Keele mental health experts issue top tips for coping through lockdown

Members of Keele University’s Student Services team, and the Start to Success project team, have encouraged everyone to continue looking after their mental health and wellbeing as the country endures a third national lockdown. 

Keele’s mental health support staff are once again working hard to protect the wellbeing of the University’s students and staff as the country finds itself in yet another lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

As part of this effort the team behind Start to Success – a regional mental health and wellbeing project led by Keele University – have put together a handy online guide with advice and ideas to help people stay well during the most recent period of isolation. 

Although they have been developed with students in mind, the tips and advice are useful for anyone who may be struggling with isolation during the most recent lockdown, and are easy to access on the Keele University website.  

Student Mental Health Project Coordinator Kara Holloway said: “It’s been a really tough year for everyone, including our students who have had to adjust to quickly changing rules and guidance which has significantly affected every aspect of their student experience. Feeling stress, anxiety or low mood during these times is far from uncommon.  

“We also recognise that students may be feeling more isolated than usual, whether this is because they are socially distancing or physically isolating because of the virus. We’ve worked with our Student Advisory Panel to provide students with tips on how to stay connected with others, look after their own wellbeing, learn what support is available for them through the pandemic and stay productive whilst working from home. “  

The advice from the Start to Success Team is broadly centred on the themes of staying connected, maintaining wellbeing, and staying entertained. Here are just some of their tips:  

  1. Stay connected with your friends and family - Connecting with others is a key way to maintain wellbeing, and although social distancing and isolation have become a reality for many of us, there are still many ways you can enjoy time with friends and family. Why not set up regular quiz nights and ask someone different in the group to run this each time, or organise a film night with a Netflix Watch Party. 
  2. Eat well, sleep well, and stay active - These are always important for maintaining good physical and mental health, but even more so during lockdown. There are lots of free apps available for home workouts, which coupled with a good diet and a regular sleeping routine can be hugely beneficial to your wellbeing. 
  3. Managing Covid-19 anxiety - The pandemic has dominated all aspects of our lives, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed quickly. To combat this you can limit your exposure to social media and the news if it makes you anxious, or find coping strategies to help you keep calm. Talking to friends, family and other people you trust about your concerns is also crucial. 
  4. Use the time to get creative – If you have a hobby you can do at home, getting creative and indulging in pursuits we enjoy but might not have had time for in the past is a useful way of coping with more time stuck inside. It can also contribute to wellbeing by promoting mindfulness and providing a distraction from worries or anxiety. 
  5. Take care of yourself - Taking time out for yourself and looking after your wellbeing is key, especially for those looking after their families or vulnerable friends and relatives. Taking time to relax will help to improve mood and reduce fatigue to improve creativity and concentration. 

For more tips on protecting your mental health and wellbeing during lockdown, visit our lockdown guidance for students webpage.