We asked Sussex students how they’re looking after their mental wellbeing during lockdown
From hiding from cows on your daily walk to being surrounded by banana bread
Lockdown Three is a new level of tough. Unlike summer, the nights are darker, the days are colder and it is exhausting because we have all done it before. Online workouts, the endless supply of banana bread and TikTok trends just aren’t the same anymore as people grow more tired with each day. The emotional challenges that this lockdown poses are like no other, and if you are sadly like too many other students who are also struggling, you are not alone.
We asked University of Sussex students what they do to try and cope with lockdown number three. And as always, we were not disappointed.
Go for a walk!
Yes, we know you have been hearing this since March but it really does help! Although the cows on campus can put you off (we understand the terrible fear of cows) going on a walk through nature is one of the many ways students are looking after their mental health. Whether it is getting up at the crack of the dawn to see the sunrise, experiencing the golden glows of sunset or getting stuck knee deep in mud, there are so many walks! So whether you are on campus or in Canada, getting out of your house for some time each day is so worth it.
Sometimes it can be hard to make sense of everything that is going on in our brains, and there is no better way to sort through all these emotions we are feeling at the moment than to write them down. Whether you create one of those pretty aesthetic bullet journals (which we applaud if you can do that), or it is a chaotic page of words and doodles that come to you? Journalling is such a good way of making sense in the chaos and letting your brain relax. Sometimes the things we feel can be overwhelming and scary, writing them out can help make sense of them.
Missing human contact? Fruit Friends.
Okay, we know this does not completely replace the human contact we all miss so much. However, they are extremely fun to have round. And maybe we could even go a step further, we all know that Sussex students cannot get enough of indoor house plants, so why not buy some googly eyes and just start sticking them to everything you own? It’s almost like having a party – just without the alcohol, the music and the people. But you do have the googly-eyed friends. Just as good, if not better, right? This way they can’t distract you from all that online Zoom learning.
Dance in the rain
If you are in England currently you will know it likes to rain, in fact, we are pretty sure England’s favourite thing to do during this lockdown is rain. And you know what they say, if you can’t beat them, join them. So, next time it rains, grab a coat (or maybe not) and go for a walk or dance in the rain. We promise you will not regret the main character energy that comes with dancing in the freezing cold rain, and you will most probably provide all the entertainment for passers by.
Be Kind to Yourself
Something we often forget to do in the midst of reading, logging on and off Zoom and being in awkward breakout rooms is to be kind to ourselves. This term will not be perfect – there will be times where you will want to (and potentially do) throw your laptop out of the window in frustration and hit a seagull in the eye. Set yourself time or tasks every day to do the things you love to do, whether that be expressing your gratitude for the no detriment policy or your love for Brighton beach. Be kind to yourself when you make mistakes, whether that be forgetting about the reading you had to do or struggling to get out of bed. Be kind.
Prioritise yourself and the things you love to do
Whether it be baking, watching Netflix or cooking and trying not to set off the fire alarm (which is not always successful). In the midst of exams, dissertations and never-ending to-do list, it can be easy to forget that we have to take time out too, because some of the most creative ideas and biggest arguments come when you least expect. Maybe you could bring back the trend of banana bread like (circa lockdown one), or improve your cooking skills from Pot Noodles to pasta and sauce (a real improvement we think, maybe even throw in some vegetables if you’re feeling really brave).
We know that these are not quick fixes, but hopefully, they will put a smile on your face and provide your heart with a little joy during these times. As always, remember you can always reach out for help if you are struggling. Organisations include:
Samaritans: 116 123
SANEline: 0300 304 7000
The Mix: 0808 808 4994 (under 25s)