As the world deals with COVID-19 it can be a stressful and confusing time, especially for students.

It has had a huge impact on our general lifestyles and has also greatly affected schools and study arrangements.

During these uncertain times it is really important to look after yourself and keep happy, healthy and active. Here are a few ways to take care of yourself and make sure you are balancing the competing aspects of your life.

  • Keep a study routine
    Try to stay in your normal study routine.

    If you are in a school your routine is set for you. Watch your social distancing and practise good hygiene. Aim to go outside in your breaks and if weather permits, try for 10 minutes of sunshine each day.

    If you are studying at home, make sure you get up at the same time every day and organise your day in advance. Stick to a timetable, plan your breaks, and try to get some fresh air and sunshine during the day.
  • Exercise and chill
    Exercise is a great way of reducing stress. It makes you feel energetic and it also helps you have a good night’s sleep. There are many equipment-free home exercise routines available online via social media and YouTube. Dance, yoga, Pilates and high intensity workouts have been very popular.

    Get out in the fresh air and go for a walk, run, or use home exercise equipment if you have it. There are some fantastic ideas on the web for using household items as exercise equipment.

    Try listening to some guided visualisations or relaxation music. There are some great apps available such as Calm and Smiling Mind.

    Podcasts and audio books are another way to relax. Read a book. Search for free audio books online, or visit the SIDE library which has lots of print books, e-books and e-audio available.
  • Eat healthy and sleep well
    It is important to get a good night’s sleep. If you are tired it can have an effect on everything you do: your study, your mood, your immune system and your general ability to cope.

    If you are not sleeping well it may be because you are spending more time than normal looking at a screen. Set a curfew for using electronics and, ideally, switch them off at least an hour before going to bed. Try not to eat sweet things before bed and give some activities from Exercise and chill a go.

    Eat as healthily as you can, ensuring you get plenty of fruit and vegetables. Drink lots of water and avoid junk food snacks.
  • Connect
    Social distancing is purely physical. It does not mean that we need to socially disconnect from our loved ones and friends. Stay connected and check in with family and friends by using online apps, calling or texting.

    Mental Health

    Amid the uncertainty and media information at this time, it is normal to feel some stress and anxiety. It is a good idea to only access accurate information from reputable sources. If you feel unbalanced or anxious, don't bottle it up. If you need support talk to someone, such as family, friends, a trusted adult or go to one of the many Australia-wide services available to you. The Education Department website has a list of useful resources.
  • Boredom Busters
    If you need a break or are looking for something to do-try some of these activities below.
    • Jigsaws, board games and cards.
    • Do some cooking. Try new recipes.
    • Plant some herbs and vegetables.
    • Learn how to play marbles or knucklebones.
    • Get creative. Paint, draw or make something nice.
    • Get organised. Clean out and re- arrange or decorate your room. 
    • Clean out your wardrobe.
    • Organise your computer. Clean out your mail boxes, sort photos and clean up your documents.
    • Check out the virtual tours of amazing places all over the world like museums, art galleries, and city walks.