How to look after your mental health during the lockdown

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing isn’t easy during lockdown. You may be self-isolating at home or living in a cramped room with shared facilities. Whatever your situation here’s how to stay well.

Acknowledge your stress

It’s a stressful time when normal life becomes something very different and restricted. The psychological impact can be wide-ranging and substantial. What helps here is to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings so you can manage them more effectively than you might do in everyday life. Start by giving yourself a break about what you feel you ‘should’ be doing right now. If you don’t feel like working today, don’t work. If you need to spend all day on Netflix, do it.

Mentally prepare for the day

Of course, it can be all too easy to fall into a Groundhog Day mind-set where every day just merges into the next with no real focus. What helps is to ask – “What do I need to do today to stay healthy and productive?” Productive doesn’t have to mean study; it can be something as simple as getting dressed, and calling a friend or going for a long walk.

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Act when you feel socially isolated

At some point, you will feel isolated but when you do don’t retreat into your bedroom instead make an effort to connect. Video chat a friend, message your family, or call someone up. These are all ways to make a real connection while in isolation. Also, consider reaching out to helplines and University counsellors all of who can help if you feel your anxiety feels as if it’s out of control.

Maintain a healthy sleep schedule

The other problem with isolation is it’s easy to get into a routine of eating when you feel like it and sleeping and waking whenever you want. The problem here is it throws your body out of rhythm and can leave you feeling tired and groggy, and down about life.

Open the curtains and let the light in, and try to eat at the usual times. Don’t stay in a dark room all day watching TV, or on your phone or computer. Reduced exposure to daylight and sun will reduce the amount of melatonin and serotonin being produced in the brain; this can lower mood and affect your sleep pattern.

Stop watching rolling news

24/7 coverage of the COVID-19 can cause enhanced anxiety, mainly because the press leans towards negative stories. To help yourself avoid overexposure only check in once a day at a set time, preferably not before bed. Also make sure you go to legitimate sources of information and avoid conspiracy theories, which have been shown to affect mental health negatively.

Take extra care if you are self-isolating on campus

Living on campus can be tough right now, as it’s likely to be empty, which in itself can feel depressing. Be sure to take advantage of any help your university is offering. Remember they are not closed and are still operating, albeit in a different way. Find out about appropriate pastoral care via your university website, make use of any additional tutor meetings for extra support and see what student union help is available to you.

Ask for help if you are self-isolating in shared accommodation

Follow the guidelines if you are self-isolating for 14 days and living in shared accommodation but remember to ask for help. Ask housemates to bring you food and medicine but leave it outside the door and if you are unwell to check on you. However, you will need to avoid all shared living spaces where possible. If you need to cook, you should only use the kitchen when no one else is there so arrange set times with your housemates. After use clean, the surfaces you’ve touched and the same goes for shared bathrooms.

Take control

Anxiety levels can rise when we feel we have no control. This is why it pays to keep yourself mentally, and physically fit during the lockdown. Staying active and living in the moment will help you feel in control and able to cope when you are unable to go anywhere.

Where possible, try a daily 45-minute walk in the fresh air, or a YouTube fitness video if you don’t fancy going out. Eat healthy meals and a focus on what you have right now to enjoy, like the time to relax, watch your favourite shows, read and even catch up on your studies.

8 free apps and tools to help you study and socialise more effectively

If you’re looking for some extra support during the lockdown look no further than your smartphone and laptop. The key to feeling connected and getting more out of studying and socialising is at your fingertips.


We aim to make your life easier, with our personalised system of STEM video content and study guides tailored to your needs. Knowing this information is there whenever you need it means you can cover the work you need to do in your own time. This not only helps you tackle tougher subject areas with more confidence but will also enable you to practice as much as you need to. 

