How to hibernate productively during COVID-19

For students, being cooped up at home right now can be a stressful and overwhelming experience.  Some of you may be feeling different emotions while others simply will struggle to adapt, get motivated, get organised or even know what they should be doing.

Here are some tips and ideas to help you survive and hopefully thrive during this uncertain time.

1. Maintain a daily routine

Having a healthy routine can have a positive impact on your thoughts and feelings, prioritise things you enjoy and even things you have been meaning to do but haven’t had time.

2. Keep in touch with your university, TAFE or college online

The majority of universities and colleges across Australia have now moved to online learning. You should have access to watch your lectures and attend your tutorials online, if this is not available for you now, check your university’s website for resources and up-to-date information on what they are doing during COVID-19 to help you study remotely.

3. Learn a new skill

If you have already smashed through your Netflix list, and are finding yourself going a little bit crazy because you’re not sure what else you can do, why not get productive and develop your professional skills by learning a new skill online. For students, this could mean learning something new that will help future-proof your skillset in this fast-moving evolving world of work. Online resources like Udemy and Coursera have a range of courses to help you upskill. YouTube has thousands of industry experts sharing video tutorials on their channels. If you’re not sure what skill you should learn to take a look at the top skills Ribit employers are looking for and resources to help.

4. Update your LinkedIn account

If you’re into LinkedIn for professional networking, there has never been a better time than now to update your profile. If your profile photo is in need of a refresh, consider updating it with a new one that looks professional. Staying at home means you can try different looks and experiment with lighting at different times of the day to get a good selection to choose from.  100 seriously cool self-portraits is a site that will give you some interesting ideas.

Update your headline and personal tagline so that it accurately reflects who you are right now and your accomplishments – remember, these can be volunteer work, student society involvement or hobbies. Take a look at others in your network or industry professionals for ideas on how to approach this. Lastly ask friends, current or old colleagues and even your uni lecturers or tutors to endorse your skills. With many of us now stuck at home, it will also give them something to do. 

5. Apply for casual work

Despite many people losing their jobs, there are still businesses and even government agencies that are looking for new employees, some may even allow you to work from home. Employers are still posting jobs on the Ribit platform, so make sure you keep checking Ribit and keep your profile up-to-date.

6. Start that project you always wanted to do

Want to learn how to meditate, glue together that model plane you’ve had sitting in your cupboard since your 11th birthday; learn how to edit an online video or start a self-improvement course? Having downtime means being able to start on that personal project you’ve always wanted to do. Find some time in between your studies to do something that will give you enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment.

7. Stay connected with friends and family

Although there are currently very strict limits of in person to person interactions does not mean you can’t stay connected with your friends and family during COVID-19. The great thing about technology and the internet is that we can hang out with our friends and family through our screens. Apps with a video focus like Google Hangouts, Facetime, and Zoom have become hugely popular by enabling people to stay visually connected with one another during these hard times.

8. Seek help or advise

It’s completely normal for some students to experience a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions including stress, anxiety, sadness, frustration, helplessness and simply feeling overwhelmed by the constant changes in restrictions and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus. While it is very important to keep informed with what is happening with COVID-19, it is just as important to stay on top of your mental health and well-being. Some strategies to cope with these various feelings include:

  • Acknowledge your feelings – Write in in a journal or call someone and let them know how you’re feeling. 
  • Contact a help-line – Lifeline, Beyond Blue and the Federal Government’s Head to Health sites are good places to start if you’re feeling anxious, bewildered or depressed.
  • Seek accurate information – Find credible sources you can trust. It helps to alleviate unnecessary stress that can come from reading false or misconstrued information. Follow the Australian Federal Government’s whatsapp channel for the latest COVID-19 updates.

With everything that is happening in the world right now, it is understandably a stressful and uncertain time for everyone. However, as students take this time to reflect, identify where you want to develop yourself and give some consideration to your future. Also, think about what you can do to help others who may need assistance in your local community or neighbourhood.

Stay safe.

#stayathome #covid19 #studentlife