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With the increase in people working and studying from home, cabin fever is sure to start kicking in. As of last week, King’s has cancelled all teaching for the remainder of the year. This includes lectures, seminars, tutorials and anything else that was timetabled to be delivered face-to-face. They have offered us the alternative of delivering as much as possible online, through webinars or narrated slide shows predominantly. However, much of this is going to require preparation and a lot of work before it is available to us.
So… what to do in the meantime?
The government is advising the entire country to avoid all but essential interaction with others to help slow the spread of the novel corona virus. For many, this will take the form of working predominantly from home. This can get very old very quickly.
Below I’ve compiled my top five tips for avoiding cabin fever at the start of this period of social distancing.
Have a routine
Many of us are creatures of habit, we are used to getting up at the same time every day, commuting the same route, eating at the same times and going to bed around the same time every day of the week. Having to self-isolate or even work from home can throw a spanner in the works.
I recommend forming a new routine when working from home. Set an alarm in the morning and make yourself get up, shower, have a cup of coffee and get straight into doing something. Regular bedtimes can be essential for getting enough sleep, which we all really need.
Here’s the rough routine we’ve been following in our flat:
- Wake up 9am
- Shower, have a coffee etc until 9.30am
- Working at the kitchen table 9.30am-1.00pm
- Go for a walk around the local parks or down the canal -1.00pm
- Working again 2.30pm-5.30pm
And then our evenings are looking much like they would normally, sitting on the sofa and watching TV together!
Get some exercise
The current advice also allows for walking or running outside, and activities that don’t require close contact with other people are also allowed. If you are living with someone and coming into contact with them inside of your home, why not go out and play tennis or another racket sport together.
I am planning to take this opportunity to do the Couch-to-5K running challenge. There is a great app that takes you through six weeks of 3 runs per week until you are running 5 km easily. I’ve started before but never finished it.
Keep in (virtual) contact with your friends and family
If you aren’t currently living with your family, and especially if you are living alone, it is important to keep in touch via phone, messages and video calls. It really will help with feeling isolated, both for you and for them
Keep eating healthily
If you are anything like me, then working from home also means working next to a fridge/cupboard full of tempting snacks. I’m having to try really hard to stop myself constantly getting up and going to find a snack. Lots of tea and coffee, and set mealtimes, are helping me keep my will power.
Look after your mental health
With all that is going on, many news sites have dedicated much of their capacity to corona-related news. It can be really daunting to be confronted with the wave of headlines on the BBC News app, the Times or the Guardian. Even social media just seems to be quarantine related memes…
So, here are some other news sites to check out, to show you it’s not all doom-and-gloom:
The Good News Network is a positive news site, with tonnes of non-corona good news.
Science Daily has a load of new science articles, showing you that important science is still being done despite world events!
The Huffington Post has a page for recent positive news.
I hope these tips help to alleviate some of the cabin fever you may be feeling stuck at home.
What are you doing to keep yourselves occupied? Let me know in the comments below. It really does help me to hear back from readers.
Please do subscribe to the new mailing list too, I will be publishing posts much more frequently now that there isn’t much else for me to do! I’m finding it a great procrastination from my dissertation…