Evernote App 

The Evernote app helps you focus on what matters most thanks to its easy to access pool of information. You can manually input information and add to-do lists, photos, images, web pages, audio and work documents, and access them on all your devices. Better yet, it’s all instantly searchable. It’s especially useful for annotating documents with notes and comments, as well as being able to share everything with fellow peers.


Trello is the best task-tracking app on the market and will make studying that much easier to manage. You can create cards for individual tasks, label functions to place them in order of priority and tick them off as you go. 

For ease, you can also view on boards for each topic area, or via a calendar for daily to-dos. Plus you can share study boards with students you work with, and they can add comments to the cards, helping you to study and stay in touch.

Google docs

Working on documents with your tutors or peers is easy with Google Docs. Instead of sending documents back and forth through email, and then trying to track everyone’s change, you can just save your file as a Google Doc and select the people you want to share it with. It’s a live document so you can see comments and changes from others, making for some good collaborative work.

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House Party app

The Houseparty app uses a split-screen to make multiple video chatting easy between 8 users, adding in a feature that allows for secret chats among participants. You can also create rooms and ask people to join your video-chat room by sending a link through text. The idea is when you open the app; it is similar to a house party where you chat with other people already ‘in the house’. When you use the app, your friends will be alerted that you are available to video chat and can join in.

Zoom app 

Zoom is the new Skype and was downloaded 2.13m times around the world on 23 March, the day the lockdown was announced. The free version allows for video calls of less than 40 minutes, though reconnect on the same link after your 40 minutes is up, and you are all back on again. Launching a chat can be done at the click of a button, or you can either generate a link to send to your friends.

Google Hangouts

There are two versions of Google Hangouts; Hangouts Chat is the consumer version of Hangouts, used for connecting with your friends. Unlike Zoom, hangouts are also far easier to use on mobile and tablet if that’s your preference.

Messenger VS WhatsApp

It’s likely you already have these two apps on your phone. WhatsApp wins on the privacy front as everything is encrypted. But when it comes to giving you a wide range of access to contacts, Facebook Messenger wins over WhatsApp. For calls WhatsApp seems to have better signals for international and rural calls.

Why use Proprep?

University life can be hard work. Aside from lectures, exams, revision and challenging assignments, we know how tough it is to fit in the fun stuff and not let your grades slip. Which is why Proprep is the helping hand you need.

Make your life easier

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Our aim is to make your life easier, reduce academic stress and improve the understanding of challenging materials in a time-efficient, student-friendly way. We know what we are doing as we have already helped over 500k students over the last 10 years and can ensure you have all the resources and tutorials you need to get the results you want. 

The key is our easy-to-use personalised system of STEM video content and study guides. This powered by a technology that customises STEM courses according to the specific needs of your university.

How we do it?

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University professors create our library of tutorials and we have over 3.5k+ courses and 60k+ videos on offer. As well as a vast selection of textbooks and study guides with every single concept broken down into bite-sized modules (the optimal way to learn according to neuroscientists).

Each video tutorial is created by going through the different syllabi of each course, with each department in each university. We then assemble video tutorials that will offer you the exact materials at the level you need. You also receive a course textbook, study guides and practise exams based on your professor’s testing style. All of which means your all your academic bases are covered.

Knowing this information is there at your fingertips also means you can cover the work you need to do, at your own speed and in your own time. This not only helps you tackle tougher subject areas with more confidence but will also enable you to practice as much as you need to. Best of all, as we help you study in a smarter way you can save time and have more time to enjoy student life. 

Get the most out of university life.

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Depending on your learning style, you can choose to binge-watch a whole series at once (Probability box set anyone?) or pick and mix the topics you need help with when you need them. This allows you to master any STEM subject in 3 simple steps:

  1. Watch the video tutorials
  2. Solve the practice problems
  3. Check your work against the video solutions

Also the best part is that, in response to the outbreak of Covid19, we have now opened up all our customised learning resources for free to all students until the end of the academic year. All you need to set up your account is an email address, no credit card details required, which you can do by clicking here