In these unpredictable times, when fear and uncertainty become the collective emotion, it’s imperative to find strength and hope in each other.
It has not been easy to grapple with the rapidly changing environment around us.
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that the upheaval, untimely goodbyes and unprecedented change in our future has been tough on each and every one of us.
For many of us, returning to our homes and our days in London coming to a halt has been an overwhelming journey.
In the face of these difficult realisations, I want you to take a moment right now and think about the new friends you made, the places you visited, the experiences that made you feel like time was flying and the parts of LSE that became home.
I urge you not to let these circumstances taint your cherished memories. The LazyBoys in the library, meals on the 4th floor of the Old Building, the Upside Down globe and the busy Friday nights at the Three Tuns – they will all be waiting for us when this is over.
The uncertainty has triggered anxieties for a lot of us, but it’s crucial to remember that none of us can control the environment. What is under your control is how you manage this anxiety.
Following are some ways of ensuring your wellbeing while you’re quarantined, self-isolating or social distancing. This list is not exhaustive and doesn’t apply to everyone! If you have any other tips for fellow students, leave a comment.
1. Setting a routine
Even though physical classes are not taking place and virtual classes don’t require you to be dressed well, it’s important to set a routine to reduce the feeling of disruption:
- Wake up on time.
- Take a shower.
- Have meals at set times.
- Attend classes as they happen via Zoom instead of watching recordings later.
This can help you preserve structure and discipline in your life.
If it’s not possible to be present for Zoom classes due to time differences, watch lectures at the same time every day to retain meaningful schedules.
You may also find it helpful to set up a separate area away from the comfort of your bed to prepare for your courses; a table and chair with your necessities laid out at an arm’s length.
2. Keeping in touch
If you used to hang out with your friends after classes every Thursday, now you can video call them every Thursday!
If you’re cooking up worst-case scenarios by yourself in quarantine, call your friends and share how you feel. I can guarantee that we’re all going through the same emotions and sometimes, having a medium for catharsis can be more relieving than you’d expect.
As the popular High School Musical song goes, “we’re all in this together.” We must rely on each other, lend emotional support and simply share a few laughs about the absurd unexpected turns that 2020 is taking!
We must rely on each other, lend emotional support and simply share a few laughs about the absurd unexpected turns that 2020 is taking!
3. More time for hobbies
You’re probably hearing it everywhere but a simple thing you can do to keep occupied is to go back to hobbies you don’t engage in anymore or take up new ones!
As we grow up, many of us stop reading fiction novels because we have to finish our academic journal readings, we stop having time to paint or play music without worrying about responsibilities.
Now, you have an opportunity to start indulging in your hobbies again!
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to bake but didn’t have an oven in your dorms or you want to work on the song lyrics or poem you left unfinished.
If you thought that the TikTok dance for Renegade was cool but too complicated, now is the time to put on a tutorial video and learn it (dancing in your room is also a good alternative to gyms and exercising outdoors!).
A silly-sounding activity that I like to engage in is to play concert videos of my favourite artists really loudly and sing like I’m part of the crowd that has come together out of love for the same music, there’s a strange sense of solidarity in it, and having an at-home concert might uplift your spirits.
Rushing into normalcy and routine may be helpful for some of us but it’s also important to take some time to introspect about what these changes mean for you.
4. Taking time to process the change
Rushing into normalcy and routine may be helpful for some of us but it is also important to take some time to introspect about what these changes mean for you.
If it’s tough for you to move back in with your parents, reach out to your friends or access the LSE’s virtual wellbeing services for support.
You don’t have to jump into being productive and finishing your assignments. It can be hard to look at the bright side and continue working when your future plans fall through. It’s absolutely okay to feel upset about it and you’re not alone in feeling that way. But you must also remember that this is only temporary, and we’ll all get through it together!
It’s absolutely okay to feel upset… and you’re not alone in feeling that way.
I’d like to end by saying that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel and we’ll walk through it hand-in-hand (only metaphorically!).
Don’t forget to wash your hands!
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