Where are you spending your quarantine?
I am in Cologne, Germany (the West of Germany) right now at my parent’s house. We’re about 30 minutes from the centre of the city!
How is that going?
It’s, erm, going! I really miss my friends and the excitement of living in London so I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to keep doing all the fun things I picked up before quarantine, some of which easier, some of which harder. I did figure out how to play Dungeons and Dragons online so that’s a plus! But jokes aside I am fortunate enough to be in an area that has some green and that isn’t under complete lockdown so I take a lot of walks – before my lectures I’d pretend to walk to uni – and am grateful to be around my family.
What worries you the most at this time as a King’s student?
Honestly? The amounts of deaths in the world and worrying about my friends and family aside, getting my university work done and what’s at the end of this.
I was worried about my grades before quarantine and now every time I hit a tiny wall like a resource I need not being available online it just feels like such a big setback. I also just feel very conflicted because I feel so demotivated and deflated about my university work but then I feel guilty because there is so much worse happening right now so how can I honestly be worried about something so seemingly arbitrary. Things ARE picking up though and I am blessed because my lecturers let me write about topics I really enjoy so the reading is at least fun to do. I am also anxious about what comes after this quarantine, do I just go back to London as nothing happened? What am I going to get back to? What about the mental impacts of all of this? Will my grandma forever be scared to go outside? And then all my worries seem so arbitrary again when people in the world are dying and guilt comes back in. You see the pattern.
What are you doing for your wellbeing while indoors?
I am trying to count my blessings, get as much sunshine as I can and try to do what makes me happy. That means telling myself to accept the things I cannot change but change the things I cannot accept a lot, going on walks and standing by the window as much as I can and rewarding myself by playing "Animal Crossing" after I’ve done at least some of my uni work. I am listening to loads of happy music and am talking to my friends a lot. My family and I also have a cooking rota which means its always exciting to see what someone else is making. Other than that, I try to squeeze some yoga in and do some writing every day. I find even just writing down everything that worries you right before bed makes it easier to leave behind. It doesn’t always work but it can.
Give us a tip for self-care that is working for you:
I’ve taken the time to figure out skincare and tooth care (yes!) routine I really like. It sounds really silly but I feel like I’m doing something nice for myself every morning and night (also cinnamon flavoured toothpaste is a game-changer, makes me excited to brush my teeth) I also try and dress as I normally would because I feel like I’m showing up for myself and seeing my flares is always an instant mood booster.
Out of the five pillars for wellbeing*, what would you say is the one you are practicing the most these days?
Hm, this is tricky, I am definitely most actively trying to keep moving – both physically and moving in terms of moving forward mentally and accepting that things are how they are – but I think investing in relationships is definitely what I am practising the most even if perhaps not as consciously as keeping moving. I’ve started talking to a lot of old friends and am definitely spending some quality time with my family.
Give a piece of advice to other peers studying for exams while in quarantine
I don’t have exams but the only tip I can give that has helped me be a tiny bit motivated is if possible try and ask your lecturers if you can write about something you really really enjoy or try to shift your mindset to not think of it being something you have to learn but just something new you learn every day. Easier said than done but its worth a try.
Here is a picture of a chicken with flares I took. It makes me smile. I called the chicken Jon Bon Jovi.
*The King's ways of Wellbeing are: Keep Moving, Invest in relationships, Never stop learning, Give to others, Savour the moment. Find more in our Take Time In pages!
Check here for the rest of our Quarantine Around the World series!