“It’s a pandemic!”... words from the female YouTuber and influencer, Nella Rose.
No going out, no one coming in and definitely no linking up with friends for a Kaspa’s at the weekend. National crisis, national turmoil and of course national panic. Doesn’t sound too great does it?
Well, I’m sure that you are all aware of the current coronavirus outbreak we’re currently in the midst of and the massive impact it's had on the whole population in various ways, including school and work office closures and even religious places of worship closed to worshippers. This is a first for me in my history of living.
Sure we’ve all studied 'crises’ such as the Black Death and the Evacuation during the World Wars but I don't even think those could have fully prepared us to experience something so similar that will inevitably go down in future History textbooks. Realistically the outbreak of the coronavirus has indeed been quite stressful for some, scary for some and even fascinating for others, but nothing changes the fact that hundreds, thousands and millions across the globe have been affected whether emotionally, financially, physically and even mentally. Therefore many of us are looking for ways to deal with and manage this situation on a personal level that fits us best as individuals.
So I decided to come up with my own little solutions to help those who I can, I call it the Coronavirus Cheat Codes. You can use them to help you deal with stress, anxiety and other issues you may be dealing with during this time.
You may well experience changes in sleeping or eating patterns, or increased difficulty in concentrating or productivity during this time. I suggest that you try and keep in contact with your friends and family so you don't feel TOO isolated whilst social distancing; we're all here to help one another tackle this epidemic and get through it together. Moreover, communication can be very beneficial and it could actually do you a lot of good to hear from the people that you care about especially during this period of uncertainty. Maybe call someone you haven't heard from in a while as who knows, it could make their day. Also, I'm aware that whilst some people might enjoy being at home with family, to others it may not appeal as much. However, I would encourage you to use this time to build and strengthen your family relationships - remind each other that you're all in it together and trust me you'll see the benefits!
Try not to lose focus or motivation during this period, especially students who may feel disheartened by the ever changing news events or lack motivation in regards to studying. Remain calm and try not to be too deeply attached or focus heavily on the constant news updates, it will still be there waiting for you the next day! Remember that this pandemic will surely pass and sure it will leave its impact inevitably but by managing your time adequately you can minimise dysfunction when it's over. The last thing you would want to happen is to fall behind when all your mates have been studying and keeping on track, trust me! Also use this time to concentrate on yourself, try eating as healthy as you can by having balanced meals and try to manage work with fun/entertainment so that you achieve at least something productive each day.
Use the extra time you may have found on your hands wisely. This may be the time to develop that new skill that you've always wanted to learn or finally master the recipe for that dish that you've been practising for ages! I've recently found out that I quite enjoy textiles and designing and customising my outfits e.g rips in jeans, sewing slits and customising tshirts. But hopefully I don't end up doing irreversible damage to my clothing in the name of boredom! This is the time to become that new and improved version of yourself. You may have lacked the confidence and motivation before but now you have the time to work on yourself, your skills and your hobbies so that when you get back to school or work you'll be an even better version of you.
Try your best to stick to government instructions, guidelines and rules in regards to the lockdown measures including only leaving your home when absolutely necessary or for your 1 form of exercise a day. Aim to stay in good mental and physical health by designating some relaxation time every day. It will do you a whole lot of good to get outdoors for half an hour minimum to get active as when you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins which actually make you feel good and improves your mood! Whether it's either going for a walk around your area or just to enjoy the increasing sunshine we seem to be having, anything can help!
We will all be delighted when this coronavirus runs its full course. You can use this time to start planning things you would like to do, once the lockdown is lifted, that you never had the courage to do before but would love to do now. If there's one thing this lockdown has taught me is that, who knows what tomorrow has in store for us, so be ready to take that risk today.
Lastly I just want to thank all the NHS staff, police, and those who are still working to ensure our safety. If you take my 5 tips onboard and adopt a new mentality we can get through this, together!
Written by Chinenye Okeke