Virtual Study Buddy: Learn in the time of corona – Staying sane and connected

We interrupt your regular written content to bring you…videos!

The first video contained tips, tricks and to-dos to make the most of your online classes.

The second was all about how to use structure and scheduling to ensure you stay balanced, on top and steady.

This one gives you some inspiration for how to stay sane and connected during lockdown – it’s a whistle-stop tour of a few things that might feed the different parts of you. I’ve categorised and summarised the video contents below – everything from exercising your little grey cells, to socialising, to using up food scraps.

I am reminded daily through social media that those lucky enough to be able to continue studying may be feeling a little lost, anxious and alone during these uncertain times – and new systems and ways of learning may be contributing to that. I’ve realised that I might be able to help in a small way combat that type of isolation or anxiety. So, with that in mind, I’m filming a few videos chatting to you about how to make the best of the new systems, tips and tricks and how to structure these coming weeks to stay healthy, productive and happy.

If you’re looking for other practical and positive ways to approach the pandemic, I wrote this (note: written on 15th March).

Other useful articles on similar subjects to this video may be the pieces on What Happens When Life Throws You A Curve-Ball and What Happens When Your Confidence Takes A Nose-Dive.

Brain

Exercise

Food

  • Shop local – environmentally friendly and community friendly
  • Be mindful of food waste – use up all your scraps and leftovers
  • Delve into recipe books – yes, those ones gathering dust on your bookshelves
  • Share recipes with friends

Socialising

I’ve been amazed by just how creative and innovative people I know have been during this time. I also think, as I mentioned in the quarantine routine video, that the pandemic has had (and hopefully will continue to have) a really positive impact on relationships – bringing old/long lost friends together, creating and making new connections, and deepening existing bonds.

  • Sharing poetry by voice note – one of the more surprising, beautiful, gentle and personal ways to connect/share/get to know someone on a different level I’ve experienced during lockdown (and actually just generally). Pick a poem that means something to you, or ‘speaks’ to you, or makes you smile – and send it to someone you think might appreciate it. If you’ve got a bit of stage fright think of it as an offering laid at someone’s feet for them to enjoy, learn about you or provide an outlet – often we struggle to sum things up in our own words, and our most-loved writers may provide the answer. The favourite one I have been sent has to be this one – which unbeknownst to the sender was received at the perfect time. The written word is powerful – but when spoken can be even more so
  • Quiz nights, wine and cheese nights, virtual book clubs, film nights
  • Voice notes – all hail WhatsApp – the perfect vehicle for silliness, seriousness and story-time
  • Recommending podcasts – can feed both heart and head, as well as relationships
  • Apps like: House Party, Zoom, Skype, Netflix Party
  • Zoom also allows you to share screen and so you can watch films and play games with friends

Culture (yes, I missed this section off the video, but come article writing time I remembered!)

  • The National Theatre are live-streaming plays every Thursday – just remember if you’re in the UK to pause at 20:00 to #clapforourcarers… I re-watched One Man Two Guvnors a couple of weeks ago
  • Shakespeare’s Globe is showing plays too – Hamlet was last week’s offering – and as someone who tries and goes at least once every summer, this is a good substitute
  • The Royal Opera House (#OurHouseToYours) is also releasing some incredible recordings – Così fan tutte was on this week – perfect with a good bottle of red wine and a sofa

Environment

  • House projects – hanging pictures, moving furniture, fixing things
  • Clearing out and de-cluttering – donate to charity or to friends
  • Planting seeds – a heartening and hopeful activity, as well as something you may be able to harvest

Creativity

  • Colouring books – you don’t have to be a child to enjoy some scribbling
  • Painting – one of the most cited creative outlets among my friendship groups
  • Music – food for the soul, and has many positive physical effects too
  • Writing your memoirs, or just writing

Self

I hope one of the better things to come from this crisis is a renewed sense of our selves, the chance to gain self-awareness and tune into what really makes us happy – and then put our energy and emotion into those things and those people. If, like me, you are a ‘giver’ then these times may be proving particularly taxing – people are relying on you for support more than ever – and while it is lovely to be able to help others, it’s also important to help ourselves. I often have to remind myself of the oxygen mask analogy – just as we are told on aeroplanes: put your oxygen mask on before you help anyone else with theirs.

  • Quiet-time for just you – I so often can forget to put myself first and make sure I’m okay too – lockdown is a great way to re-centre and learn positive behaviours
  • Noting down one or two positives a day – even if it’s as simple as making your bed
  • Trying not to over fill days
  • Screen breaks and device switch-offs
  • Structure – wake up at the same time every day
  • Limiting your consumption of news – and only reading information from reputable sources
  • Allowing yourself to emote
  • Re-reading books you loved as a child
  • Cuddling your dog, watching lambs or ducklings or goslings

I’d like this to be a conversation – a way for us to figure this out and get through this together. Send me a message or write a comment below with some things you’ve learned during this week that might help others, something positive you’ve discovered during this time or make a suggestion for what you’d like to see next!

4 thoughts on “Virtual Study Buddy: Learn in the time of corona – Staying sane and connected

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