Staying Productive During Lockdown

These past few weeks, it seems hard to go online or have a look through Instagram or Facebook without being invaded by tons of articles or vlogs telling us how to stay really productive during the pandemic and use this time wisely.

I’m guilty of it myself, and the truth is that yes, a lot of us will be able to use this time in new ways and pick up that project we’ve been saying we’ll do for years. But being productive isn’t always easy.

It’s okay

This pandemic has changed everything, from the way we shop, the way we eat and even the way we sleep. It all can seem difficult and strange at times, but the truth is, it’s okay.

It’s okay to be a little bit scared, it’s okay to be anxious, and it’s okay to not want to be productive. We don’t all have to suddenly learn a new language, or learn to play the guitar. Sometimes the best thing that we can do is to get up, have a shower and just do the bare minimum.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else’s standards. There is a reason we are not all the same, so we needn’t try and do everything like everyone else.  

What about my studies?

As students, the one thing that we can’t lose sight of is our academic work. The university is continuing to function (albeit remotely) and though this is posing great challenges, it would be remiss to let the work slide now after you’ve all worked so hard this year.

We can show that our generation has great strength of will and character and that we can persevere and still achieve great things despite all the knocks that this year has thrown at us. With that in mind, not everyone’s working conditions are the same, so don’t compare yourself to your friends, and don’t put your wellbeing in jeopardy for the sake of an essay.

But we don’t all want to be writing essays and studying 24/7, even in the best of times. So remember that it’s perfectly okay to have that lie in, to take time for yourself, play animal crossing for five hours straight (calling myself out there) or spend a few hours making that pub quiz for your friends, or whatever it is that you enjoy doing.

What people with mental health conditions have learned over many years during self-imposed isolation, is that there are a few basic things that we can do to look after our mental health. And this is a lesson we can all draw upon now.

Looking after your mental health

  • A routine is really helpful, it doesn’t have to be big things, just something as simple as making a cup of tea each day at 11am.
  • Don’t let the personal hygiene slip, it’s amazing how much better we feel when we have clean hair, clean sheets and brushed teeth. Keeping this up as part of your routine will also help maintain good mental health.
  • Sleep is important. It is the best way to let your mind process information and will help to reduce depression and anxiety.
  • As tempting as it is to snack, try and consider if you’re hungry or bored. And if you’re always hungry (like me), think about eating more at mealtimes. This also helps to maintain good mental health through routine, and better nutrition.

I hope this article has helped to remind us that we don’t have to be full on all the time. Social media is really good at tricking us into thinking that we have to be happy, productive and busy all the time. But just remember, one person’s ‘productive’ is another person’s 'impossible'. Life is not a competition and success is a relative term.

Stay well and stay safe.