Quashing Quarantine: 10 tips for studying & working from home

Now that we’re going to be at home for a while, we wanted to make sure you’re ready to keep working at your best. So, we asked the LSS committee for their top tips for staying sane and thriving while working from home!

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Set up your workspace

Find Another Screen – Neeharika Palachanda
If you can, get a monitor (or hook your laptop up to your tv screen with an HDMI cable). A larger screen/multiple screens makes studying and working so much easier because you can put textbook pdfs/reading guides on one, and then notes on the other, rather than using half screens for each. You could even chuck a Netflix episode on for some ‘background noise!’

Get comfortable – Georgia Barendse
Make sure your desk and chair are sturdy and the right heights for your body ergonomically. You don’t want to be uncomfortable – its already hard enough to focus!

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Think about how you study

Don’t study on your bed – Bec Poynton
This is important always but ESPECIALLY now that the home/work line is completely blurred. Bed study = clinically proven to disrupt your sleep with bad dreams about Kirby J’s latest dissent.

Get dressed – Rylee Olsson
It’s so easy to just shower and put that dressing gown back on, but getting dressed is crucial for productivity, as well as helping you feel motivated and inspired! Aim for cute AND comfortable (e.g. zoom couture).

Keep your sleep pattern consistent – Megan Skull
Wake up early and go to bed before midnight! If you throw your sleep pattern off, you’ll lose your rhythm and routine, and your body will go into holiday mode.

Pace Yourself – Samantha Varghese
Now that we’re actually given the flexibility to do that, I’ve been segmenting my lecture-watching, referring back to readings, etc. to take my time working through everything.

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Break it up

Take proper breaks – Chloe Smith
Set times for study breaks and stick to them (even if you feel like you’re on a roll). I’ll set a timer/alarm to remind me to have a break, and then force myself to leave my desk/room. Now that we’ve got all day to study (and nothing much else to do), it’s easy to drift towards unproductivity. It really helps to give yourself some boundaries, not only for your mental health, but because when you give yourself a limited amount of time to focus, it’s much easier to really switch on, engage and get some high quality work done, rather than stretching something out over hours, just because you can.

Bonus tip! Phoebe Scott recommends you think of breaks like you’re ‘at work’ – don’t eat lunch at your computer, go outside where possible and remember to take regular standing breaks!

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Build healthy habits

Have at least 2 hours of your day intentionally technology free – Thea Stephenson
Making the conscious choice to remove yourself from all tech including screens and even music/podcasts etc. is super helpful for good mental health and balance. This gives you the chance to read, draw, talk to those in your home, nap, meditate, stretch and pamper yourself in a way that stops your mind from being overstimulated. With all the constant news and added stress at this time, taking the chance to slow down is really important.

I have found my anxiety has flared up since uni moved online and staying home has made me feel like I have to do even more work and be better at uni because I can rewatch lectures and have more time to do work (as I am practising social distancing by not leaving the house except to go to my job or for a walk.) Avoiding burnout and reducing my stress are my key goals over the next few weeks, and this scheduling of intentional ‘slow’ time is already helping.

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Look after your body

Be like Dua – Em Tang
In the words of our saviour Dua Lipa, “come on, let’s get physical!” On the note of taking breaks, you should also make sure you get a workout of whatever kind in – whether that’s going for a run, yoga, HIIT or just a few bodyweight exercises. You might not be able to go to the gym but you can find apps that really simulate the group class environment (plus with the added bonus of if you accidentally stuff up, no one will ever know).

It’s a shame to no longer frequent nice Nutella doughnut man’s coffee shop, but you can substitute caffeine with the sweet sweet endorphin rush – (natural) drugs not hugs! Also be inspired by the possibility of coming out of isolation fitter than you’ve ever been in this law degree.

Eat healthy food – Annabelle West
Even though it’s important to #treatyoself occasionally, and the right ingredients can be somewhat elusive at the moment, try to cook healthy meals and choose snacks that are good for you! Nourishing your body positively impacts your brain and study too, leaving you more clear-headed and motivated without the sluggish feeling.

Cooking healthy does not have to be boring. It’s also an excuse to try some fun new recipes and improve your culinary prowess! Some of my favourite online food blogs include:

Ambitious Kitchenhttps://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/
Jamie Oliverhttps://www.jamieoliver.com/
BBC Goodfoodhttps://www.bbcgoodfood.com