10 tips for looking after yourself in the second lock down

tired young man sitting on the floorAre you worried about the impact a second lockdown is having on your mental health? We asked Tory Adams, a Specialist Mentor in Marjon’s Student Support team, to share some tips for taking care of ourselves.

  1. Make a list of positive things you can do and choose different things from it depending on how you feel. Discuss with others what you might add to it as this could help you both.

2. Try to exercise. Set targets of how many times you go up and down the stairs if you are unable to go out due to self-isolating or shielding. If you have limited mobility try lighter adapted exercises such as our low mobility workouts.

3. The main thing is setting goals that suit you and being kind to yourself. Know that it is OK if you need to adjust your goals for different days depending on how you are doing.

4. Listening to music, reading or watching TV can be so important for many of us. Have some favourite music/books/tv to hand and make time to enjoy something every day. The days we least want to do something we may usually enjoy can be the days we most need it most.

5. Likewise arts, crafts and drawing are a creative outlet and a definite must for some people. Try some drawing time, it’s arguably one of the best distractions.

6. Recognise what you are able to do, and what is within your control, no matter how small those things might seem. Remind yourself of them. This idea always reminds me of the serenity prayer which goes:

“God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.”

7. Arrange a time to talk, video call or meet outside with a friend, colleague or family member. Don’t just wait for it to happen as it can be easy for the whole day to pass by if you don’t make a plan.

Study and online group work can be a positive distraction too. Arrange to meet with course mates via MS Teams while you are on campus less, or suggest people stay online for post lecture catch ups.

8. Set yourself small goals and recognise when you have achieved them; watch back that lecture, try that recipe, do that washing, go for that walk, play with the dog!

9. Having a routine – even a flexible routine – that includes selfcare can be really helpful for some people. It may be really small things like ensuring you get 10 minutes outside each day or that you open all the curtains by 10am. Others prefer a very structured routine with regular bed and wake times. It really does depend on the individual; consider what works best for you, try a routine and you can always change it until it feels helpful to you.

10. Check out the wellbeing resources in the student handbook – you’ll find lots of useful links including to Student Minds, Devon Mind and sleep resources.

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