Learning in Lockdown: How Not to Lose Your Mind

Guest writer Imogen writes about how students are coping with the COVID-19 restrictions and disruptions to university life, and shares some valuable tips for learning in lockdown.

The pandemic has caused unprecedented levels of disruption and affected the lives of people all across the UK. Businesses have been forced to close, travel has been banned and households have been told to stay indoors and avoid socialising with others. Students are no exception. September should have been an exciting time when students enjoyed fresher’s week, met other students and became familiar with their campus grounds. However, COVID-19 restrictions mean that an estimated 3,000 students are currently in lockdown at universities across the UK.
Social isolation can harm our wellbeing and we should all place a special focus on our physical and mental health during these difficult times. If you’re a student struggling with the COVID-19 restrictions at university, here are our top tips for learning in lockdown, to help you stay productive and healthy.

Girl studying

Have a study schedule

With so much uncertainty at the moment, it can be a challenge to find the motivation to study and follow a routine. The majority of classroom-based learning sessions have been cancelled, which has left large numbers of students working remotely. We understand that studying from home can be difficult, but it’s important not to fall behind with your university work. A daily schedule can be a lifesaver that will keep you organised and engaged in your coursework. Make an effort to get up and start studying at roughly the same time each day. Use a wall calendar to make a note of important coursework deadlines and assessments. You can use this to plan your workload and decide when you need to complete certain tasks. Set yourself clear study goals and monitor your progress to check you’re on track.

Follow an exercise routine

Exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you’re facing the challenges of learning in lockdown. However, maintaining an active lifestyle is extremely beneficial, particularly when you’re stuck in a small student bedroom. Getting out and doing some exercise will make you feel better – we promise! Regular exercise will boost your overall fitness levels and help you avoid any unwanted weight gain during lockdown. Exercise is also a fantastic stress reliever and has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety. So, try to get out of your student accommodation at least once a day, go for a walk to get some fresh air. There’s also an excellent variety of exercise classes available online. Doing home workouts can be a great way to stay fit while gyms are closed.

Reach out for support

Many students are struggling with the COVID-19 restrictions but remember, there is a lot of support available. Reach out to your peers and tutors and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re finding things difficult. Use apps and video tools like Skype and WhatsApp to communicate with your family and friends online, to help fight feelings of loneliness and stay connected with your loved ones. Many universities are also offering support services to help improve the health and wellbeing of their students.

Don’t forget to relax

Many people have found the COVID-19 restrictions stressful. This is especially true for students who have moved away from home for the first time and found themselves separated from their family and friends. Try to reduce any stress related to your student accommodation or finances; for instance, if you are not living in student halls, but rather a shared student accommodation, check out useful apps like Glide, that are aimed at university students and can help divide all your bills equally; this will make managing bills far easier, giving you one less thing to worry about!

Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself and take regular breaks from studying to relax and recharge. Use study breaks to socialise with family and friends, get some fresh air, or enjoy a healthy snack. You could also try relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga to relieve stress and help you unwind.

There is no denying that student life has changed dramatically as a result of the restrictions brought in to help fight the spread of COVID-19. With remote lectures, cancelled events and limits to socialising, it’s clearly challenging for students. But the tough times will end and meanwhile, there are plenty of ways to continue learning during lockdown. We hope our tips will help you stay healthy, happy and productive during the pandemic.


Find out more:

WFH – Tips from some seasoned pros!
How to stay focused, maintain a healthy work-life balance & keep your spirits up


Life as an International Student During the UK Lockdown
Judit is a Spanish student at an English university. She describes how she’s coping far from home.


Take Care of Yourself
Health & wellbeing are our top priority right now – here are 10 top tips for looking after yourself during the pandemic


Guest contributor Imogen Clarke

About the author

Imogen Clarke is an English Literature and Creative Writing graduate, as well as a proud Hufflepuff and self-confessed caffeine addict. When she is not writing, she can usually be found with her dog, Charlie.

Imogen’s sources:
‘Coronavirus: Consider pausing university return, says Labour’ – BBC News

‘Tips to Create a Study Plan’ – University of London 

‘The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise’ – HelpGuide