This year’s students could be looking at a slightly different university experience than those that came before them, with many establishments announcing that courses will be moving online for the first semester in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits at the best of times, let alone when you’re navigating university for the first time under unprecedented circumstances. That’s why it’s going to be essential for this year’s students to find ways to avoid lockdown fatigue and get the most out of their university experience.
One of the best ways to do this is by having a regular daily routine, which will not only help you make time for your studies, but also support your mental and physical wellbeing.
Here are 6 useful tips to help you get into a daily lockdown routine when you start university.
1. Set up a study schedule
It can be difficult to stay motivated when you can’t leave the house, so setting up a study schedule will help you stay on-task when you need to.
Create daily and weekly checklists of everything you want to achieve so you can marvel later at how productive you’ve been. It’s also a good idea to size up these priorities and tackle the more difficult tasks first – procrastination will only cause more stress in the long run! But most importantly, make sure you schedule in plenty of breaks. Taking regular breaks will ultimately be good for your productivity, as you’ll feel more refreshed when you do sit down to study.
2. Delegate a space for studying
When you’re working and studying at home, it’s incredibly important to separate work from play.
For example, if you’re studying in the same place you watch TV, eat your dinner and fall asleep at night, you could find that the line between your personal and educational life becomes blurred. This lack of routine could ultimately lead to feeling like you can’t escape your studies, resulting in broken sleep and increased stress levels.
Delegating a private study space will not only help you focus, but also give you somewhere to “go” in the morning - sort of like a morning commute to campus!
3. Maintain a well-balanced diet
It’s hard to maintain a healthy diet, let alone when you’re living on a student budget and studying all the hours under the sun. But it’s especially easy to fall into irregular eating patterns during lockdown, so here are some easy ways to maintain a healthy meal routine:
- Keep meal times consistent – try to avoid eating just before bedtime so you can get a restful night sleep
- Don’t skip breakfast, as this will kick-start your metabolism and give you energy for the day ahead
- Eat healthily, with lots of fruit and vegetables – they’re packed with nutrients that will help you study harder!
- Drink plenty of water, and try to avoid caffeine and sugary drinks if you’re feeling stressed or tired
4. Exercise regularly
The NHS recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Luckily, there are lots of sports and health clubs to join at university, even during lockdown.
Investigate online group workouts that will allow you to get into a regular exercise routine while meeting people with similar interests. If high-intensity workouts aren’t for you, why not try something like meditation or yoga? It could even help you find your inner calm during those first few months at uni when things can feel overwhelming.
5. Don’t stay up all night
When you don’t have to get up for that early commute, it can be easy to slip into a pattern of late nights – which is why maintaining a consistent sleeping pattern should become a key element of your new university routine.
Go to bed and get up at regular times, and try not to nap too much during the day as this can cause broken sleep at night.
Too much screen time can also cause problems with sleep – so try not to look at your phone last thing at night, and keep it on silent so you’re not subconsciously awaiting message alerts while you’re trying to sleep.
6. Socialise – but only if you feel like it
It’s easy to feel isolated at university, so building plenty of social activities into your schedule will ensure you stay connected with your friends and course mates.
Read our Socially Distanced Student Guide .
That being said, it’s also important to take time out if you need it– so don’t feel guilty about saying no to social events when you just need a bit of time for yourself.
After all, a daily routine can only take you so far – sometimes you’ve just got to do to what’s right for you!
Making sure you’re covered at university
If you’re starting university for the first time, have you checked your essential gadgets and belongings will still be protected? Check whether your contents are already covered by Endsleigh in your university accommodation here.
Need to top up your cover? Find out more about student insurance.