We asked Newcastle students how they’re staying positive during Lockdown 3.0

Buy £50 worth of new craft kits? Okay

With the last year having been spent in and out of various lockdowns whilst watching the rest of the world roam free (everyone in New Zealand, we’re looking at you), lots of students have found themselves severely lacking in everyday positivity. Even though the hope of freedom is on the horizon, we’re not quite there yet. We asked Newcastle and Northumbria students how they’re staying positive this lockdown, so read on for some top tips from your peers to help get you through the coming weeks. Disclaimer:  if you’re spurred on to spend way too much money on a new painting kit after this, we take no responsibility.

“Lots of walks and lots of tea” – Adam, 21, Business at Northumbria 

As is always the first point to make, exercise. The release of endorphins means a positive mindset. However in current times, with motivation lacking, exercise can be the last thing you want to do. So try not to think of exercise as your enemy or something that you have to do, but something fun that will be good for your soul. Remember, HIIT and heavy weights aren’t the only types of exercise – walking, dancing, stretching and yoga all count too!

“Remembering the fact that everyone is dealing with this together so it kind of feels a bit less depressing” – Vuyo, 22, History at Newcastle

It can be easy to forget that this is truly an extraordinary time for everyone. As alone as you may feel, remembering that everyone is going through this pandemic together is more important than ever. This by no means discounts the individual emotions that some may be experiencing, but knowing that you’re not alone in your solitude is a calming, reassuring thought.

“Spending more time on things that you wouldn’t normally have time for. I’ve started to read again, which I haven’t done in years” – Lily, 22, Law at Northumbria 

With the current lack of in-person teaching and inability to work many part-time jobs, students could have more free time than ever before. Whereas this time would usually be spent at Blanc and witnessing the rahs in their natural habitat, that just isn’t possible anymore. The newly found myriads of free time can be difficult to fill, so let yourself remember activities you’ve forgotten – if you used to read, read. If you used to paint, paint. If you used to love Lord of The Rings, whack it on. Go back to basics – you could rediscover an old passion. Every cloud, right?

“Staying active in the group chat” – Sophie, 22, Media at Newcastle 

Staying in touch with friends as a bit of light relief can do wonders for the soul. Sending bad memes to the group chat or doing the dreaded weekly Zoom quiz keeps friendships going, in a time when it’s more important than ever to do so. For most uni students the some goes for seeing your housemates too – make use of the fact that you (probably) live with at least one other person who you (probably) don’t hate!

“Taking up new hobbies or nurturing old ones” – Grace, 22, Media at Newcastle 

Similar to carrying on old hobbies, take up new ones! When, besides now, are you actually going to purchase that paint-by-numbers kit you’ve had in your Etsy basket for the last 18 months? Even though it feels like it, every day doesn’t have to be like groundhog day for the remaining duration of Lockdown 3.0. Let yourself get creative. Even if that new hobby is trying a different type of alcohol to your everyday staple, no judgement. You’re still switching up the routine!

“Trying to keep life as normal as possible – getting dressed up once a week and having a drink as if we’re going out” – Sam, 23, Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle

With the memory of a night out being a painfully distant one, try and keep the social being in you alive. Get dressed up on a Saturday night and make cocktails, go on a house bar crawl, or just sit in the living room and drink a beer out of a can. You may wake up the next morning with a mare of a hangover and wishing you’d never read this article, but be honest… haven’t you missed that sore head just a little bit?

“I guess I’m not staying that positive this lockdown” – Jay, 20, Criminology at Northumbria  

You can read about how to stay positive until the cows come home, but if you’re not able to do it yourself, nothing will help – and that’s okay. Another way to stay afloat is to accept that positivity isn’t always an option. Sometimes, you just have to lean into this time and ride the wave until life becomes normal again. This makes you no less of a functioning human than those who can wake up every day with a smile on their face.

Everybody has a different way of staying positive. Some people are at their most content whilst sitting in bed watching Netflix, others whilst completing a new creative project. Do what feels right for you, but don’t forget to go to extra lengths to look after yourself and nurture your positivity. You’ve got this.

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