Living, Learning, Earning in Lockdown
Now that we are well into our second lockdown, here are some tips from the POV of a student campus jobs helpdesk worker who is now living, learning, and earning almost entirely at home.
- Getting up and dressed– the trouble with not leaving the house, is that it can sometimes be an excuse not to get out of bed until gone noon and stay in your pjs for the rest of the day. It might feel like a novelty at first, but that will soon wear off and it can make you feel rubbish. It’s fine to do this sometimes, but when you want to be productive, try to wake up at a reasonable time and get yourself ready for the day.
- Keeping things tidy – when you’re living in one small space, it’s important to keep on top of mess. It’s irritating when someone says that phrase: “Tidy room tidy mind”, but annoyingly it’s kind of true. Also try to keep shared spaces like living rooms and kitchens tidy to avoid any arguments with housemates. If you really can’t bear to do the washing up (like me), why not offer to cook for people if in return they clean up afterwards?
- Exercising and eating (relatively) healthily– Try to get some exercise, even just a simple walk. It helps me get a better night’s sleep if I’ve done something to tire my body out in the day. Also, try to eat healthily. Don’t take too much advantage of the fact that takeaways are still open! But obviously, some treats are needed – it is lockdown after all.
- Plan fun things with the people you live with – it’s good to have things to look forward to. Cook a meal together, watch a film, go for a nice walk. Alternatively, you can join in with virtual society events, which can be found on the RUSU website or social media pages.
- Keep track of deadlines – write them out and stick them up somewhere you can see. Try and be ahead of the game, especially if you know you’ll have loads of things due at the same time.
- Don’t save it all for later – Now that nearly all of my timetable is virtual, it’s easier to procrastinate. You will thank your past self so much if you do everything you can in the timetabled slots and don’t just leave it all until “later”.
- Get a change of scene – If you are able to, book a library session. It feels good to get a change of scenery and makes me way more productive when my bed isn’t there tempting me back in. If you can’t leave the house, then try working in a different room other than your bedroom.
- Motivate each other – even if you don’t do work physically together, if you and your friend both agree that you’re going to do 2 hours of work today, it might mean that you’re more likely to do it. Also, get a housemate or family member to read your essay or listen to your presentation. Even if they know nothing about your subject, explaining something to someone can make it clearer in your head.
- Switching off from working at home – if you have been moved to working remotely (like many of us at the campus jobs team), it’s important to make sure you separate work from everything else. Once you’ve finished your shift, you should be able to switch off your work brain.
- Protecting yourself physically and mentally – If you are still going into a workplace, make sure you are protecting yourself: Wash your hands, wear whatever protective gear you are required to and social distance. But also, make sure you are leaving time for your uni work and some time to relax too.
- In need of extra cash? – Could you have a massive sort out and sell some things online (e.g. selling clothes on depop)? Have you been getting creative recently and have a few bits you could sell on etsy? Small things like this will keep you entertained, as well as maybe earning you a bit of extra money. You can also have a look at the opportunities we have available currently: campusjobs.reading.ac.uk
If you’re in need of financial support contact the financial advice team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most importantly, if you are struggling in lockdown there is plenty of support out there.
For mental health support:
- Counselling and Wellbeing
- RUSU Welfare Officer
- Mind Website
- Mental Health.Org.uk
- RUSU Student Activities
Take a look at our previous blog where we talked about managing stress and creating a good work life balance for more tips.
Written by Lucy Harwood, Campus Jobs Help Desk Assistant