- Keep in contact with friends and family
It is important to ensure that you have someone to talk to, particularly if you are self-isolating and living alone, otherwise this process can get lonely quite fast. PGR’s here at Lincoln have maintained contact via emails and social media, but also hold a weekly virtual meeting via Microsoft Teams to check in and see how we are all doing. This breaks some of the self-isolation solitude and is a nice support network to have. It is equally important to note that if you are struggling during this time, it is important to reach out if you are able to and let someone know whether it be a friend or family member, your supervisor or professional services.
- You are not a superhero
We are in a global pandemic and therefore do not be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to adjust and are not being as productive as you had hoped. Just because you are inside during this time, it does not mean that you need to write lots of thesis chapters or publications.
- Take time to have a break from working
This follows on from point two, but it is important to note that just because you are inside it does not mean that you need to be working constantly without taking breaks or time off. You are still allowed to have evenings and weekends off during this time (or whatever time you usually schedule for yourself!)…so take some time to do things you enjoy, even if that means binge watching Netflix! Also, if you find working from home too distracting, request annual leave for a week or two if this is permitted as it might help take some pressure off you.
- Exercise where possible
It is easy to not exercise when the gyms are closed and when you have been told to stay in, but exercise is still vital, and it is important not to become too sedentary. If you are able to, try to get a little exercise in each day. Some of our PGR’s have resorted to going for one walk or run per day (in accordance with government advice), as well as lifting weights at home and trying yoga.
- Stick to a routine where possible
As we are all inside currently, it is easy to lose track of time and to sleep in every day and stay up all night. Where possible, try to stick to a routine. Wake up at your normal time, get showered and dressed like you would if leaving the house and make time for meals at the usual time. This will help structure your days a little more.
- Mute the news if you need to
Whilst it is good to know what is happening and to have an update on what rules are in place on any given day (this may be useful to check before planning to leave your home), if global news is getting too much with the constant coronavirus updates, mute it. You can also select options on some social media accounts such as Twitter to mute key words such as coronavirus.