The art of staying positive during a pandemic

The art of staying positive during a pandemic

It’s possible that I have never felt more worried about the future until now, all because of the coronavirus pandemic. Within a few short months, life as we know it has been flipped, spiraled and hurdled into complete a lock down.

I am, like many other university students, now studying at home. Whilst it would be untruthful of me to say that I am not enjoying the morning lie-ins and reading books in the garden – it’s not a paradise. We are now confined at home, with daily news detailing the rising coronavirus death tolls, and how our healthcare systems is near overloaded. Gone are the days of meeting friends for coffee or visiting the cinema.

I don’t know about you, but I am also feeling increasingly guilty for not achieving more at home, with this free time granted. Why aren’t I learning Italian, or writing a novel, or starting a You tube channel like others?

In my attempt to remain positive during the pandemic, my best advice is to take things a day at a time, however cliche it sounds. We are living in times previously unheard of, so give yourself some credit for getting by. Staying at home is important to reduce the spread of coronavirus and it will bring us closer to overcoming it, together.

If you are working or studying at home and feel that you aren’t doing enough activities, do not feel guilty. Attempting to avoid being ill is stressful, so even if it’s the only thing you can do right now, it’s enough. Please do not put anymore pressure on yourself than what we are already facing.

Recently for me, I find myself doing things which can take my mind of coronavirus, and relieve stress. Although I am awful at it, I enjoy strumming chords my ukulele and pretending I can play entire songs. Other days, I’ve taken to the comforting arms of Netflix, indulging in TV series and nostalgic films to pass the time. If you find an activity which relaxes you, partake in it plentifully and have fun.

Living during global pandemic is a universally relate-able experience. You can receive a boost in positivity simply from connecting with others. If you are in lock down with your family, this may be the longest time you’ve spent with them recently, so now is the opportunity to reconnect. For your friends, use Face-Time, Duo and House party to chat. It’s not exactly meeting in person, but it’s safer, which is more important.

Generally it’s worth knowing that it’s near impossible to staying maintain a consistent positive mindset, especially during a crisis. If you can find small joys in life right now, it’s all you need.

Finally, to anyone who is working during the pandemic including: the NHS, pharmacies, deliveries, supermarkets and essential businesses – thank you, you are heroes.

Stop Work Related Stress From Taking Over

Stop Work Related Stress From Taking Over

Expectations. Pressure. Comparison. Whether you are a student or in full time employment, you may sometimes feel as if your workload has taken over your entire life; and not just when you have deadlines. Working too hard for long periods of time is a known causer of stress and burnout, but it can be hard to justify taking breaks when you need to get the job done. Especially if you are always trying to do things perfectly.

As a second-year student balancing studies with extra curricular activities and finding a placement, there are previous moments in my life when I have thrown myself into my work, despite feeling overworked and stressed out. Usually it is because I want to do everything to the best of my ability. However, it is physically and mentally unhealthy to be overwhelmingly stressed constantly.

Fortunately, there are some ways to stop stress from taking over.

Plan Your Calendar

Effective time-management is key in reducing stress. If your schedule is disorganised, it can lead to trying to do too many things in not enough time, and undoubtedly causing stress.

To help organise your time, create a diary; be it on your phone, or in a notebook. In the diary, write down of all the tasks you need to complete. Tasks can be numbered or colour-coded, to distinguish which tasks are of most priority. By completing tasks in an sensible order, you will manage your workload better and feel accomplished. Moreover, a calendar can be used to plan additional activities outside of work, such as meeting with friends, or relaxing with Netflix and popcorn.

Brighten Up Your Work Environment

Have you ever thought about bringing some of your amazing personality to your work space? If you work at a desk, photos of you and your pals can remind you that your loved in times of stress. Other personal touches include: Figurines, artwork, a cute pen pot, and the uber trendy potted plant. Incorporating these personal touches into your work space will bring joy to the space and express your unique style.

Focus on Yourself

Once you’ve found a balance between work and free time that you are happy with, use your free time for whatever makes you smile. It may be a fitness class, shopping or trying a new activity (For me, I’m learning French on Wednesdays). Even a quiet evening in will keep you refreshed, and stress levels down.

Celebrate Achievements

You’ve worked really hard, you exceeded those targets and impressed your management – what do you do? CELEBRATE! In a fast-paced work environment, achievements can sometimes be looked past, in moving onto the next project. However, it is essential to celebrate achievements at work, to reward yourself for your efforts and to acknowledge what all that hard work is for. Celebrating achievements not only relieves personal stress, it acts as a breathing space before the next big project. It may even boost morale at work, so gather your employees and shower the confetti.

Talk About it

Not matter what steps you take, stress can still happen and become overwhelming. If you feel that you are consistently in a state of stress, you need to find the root of the issue. Speak to a member at work or university/school that you feel comfortable talking to, and express to them how you are feeling. Even just telling someone how you are feeling will help relieve you. From then, steps can be taken to reduce stress in the future.

Thanks for reading. Do you have any other tips for reducing stress, or finding balance between work and activities? Say them here in the comments.

(BTW, I also have a new fashion related post coming out next week)!

How to Look Good During a Heat Wave

How to Look Good During a Heat Wave

Summer in the UK is many things: unpredictable, cloudy, cold and unfortunately, damp. When it’s meant to be the sunniest time of the year, it’s usually miserable. However this year things are heating up, with record hottest temperatures of 34 degrees Celsius blazing us. But how do you stay cute when you feel as if you’re about to melt? Luckily, I have some advice. 

Avoid Non-Breathable Fabrics

It’s easy to forget that your skin needs to breath, and when it’s hot – sweat. By wearing clothes made up of natural fabrics like cotton, it helps to regulate air flow that will help dry up perspiration and keep you cool. If you can, avoid synthetic fabrics, in particular polyester, as these fabrics wick sweat. Although repelling sweat sounds better in theory, synthetic fabrics aren’t breathable, so wearing them will reduce airflow, creating damp pools of sweat. 

Swap the Trainers for Sandals

I know, your white Adidas trainers pair really well with your floral midi dress but is it worth it for hot, uncomfortable feet? Your feet are essential for regulating body temperature as they contain specialised blood vessels which when open, can pass lots of blood through quickly and release heat. By swapping out your Summer trainers for open sandals, you expose your feet to the air, and by cooling them, can keep the rest of your body cool too. 

Don’t Forget a SPF

If you live in a country which rarely gets hot, as soon as the Sun peaks its head out, you can become solely motivated to get a tan which leaves you a bronzed and glowing goddess. But with the sun comes sun burns, which are downright dangerous and especially painful. To avoid spending the afternoon peeling away burnt skin, regularly put on a face and body SPF which will ensure that you stay protected. If you want to tan, use a sunscreen with a lighter SPF so that you can keep you skin safe. 

(Bonus) Pack an Umbrella

This really depends on where you live. For me, no matter what time of year, you can never depend on the weather staying consistent for more than five minutes. Whether you’re going to a concert, an amusement park or even the beach, there’s no harm in packing a rain-coat or an umbrella, just in case the weather turns. To enjoy Summer to the fullest, it helps to be prepared for whatever it throws at you.