this feels as if I am progressing and fixing old mistakes which helps me to stay positive about the current situation. Crafting can include; knitting, clay modelling, paper mache, play dough building, crochet and the list continues!

I personally cannot wait to see what art appears from this isolation period because I imagine that they will be unique and generally, aesthetically pleasing!

 

Music

Leading on from my excitement for what art will appear during and after this isolation period, I am also very excited to see what the music industry and musicians will create! This is the perfect time for you to get out of that rut, finally try out that new style or riff! Write lyrics to a soundtrack that you’ve had saved on your mac for months! Music is escapism and what a perfect time to escape from reality and provide an escape for others too!

Not only is making music a good time consumer during this period but making playlists for your friends and family that you are unable to see is extremely fulfilling. Create a playlist for your friend or partner that you cannot physically be with during this time and then use the app Rave so that you can both listen to it at the same time. This will hopefully allow you to feel closer to that person, I in fact did this with my partner and I found it really cute whenever he would change the song to something I like or ask if the current song is good enough. This will break the distance barrier just enough, plus Rave allows you to speak to the person at the same time as if you are in the same room as them!

Photo by Travis Yewell on Unsplash

 

Learning a new hobby or skill

Remember that thing you wanted to learn but had no time to? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! Whether it is a new language or skill, use this time to dedicate yourself to a new hobby or skill because yet again, it will provide a sense of accomplishment. The biggest anxiety provoker is feeling as if your time is slipping away and you are wasting minutes doing nothing, so use this time to dedicate yourself to a new craft and master it!

Showcase your new skill on your social media or to your friends via text or video chat to receive a buzz of positivity and gratification from your online friends! Perhaps even learn a skill alongside a friend or from a friend, to make the process even more fun. I am currently learning French and sign language which are two skills I have been dying to study but have always pushed to the side, however, now I am studying daily and as someone who loves studying and organizing it really helps my inner student to use my bullet journal to create a study guide for myself!

*As well as studying a new hobby, do not forget your academic studies!*

 

Relax

Yes, it is that simple! I think as someone who is a perfectionist and a do’er, I hate being without a daily schedule or plan! However, this is perhaps the one moment in my adult life left which is dedicated to absolutely nothing so why not watch the whole Harry Potter collection? Or start that anime you have been dying to watch! I think what’s best to remember is that it is okay to be lazy, sleep in, eat junk food and play PS4 or XBOX all day as long as it is not an everyday occurance. Have a lazy day once a week to regenerate before starting back up!

You also do not need to relax alone, why not skype a friend or your partner and watch a movie together through Rave or Netflix party? If you currently are in isolation with family, have a movie day! Grab some munchies and just vibe together. The world is currently a scary place so it’s nice to escape in your favourite movie or series!

 

Cooking

Cooking is something productive and also essential! Why not help make the family dinner or bake some goodies! Try out a new recipe and explore the kitchen whilst you have the chance. In this day and age, it is easy to just grab a take away or pre-baked goods, now is our chance to put those secondary school food and catering skills to good use!

If you have always wanted to go Vegan or Vegetarian then try that out or if you are unable to obtain the supplies (we know how the supermarket situation is right now) then study up on your diet to see what things you can cook from home which are already Vegan or Vegetarian.

Here are some easy meals you can make at home with little ingredients or time needed:

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Lasagne
  • Pancakes
  • Carrot cake
  • Pizza

This is also a thing you can do with your partner or friends over skype, have a little cooking date with them and then sit down with your creation, open a bottle of wine and have a virtual date together. Perhaps if you are single, you can have a virtual date with a new person and grasp their cooking abilities before you taste test!

Photo by John Mark Arnold on Unsplash

 

Make your surroundings more appealing

Before the UK went into isolation, I grabbed myself some flowers and did a huge spring clean of my bedroom because a clear surrounding allows a clear mind! This also cures the anxiety building up and lets me relax a little, light a candle and make your bed! Declutter your room and begin going through your belongings because now is the time to make sell and donation piles for after the pandemic!

I personally like to clean twice a week as my candles collect a lot of dust and I find it therapeutic to wake up in a clean and tidy room! Also, I recommend if you are not waking up with an alarm, then use the sunrise! I keep my windows open so I wake up with the brilliant sun shining into my room, the birds chirping and the shadows of my flowers on my walls and I must say, there’s no other way I’d like to wake up! Air out your room daily, mostly for good circulation but also to help with getting rid of any germs inside the house.

 

Exercise

As Boris has announced, we are allowed one form of exercise outside of the house daily, this can include a run or jog. However, that does NOT limit the amount of exercise you can do inside your house. Exercising inside your own house can make the anxiety of being judged at the gym a weight lifted, you can exercise however you want, to the pace you want, in the clothes you want without judgment!

This is a perfect chance to try out a new routine or exercise, I personally will be trying out Yoga once more at home. My plan is to do Yoga every morning for half an hour following a youtube tutorial as well as my own experience as a dancer, however I may also go for a run once or twice a week as I am in need of some fresh air. Again, exercise as a family or with friends to make the experience fun! If you are lucky enough to have gym equipment at home, use it and remember to clean it properly after every use!

These are just some things that I have personally been doing but feel free to comment below some things you have been up to! Stay safe, stay indoors and keep your eye on the news for updates.

Here are some honourable mentions of thing you can do at home during this period:

  • Look out windows
  • Go outside (garden only)
  • Read
  • Bullet journal, write
  • Watch vlogs
  • Create your own vlogs
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Scrapbook
  • Go through old photos
  • Plan future trips
  • Write letters to your friends and family

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