Keeping busy during lock down
By Lauren, BSc Ecological and Environmental Sciences
After the university cancelled exams for first and second years at the beginning of March my degree quickly slimmed down to my remaining assignments. The 10th of April marked my final submission date and as a girl who likes to keep busy, no longer having a purpose leaves a bit of a gap during the day. Here’s a few things I’ve been doing to fill my time during lock down.
Exercise is a great way to give the day some structure and work off all those extra calories from stress snacking. There’s also countless things to follow along to online nowadays (Joe Wicks anyone?) so you can just chuck a video on and not think too much about it as you get a bit of movement in. I’ve really developed an appreciation for it as it’s very easy right now to spend most of the day hunched over or not moving and so being active, even for 20 minutes a day, can really fend off feelings of stiffness.
I’ve also started doing yoga every evening with my mum and aunties over Skype. My mum is working from home so she likes using it as a way to switch off from work and transition to night. I like it because I spend way too much of the day horizontal so it’s good to have a nice stretch at the end of the day. It’s also nice doing it with my aunties as we get to have a little catch up at the end of the day. My top recommendation is Yoga with Adriene (obviously- if you’ve heard of yoga, you’ve heard of her) and her 30 day challenges as it means you’re not scrabbling for a new video every night and do something a little different each time.
Reading is something I’ve always enjoyed but has become less of a habit in recent years due to the busy student life. Most days I’m lucky to fit in a quick 10 minutes before bed. However, after recently acquiring a job at a bookshop, recommendations have come flooding in and luckily I managed to stock up just before the beginning of lock down. For the first time in a long time I can actually devote a good chunk of time just to sitting and reading. Obviously it’s not for everyone, but if you are a reader there’s no better time to finally work through that pile of books beside your bed and feel satisfied as you watch said pile diminish. Somehow I’ve gone through 7 books since this madness has started!
Trying new things
One of the upsides of suddenly having so much free time is that you now have a chance to get around to doing things that have been in the back of your mind for a long time. When I was younger I really wanted to be a fashion designer (I know, realistic) and would sit in my room with a needle and thread attempting all kinds of random sewing projects. For a while now I’ve been wanting to try it out again as I’m keen to do more up-cycling of clothes rather than constantly buying new things. Fast forward a few weeks since lock down has started and I’ve altered two pairs of trousers, patched up some hole-y tops and my next aim is attempting to make some scrunchies. Setting these little challenges for myself has really given me a bit more of a sense of purpose and means that I can come out the other side of lock down feeling like I’ve developed a skill. This can be applied to anything, such as developing cooking skills, gardening, learning a language etc.
Do things you used to enjoy
The stress of the current situation can all get a bit much sometimes and it can be good for the soul to revert back to some simple pleasures. One benefit of it all is that now we actually have time to do little things that life is usually too busy for. For example, during Easter weekend we fully embraced all the traditions and spent the Sunday painting eggs, colouring in things for the window and, of course, participating in an egg hunt. Keeping busy doesn’t mean you constantly have to be productive and it’s so important to do things that are good for the soul in this current climate.
Following on from the last one, I’ve also been enjoying being able to just switch off if I feel I need to. Even though a lot of us are in the comfort of our own homes, the situation we now find ourselves in can be quite draining and it’s important to take time for yourself if you need it. Binge a show, go for a walk or take a nap if you want, no one can blame you. Lock down is a stressful time for all of us, so it’s important to find little things that fill our days and keeps us happy (and sane).
These have been a few things that have been giving my days a little bit of structure during this odd time. I hope it helps anyone else who has also found themselves at a bit of a loss after having lectures cancelled.
Stay home and stay safe 🙂