Almost a year on from the announcement of the first lockdown, it’s clear that all of our lives have changed exponentially. Families have been deeply affected by the virus itself, we’ve had to adapt to a new way of living, and as students we have had to deal with a number of different rules in order to keep safe and protect others both in public and in college.
With so much confusion, panic and exhaustion gripping the country, we may find ourselves feeling overwhelmed; being thrust into yet another lockdown can feel quite isolating.
Thinking upon all of this makes our lives feel really surreal- we’re definitely living out the plot of a thriller film, and no one can convince me otherwise!
However, I would like to view our current situation with a positive outlook. We could treat the time we’ve been granted in lockdown as a period to focus on our mental health and overall wellbeing, as well as an opportunity to centre on improving our academics and skills. This is something that I know is, at times, difficult for us as students to balance, so making the most of these bizarre circumstances would be beneficial to us all.
A great way to help with mindfulness through this lockdown is to set yourself small, achievable goals to complete each day, and try to exercise a few times a week. Meditation, reading and listening to calming music are a few ways we can relax and take a step back from the constant cascade of information we hear from the news or social media.
Personally, I have been taking the time to read around some of my subjects and broaden my knowledge of people’s lives in a medical profession. As for learning a new skill, I’m going to attempt to learn how to cook (although I’m not sure my family has much faith in this!).
Whilst scrolling through my Instagram feed a couple of days ago, I came across a phrase that I feel perfectly reflects what I have learnt in the past year –
Attached to nothing,
connected to everything.
To me this means that throughout the turbulent times we’ve all encountered, the coronavirus has forced us to embrace change, as we’ve had to learn to alter how we go about daily life. For example, how we communicate with others by interacting with members of our community and neighbours, or just meeting up with friends in general. Therefore, we have learnt to be ‘attached to nothing’, but more than ever now appreciate the value of staying ‘connected to everything’ through our relationships with family and friends and keeping in contact with them.
For me and I’m sure many of you, picking up the phone to call or FaceTime each other has offered a lot of comfort, and has allowed us to check up on how we’re all doing. During these tough times, I would strongly encourage you to give a friend or family member a call, to support one another and keep spirits up. Something that I feel greatly appreciative of is the fact that the advances in technology have given us the ability to easily stay in touch, and had this pandemic been fifty years ago, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to reach out to each other with face to face communication.
In the midst of alarmingly high rates of death and infection, we must remember to follow the rules and stay indoors. I think it’s important here to mention the healthcare professionals that are putting their lives at risk and who are working tirelessly to treat patients with Covid-19.
Although our current situation can seem bleak, we have to keep in mind that looking back on the history of our country, and the losses felt through WW1 and WW2, we have always emerged with a strong sense of community spirit. Through the effects of the coronavirus on ourselves, our families, friends and others across the UK, we’ve already proved we have the same hope and compassion for each other, which leaves me feeling positive for the future.
By Imaan Rashid