How to organise your work and study from home

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by Chloe, BA(Hons) Creative and Professional Writing

Going from a full or part time schedule at university, to completing our deadlines and coursework at home, can be a real struggle, especially when there isn’t a regular routine or timetable.

During my time in lockdown, I’ve thought about what’s worked to keep me motivated. So, whether you want to watch my vlog or read my blog below, here are my top tips on how to manage your workload and study from home.

Time management

It’s important to make your own timetable to keep on top of coursework, deadlines and assignments – this might mean putting aside a set number of hours or shorter sessions to finish a certain task. One method that you can use is a priority list where you write down your ‘top 3 priorities’ for the day. This helps split your day into three parts and gets you to focus on three main goals.

I also give myself bonus tasks – these are a few extra goals that I could get done if I have enough time. These tasks are what they sound like – a BONUS, they are non-essential and it doesn’t matter if they don’t get completed.

One of my priority lists – you can tick these off once you have done them and know you have been productive. Who doesn’t love a satisfying tick!

Find yourself a study space

As well as managing your time it’s also essential you find yourself a study space where you feel comfortable enough to work. Having the right environment when you study can be a contributing factor to your focus levels and overall quality of your work. So try to find somewhere that has minimal distractions, where you can concentrate and be calm.

My study space at home

Take care of yourself

Of course, we have all of this new-found time for studying and dedicating ourselves to our degree but remember to look after yourself. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to work 24/7, be realistic and think about what you would be doing if you were actually in university. This is why priority lists have worked for me, as they split the day up for me.

Remember to take breaks! Taking breaks is actually healthy and allows your brain not to be over-loaded with information or stress – it’s been proven that sometimes shorter bursts of work can be more productive than longer periods of time. On your breaks, try and go outside for a breath of fresh air or stretch out, remembering to follow government guidelines when you do.

Stay connected and reach out if you need help

If you find yourself in the position where you do need some pointers or there are things that you just don’t understand, reach out. There is no harm in asking a question. Message course mates with queries and check your module handbooks, the answers may be there. If you are looking for more support on your deadlines, reach out to your tutors or lecturers via email or blackboard. And if you’re feeling anxious and stressed, UWE Bristol has many health and wellbeing services that operate online and are there to help you.

Even though lockdown is daunting, it won’t last forever. Just try focus on your health and work hard and you will get where you want to be.

To keep up to date on University coronavirus guidance and information, visit the student guidance and FAQ page.

Tips on how to stay happy and healthy during lockdown

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by Jaymee, BA(Hons) Film Studies

Life is a bit strange at the moment. Things have been changing very quickly recently. It’s an adjustment for all of us, but don’t worry if you’re finding this a lot to process. It’s normal to be feeling scared, anxious or apprehensive, as there is a lot going on in the world and it can feel overwhelming.

But all this isn’t necessarily happening for the worst. It’s important that as many people as possible can stay healthy and safe, but there are positives to gain. The most comforting feeling through all this is that we are in it together. Society is gaining a sense of community and togetherness, (the weekly clap for the NHS is so heart-warming) and this is just the start of us seeing the beauty in a very hard time.

Learning how to control fear and anxiety is crucial and it is important to remember that no amount of fear or worry will help or change aspects of the universe that are out of your control. A time like this makes me realise what I took for granted in my life before, and will therefore make me more appreciative of afterwards. And I feel very grateful for having the chance to realise this.

Life for the foreseeable future may be very unusual and uncertain. Nevertheless, these are my tips for staying happy and healthy during lockdown.

Keep some structure and routine to your daily life

For me this starts with a good sleep routine. Whether it’s trying to wake up early to make the most of my day, or pushing myself to go to bed earlier to get a longer, better-quality sleep. I like to start the day with making herbal teas, tidying my flat, doing some yoga and taking time to make a delicious breakfast. I’d also recommend getting dressed every day, even though you won’t be going anywhere! Getting ready in the morning whether that means just getting dressed or putting makeup on, makes me feel more productive and good about myself.

Limit your time on social media and reading the news

The news will more often than not focus on the negatives of what’s going on in the world and it can feel overwhelming. I began to get hooked on reading statistics, yet I found I was a lot happier when I checked the news less. It is still important to be aware of what is going on in the world, but limit yourself to only checking the news as frequently as what works for you, without making you fearful.

Document how you’re feeling

This is a significant global event that we are living through. Writing down your day to day life and keeping some sort of diary of what you have been up to, can do wonders to making you feel a whole lot better. Especially if you are struggling. Find what works for you best, whether it be writing, vlogging or something different. Try different times of the day – I find that writing just before I go to bed really helps me wind down and clear my mind.

Try and focus on the positive things

This crisis is helping me learn new things about life, such as what I took for granted in life before and what I will appreciate more when it’s over. Life is on pause so take this time to reflect and take a step back. Think about where you are in life, what you want in life, what you want to do more of and what you don’t do enough of. Make a plan for when life returns back to ‘normal’.

Learn something new

Learn an instrument. Learn how to do the splits. Learn how to curl your hair or do the perfect eyeliner look. It could be anything! Take this time to do all the things you always wanted to do, but ‘never had the time’ for. I’m learning yoga at the moment which has been great for keeping up my fitness whilst staying indoors and its helping me with mindfulness and meditation. Whatever you do focus on your health and make self care your top priority.

Go for a walk or exercise

No matter what your reason for leaving the house, remember to stay safe and follow the government guidelines. If you can safely enjoy a few minutes outside however, whether it’s to go on a run or a walk then do. Sometimes a bit of fresh air and sunshine can do wonders.

I hope some of these tips and ideas help you to stay happy and healthy in this peculiar time. If you need more support, UWE Bristol has many health and wellbeing services that operate online and are there to help you.

To keep up to date on University guidance and information, visit the student guidance and FAQ page.

Stay safe and take care!

My tips on how to stay healthy during self-isolation

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by Belinda, MSc Marketing Communications

This is an exceptional time with the pandemic and most likely many of us are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or even sad. It can be hard to stay positive and it may be easy to forget to take care of yourself. The anxiety can be especially strong for those students who may be unable to go home or who live alone. So here are my tips on staying both mentally as well as physically healthy during self-isolation.

Stick to your routine

We all had a routine before self-isolating, so try to stick to it by maintaining a good sleep routine and setting tasks to do or goals to reach for each day. Even writing down a structure for each day might be helpful. For me this helps with getting assignments done as well.

Stay connected

Thanks to technology, staying connected to our loved ones is very easy. I used to go for a cup of coffee with my friends every week in Bristol but now we continue our habit from our homes while video calling each other.

Get outside and exercise

According to the government, going outside once a day for exercising is allowed, so use this possibility. Fresh air and movement will give you more energy and help with stress and anxiety. If exercising outside does not sound fun, there are many apps and home work out ideas to try now that gyms are closed.

Maintain a meal routine and have fun

Now is a good opportunity to learn new recipes while maintaining your regular meal routine. I tend to snack a lot when staying at home all day, so eating healthy meals regularly keeps me more energised for the afternoon hours.

Make time for relaxing and self-care

During stressful periods it is important to set some time aside and do something fun, relaxing or treat yourself. Here are some ideas: make a cup of tea and read (not course books), journal, paint, learn a new language or a skill, try meditation and watch a movie. For trying out new things, there are many apps and videos on the internet which is a convenient way to learn something new from the comfort of your home.

In case you still feel anxious and stressed, UWE Bristol has many health and wellbeing services that operate online and are there to help you.

To keep up to date on University guidance and information, visit the student guidance and FAQ page.

And finally, stay safe, stay at home and remember to support one another. We are in this together!