During a pandemic everything is different and taking care of our well-being is extremely important. Here are a few tips that will help you take care yourself while COVID-19 is affecting our lives.

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, most social media platformsare covering one topic - news related to COVID-19. Everything has changed, how we work, play and study. Educational istitutes are closed, major sport events have been cancelled, and people are working from home. Remember, it's not forever - we will get through this. If we cooperate with the official guidelines and reccomandations, things will be back to normal soon.

As a student, you can do several things to bring joy to your life during quarantine while staying away from home. But how can you do this? In this blog post, I will share tips to help you stay calm and happy in this wave of the unknown.  

  • Don’t panic

First things first, don’t panic – fear is not the solution for any situation. Instead, use this time to work on your self-improvement. Stay positive – a positive mindset will help you get through this. Focusing on and feeling grateful for what we have is key to eliminating fear. Great people are defined by their actions in any given situation, so staying strong and positive is an example of how wise people behave in hard times. 

‘Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.’ - Walt Whitman

At the moment your health, happiness, and safety should be your top priority. This can be done by simply following the basic protective measures against the new coronavirus available on the World Health Organization (WHO) website. 

  • Stay home and stay safe

Regardless of whatever we have heard as a precaution for the Coronavirus, one thing that actually does work is social distancing – it can significantly help reduce the spreading of the virus. The term “social distancing” means maintaining a physical distance by staying at least 6 feet away from other people to avoid spreading this virus.  And, of course, avoiding the organisation of big events and gatherings. Without a doubt, we can prevent ourselves and others from this disease by staying at home, practicing standard hygiene and washing our hands frequently. Be careful while visiting a grocery store. It is recommended to avoid rush hours and preferably you should visit the grocery store late at night or early in the morning when fewer people will be shopping. 

  • Maintain friendships

There’s no doubt about it – we students love to socialise, hang-out and spend time with our friends, but we are instructed to avoid gatherings. Especially if you are an extrovert, cutting off from your social circle can be challenging and boring. Don’t forget, we are lucky to be in the era of the Internet. Still, we can have some fun and improve our moods by maintaining contact with friends. There are plenty of ways to communicate, from email to text messages, phone calls to face times, and DMs to Snaps. What are you waiting for? Pick up your smartphone and reach out to your friends. Don’t forget to make them smile through your emojis. 

  • Try new recipes

Most of us are staying in a dorm or shared apartment – either by choice or due to the lockdown. This quarantine has given us all the time in the world – why not take advantage of your time to cook something delicious? There is an abundance of recipes to cook, especially if you miss the taste of the delicious Pakistani “Biryani”, which you tried during the Festival of Cultures at your university! You have been wondering how to cook Biryani for ages, so during the Coronavirus outbreak, when you are spending most of your time at home, is the perfect time to learn how to make a Biryani like a master chef.

Once you are done – don’t forget to take a picture and inspire your friends to cook.  

Moreover, there’s something amazing about cooking and keeping your belly full – it gives you the sense that everything is going to be normal again. And that’s not surprising – cooking is relaxing, an act of self-love, it helps to relieve stress and it’s wallet-friendly. What could be better than this? 

  • Support local business  

So, if you want to feel good, do good! Not surprisingly, as we know, restaurants and delivery drivers are losing money because of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you have enough money during this period, it might be wise and worthy to occasionally take a break from cooking at home to support local restaurants and workers. Ordering takeout is a great way to help them financially in this tough time – don’t forget to place a review for their services. If you are not in a condition to shop or order online, you can encourage your friends to do so. To be extra safe, don’t forget to wash your hands after disinfecting the takeout containers.

  • Learn new skills

If there is one benefit of the outbreak, it is that it has given us more time on our hands. When it comes to successful investments, one of the most beneficial is investing in ourselves. As students, we should always learn and find ways to acquire new skills that can improve our personal and professional lives. Luckily, we are living in the digital era, and MOOCs are emerging as a modern way of gaining new skills. You can access tons of MOOCs that offer world-class education right here on the Internet. Isn’t that so good? Think of what you’d like to learn! Maybe you have dreamt of playing the guitar, so why not start reading books about guitars? It is the right time to fly from beginner to pro guitarist.

  • Start journaling 

When it comes to the habits of leaders, entrepreneurs, and other successful people, journaling is a common one. As a matter of fact, it boosts memory, Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Intelligence (EM). Writing about your goals and ambitions on the paper sends signals to your brain that "this is important and I want to achieve it." Also, journaling is a powerful tool for strengthening self-discipline, sparking creativity, improving communication skills and building self-confidence. Believe it or not, it helps to cope with stress and anxiety, and it improves immune function -  that’s what we need to fight against during our time in quarantine. As per my experience, it always improves my mood and enhances the sense of well-being – mainly it keeps me on track. Why shouldn’t you give it a try?

  • Go for a walk

Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t take a walk in the neighbourhood. Still, you can go outside to get fresh air and exercise – walks are a ticket to reduce stress.  Plus, be careful about maintaining at least two meters of distance from other people outside. To ensure safety, don’t touch any playground equipment in the parks. 

I would like to remind you once again; in this pandemic situation, you aren’t only responsible for the safety and security of your life but also for the lives of others. Please, maintain social distancing – distance is key to fighting the Coronavirus.

 Muhammad Asad Ullah 

ESN blog