We know that working, learning and socialising in one space, surrounded by the same four walls can be hard. You find the time goes slower, you get frustrated, you don’t get a change of scenery and you feel trapped in your own space. Not only that, but so much of our lives are now focused on screen time, we now both study and socialise online – whilst this can make us feel more connected during these strange times, it can also create feelings of loneliness and disconnection as well. Maintaining your own boundaries with your screen time, the make up of your space and looking after yourself are incredibly important in battling these feelings.
We’ve put together some tips for making the most of your space to help make things a little easier…
- Create associations with concentration time! Burn a candle on your desk (be careful and place it somewhere you won’t knock it!) when you are working and blow it out when you are not. It really helps to signal when is time to concentrate and when not. ~ Sunday
- Be flexible. Whilst it’s ideal to have a structure, it’s okay to take a break in the day if you need one and catch up in the evening or another day if that’s what your body needs ~Ruby
- Separate study time and social space with time in a different space – whether that’s going for a walk, popping to the shops, cooking in the kitchen. Make sure when you return you don’t do the previous activity to ensure you’ve segmented that space
- Split your room into different spaces – where you work and where you socialise. Try and make your social space more homely and comfortable (cushions, fairy lights, plants etc) and your study space a space fit for working (I.e. good lighting, a desk, chair, laptop etc). You could even invest in a room divide to physically split up your space!
- Avoid working on your bed if you can! This helps the brain associate this space with sleep rather than study and concentration. If you’re more comfortable working on your bed, try and sit upright and use a different blanket or cushion to create that separation between the two uses.
- If you have a communal area – make the most of it! Why not also get your flatmates along to your social activity or create a timetable when you can all use that space to study
- Try not to use your phone and social media whilst you study. Not only will this help you concentrate better but also helps create that separation between study and social.
- Make sure to get natural light or exercise each day. Whether it’s opening up your curtains or windows or going for a walk, something as simple as fresh air can make your space feel calmer, less anxious and more replenished.
- Create a day plan– plan out your day and try and study in a 9-5 pattern. This will give you a good amount of time before your society social or next zoom quiz, to get some air, food or just get out of the working mindset!
- If you’re struggling, seek out support! There are lots of support services available on campus, from Wellbeing and our Advice Unit, to Nightline’s listening service if you just want someone to chat to! Familiarise yourself with the support available and use it if you need to! http://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/az-services/
- Student Minds have created a fantastic new portal called Student Space which has lots of tips and ideas for managing your wellbeing as a student during coronavirus- we strongly recommend you check it out: https://studentspace.org.uk/