By Kaveena Anantha-Siva | UNSW FABSOC
Are you reading this in your bed? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
Social distancing is hard. Not only are you not to leave the house (umm…bubble tea fix hello??), but you’re expected to maintain motivation and stay productive, because even a world crisis can’t stop trimesters.
However, your time in isolation doesn’t have to be spent fantasising about your future plans or moping about your lack of productivity (we’ve all been there…). It’s tough, but it’s also here to stay for who knows how long, so here are some tips to make the best of a bad situation.
1. Stick to your normal routine
It can be so tempting to roll out of bed whenever you want, because who knows when you’ll ever have the luxury of no alarm again?
However, research shows that early risers are more productive, as well as generally happier and healthier. Take some time in the morning for yourself before the house wakes up- play some music, stretch, or cook yourself a nice breakfast. Who knows, you might emerge from quarantine a newfound chef?!
It’s helpful if you are able to plan your day and stick to your normal routine as much as possible- eat lunch at around the same time, study according to your usual schedule, and have breaks accordingly.
And most of all- get out of your PJs! Just because you aren’t going anywhere doesn’t mean you can’t look AND feel good. Now is the best time to experiment with those makeup looks without the fear of being judged if they turn out horrible (winged liner, I’m looking at you).
Some cute but comfortable outfit ideas might include hoodie dresses, flowy pants or even just a nice sweater!
2. Get out of the house and get your body moving
Hydrate, exercise, blah blah blah. You’ve heard all this before.
It can be so difficult to even think about working out if your motivation is at an all-time low. But the best way to beat this is to just start.
Do it without giving your brain the chance to create excuses or protests. And once you start, it becomes much easier to keep going, because you’ll crave that feeling of endorphins you get after you work out.
Some of my favourite home workouts come from YouTubers such as Chloe Ting, Blogilates and Emi Wong. I also find that watching others workout on YouTube is a great source of motivation, and it helps to remind yourself that everyone is going through this together.
And even if you’re not too keen into the strenuous stuff, there’s plenty of other ways to get your exercise in! If you like to dance, put on a song and let loose! Follow a dance routine on YouTube, or even just go outside and take a walk or pace around in your backyard.
3. Social distancing ≠ social isolation
Many people have the misconception that not being able to leave the house means they’re alone.
There are so many online services that make it easier than ever to stay connected, whether that be through instant messaging or video calls.
Make it a priority to check in with your friends at least 2-3 times a week and give them a virtual hug! If you used to go out every Friday night, plan something fun weekly! Whether that be a virtual game night, chill hangout sesh, a pamper and movie night, taking shots, or, if you want to be fancy, DIY margaritas…?
Something that I’ve also found really effective in keeping motivated is having a study buddy to call or FaceTime, or even just someone to keep you company through the mundane things like chores.
4. Have a break!
Reality is, most of us are stressed. Now more than ever is an important time to prioritise you and take some quality self-care time.
If you’re busy- don’t worry! Just set aside at least half an hour every day to do things that make you feel at ease and clear your mind.
Play your favourite songs, journal, meditate on what you’re grateful for, talk to friends and family about how you’re feeling, or even spend a little extra time on your skincare routine!
Doing something for yourself in the morning before you start your day has shown to increase happiness, motivation and productivity, so start taking care of you!
5. Learn and do what you love
How many times have you spent an entire day binge watching YouTube, Netflix and TikTok, only to feel horrible after??
For most of us, it’s easy-to-consume content that provides instant entertainment. But studies show that the key to a happier life is enjoying the journey. So what exactly does that involve??
Do things that you are genuinely interested in and enjoy, or something that you’ve been yearning to learn or improve on. This could be reading, writing, painting, cooking new recipes, or even learning a new language!
Try not to get caught up in the ‘hustle culture’ mindset. Spending time to paint and draw even if you don’t plan on pursuing a career in design is just as valuable as learning skills for a future career.
Remember that we are all going through this weird time together, and whilst we can’t control what happens, we can control our attitude and actions by making the best out of a bad situation.
Stay safe everyone!