The past few months saw a major shift in the way we operate and our day-to-day routines. Instead of going into class or catching the bus to one of the local cafés, we now spend most of our time at home.
For those that are studying, this change can be quite overwhelming and difficult. You might find yourself really productive on some days and unable to do anything on others. Studying during a crisis is difficult and things may feel out of your control. However, there are a few steps you can take to help you study better and stay motivated even in trying times.
Tip #1 | Check in on Your Mental State
Your brain can’t focus if you have a lot of pent up emotions and feelings. It’s important for you to name your feelings, sit with them and tend to them. It’s ok to feel sad, frustrated, annoyed or anything else. Be honest with yourself about what you’re truly feeling. Once you acknowledge your emotions, you are giving yourself permission and the understanding to start taking steps towards making yourself feel better.
Be kind to yourself and don’t put push yourself too far. It’s ok if you are struggling. Reach out to those around you or even browse online resources from mental health platforms like headspace or Beyond Blue, to better understand and overcome these feelings. Because remember, these feelings, just like everything else, will pass.
Tip #2 | Readjust Your Daily Routine
When stuck at home or in your room for long periods of time, it can be tempting to sleep in or take multiple naps throughout the day. However, it’s important that even in these circumstances you stick to a daily routine. It doesn’t need to be strict—just add small steps that can help guide your day.
Set a wake-up time every day that includes a few elements to start your morning: wash your face, make tea and take a moment to meditate or sit in silence. Allocate time for your lunch and create a rough guide of how you would like to spend your day. For example, mornings could be dedicated to lectures and after lunch is a split between working on assignments and tutorials.
You can tailor your schedule to fit your lifestyle and what works best for you — the most important thing is to have one. It might be tough to stick to it at first, but when you attempt it every day, it becomes easier.
Tip #3 | Keep Your Space Tidy
Having your workspace be clean and without mess can go a long way at helping your productivity. Scientists from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute have found ways to show that our brains like organisation and order; having constant visual reminders of disorder and mess can cause our brains to have trouble focusing.
Messy workspaces can be incredibly distracting and will likely cause you to procrastinate. A clean workspace without clutter and ample room to spread out will give you the deep focus you need to get some studying done.
Tip #4 | Get Active & Take Breaks
Sometimes, we can get too involved in the work we are doing and that too can be a bad thing. Not moving about and constantly working can cause you to feel tired and even get burnt out quickly.
Remember to schedule in short breaks to watch an episode of your favourite TV show or make some homemade bubble tea. Plus, because you’re spending most of your day sitting and in front of a computer screen, it’s important to get active with some form of physical activity. Even if you’re stuck at home, there’s heaps of free videos online for yoga, home workouts, dance class, or you can join our virtual workout sessions as part of our online ResLife program — the choices are endless.
Tip #5 | Stay Connected with Friends & Family
Even though you’re mostly indoors and not allowed to socialise, you can still stay connected to your friends and family. In fact, now more than ever it’s important to maintain those social connections and feelings of belonging. Schedule in time to video call your family members, organise Zoom catch ups with your best friends or maybe even join an online book club or discussion room! Interacting with other people can help you feel less lonely and help give you something to look forward to in your days. This way you can dedicate time to studying, knowing you have a fun activity planned for later.
We have launched a virtual ResLife program at Campus Living Villages to keep our residents connected and to give them an opportunity to socialise. This includes a series of daily events such as virtual movie nights, e-cooking classes and online arts and crafts workshops – all of which they can participate in from their rooms.
Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out for Support when You Need It
If you find that you are struggling to keep yourself motivated and focus on studying, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Whether it’s from your course mates, your lecturers or your loved ones.
At Campus Living Villages, we have a team of Residential Assistants and a whole community to help you should you need it! We will get through these uncertain times together, so don’t hesitate to talk to us if you need to.