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Living in quarantine – and how to get through it

It’s been a few weeks now since the UK went into lockdown and the universities across the countries have all shut for the rest of the academic year. This of course means you’re stuck indoors now with nowhere to go, leading to cabin fever. Like all of us, I had no clue what to do with my time now that lectures and seminars are over. Doing work for university can feel a bit same-y and exhausting, and probably the last thing you want to be focusing on every day, so I’ve listed some activities I’ve been doing since returning home. 

  1. Stick to a regular sleeping schedule 

Because there is nowhere to get to for a specific time, the easy way to go about this is to decide to have lie-ins, staying in bed all day and binge-watching series after series. I’ve felt keeping to a rough outline of when to get up, get ready as if I’m going to go somewhere and do something keeps me motivated and my morale up. 

2. Get in some light exercise 

I know the UK has stated that you can only leave the house for absolute emergencies and one form of daily exercise but make use of it! A brisk walk of 15-20 minutes does the trick – you get some fresh air, see other people out and about and enjoy the sun. Staying active helps keep a routine and motivates you to get up and do something, there are thousands of YouTube workout videos which can be fun and help you get a sweat on, which will make you feel more productive and accomplished. I’ve found it particularly helpful as a way to combat depression-like states. Let’s not forget you’re now mostly indoors, probably not moving far beyond your room, the kitchen and the bathroom, so after a few days, you do feel slightly disillusioned and bored. Get those endorphins in along with a change of scenery! 

3. Catch up on your pile(s) of books 

As a literature student myself, you’d expect I read a lot in my spare time. However, because of the nature of my course, there’s not much time for me to go through my bookshelves. For all you bookworms out there, now’s the time for you to grab those books you’ve always meant to read, have been reading and then put aside for a while or thought of picking up and give them a try. It’s one of the easiest ways to get off your phone and draw your attention to something else instead of constant updates of coronavirus. You can disappear into new worlds without the stress of what’s going on in the world here.

4. Cooking and baking 

Speaking of putting your phone to one side: you know how you always wanted to cook more than just the bare necessities during term time? Here’s your chance! There’s enough time to prepare something simple, but truly delicious. Have a go at a simple Jamie Oliver or BBC Good Food recipe and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to show off when we return to student life. If you’re like me and aren’t always sure what others may think of your cooking, why not decide to impress your family with your cooking abilities once a week? I’ve found this to be a great way to again pass time but give me the chance to test my food out on others.

5. Stay in touch with friends and family 

This may sound like the easiest thing, but because we’re all doing our bit of social distancing, it’s easy to forget about friends and extended family. It does weigh down on you though because you can’t drop by their house for a quick visit. A simple “How are you? Keep safe” message is all it takes. Pick up your phone, call your grandparents, friends, or those you’ve lost touch with. It’s also a way to reassure that everything will be ok. 

I hope this list gives you new ideas what to do with all this time to fill hours in the day. It’s through doing basic things and keeping your mind occupied that you stop worrying about the coronavirus and everything that comes with it. So, pick up a new skill, stop reading the news 24/7 and stick together

About Kiran Sian

k.k.sian@student.reading.ac.uk'

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