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How to Take Care of Your Mental Health While Self Isolating

Young woman looking out of the window

Last week, you may have read the Diary of a Law Student in Italy prequel to this piece. If you haven’t yet, find it here! Here is the next part of the mini series: ten tips on how to eradicate fear and panic and take care of your mental health while self-isolating from our contributor, Veronika:

1. Focus on Something You Can Control

Successful adaptation to based-from-home activities and staying as productive as before self-isolation comes down to the most cliché thing: having a schedule. Creating a plan for the day and sticking to it will help you feel accomplished even if you’re only doing menial tasks. By doing this, you will avoid feeling restless and helpless.

2. Be a Creature of Habit

The next piece of advice ties in with the first one because simply planning out your days will lead to no improvement of your current mental state unless you start fulfilling your tasks and making this a habit. Whilst this is easier said than done, there’s a great app called Fabulous that can help with this. It works by guiding students towards their goals by providing a series of objectives like preventing procrastination, reaching a sense of focus or calm, or increasing energy levels.

3. Employ a Reward System

The way the two above mentioned tricks worked for me was through the reward system. Meaning that each time you complete one task, you reward yourself with an equivalent amount of free time so to do whatever you want pushes you to complete that task in the first place. The way to keep going during these strange times is having something rewarding to look forward to.

4. Take Advantage of Legal Entertainment

There are plenty of online platforms for those self isolating including Amazon Prime and Infinity. These provide an opportunity to complete the list of movies, courses, podcasts that you always wanted to but never had time during busy university terms.

Some law-related movies and series available on Netflix UK include: Molly’s Game, the Shawshank Redemption, Zodiac, the Departed, Catch Me If You Can, Legend, 13th, The Judge, Marriage Story, Bodyguard, The Sinner, How to Get Away with Murder, Criminal: UK, The People vs O.J. Simpson and Mindhunter.

6. Listen to Legal Podcasts

I have been listening to and definitely recommend the following:

  1. Law Pod UK. This is perhaps one of the most known British legal podcasts that tackles all topical issues in the legal profession. However, there are special episodes such as Rights in time of Quarantine and others to help you get up to date with the legal repercussions of governmental decisions tacking COVID-19.
  2. I am the Law. This podcast gives an insight into the law school experience of various graduates.
  3. ABA Law Student Podcast. This podcast is for those who are also interested in passing an American Bar Exam after their LLB Degree in the UK. It was created by the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division.

7. Take Advantage of Legal Courses

There’s an array of free Ivy League Courses, including Intellectual Property Law and Policy, Justice, Constitutional Interpretation, Contract Law: From Trust to Promise to Contract, An Introduction to American Law, A Law Student’s Toolkit and many others available for all who are interested. Read about more free law courses here.

8. Follow the Lockdown Rules

An important reminder during this time is that whenever you hit a certain threshold of staying inside and staying sane, please try to avoid going outside for unnecessary trips. Ignorance towards quarantine regulations is not bliss! Plus, the more we cooperate with the rules, the quicker all of us will get out.

9. Filter Sources of News and Use Social Media Wisely

In times of crisis you must be picky in terms of news sources and try not to get sucked into fake news stories. What I remember doing was constantly checking the news, thinking it would make quarantine end faster, but it doesn’t. Social distancing also works by distancing yourself from abundant information sources filled with incorrect theories, and “hyping of coronavirus” on social media platforms.

10. Join in With Your Community

Italians never failed to adhere to their own schedule of balcony entertainment every night, singing songs to boost neighbours’ morale. By joining in with community initiatives, we remember that hope and kindness will soon prevail over the virus!

Please stay inside, stay safe and be mindful of those around you!

Words: Veronika Gorodnicka

Read the first part in this two-part series: Life at the Epicentre of Europe’s COVID-19 Outbreak

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