Positively Balanced

Student Communication Ambassador Becky Spicer shares some useful tools to help you focus

It is safe to say that a global pandemic can make us feel as if balance and grounding are difficult to find. 

The current situation we face has also shone a light on the good around us, with communities and companies showing kindness and compassion at this time of uncertainty. As students, it can be difficult to focus in such a stressful time, but a few companies and individuals are offering free services to help.

Live theatre

National Theatre Live is showcasing free broadcasts of previously recorded productions every Thursday from their YouTube channel. Why not sit down with a cup of coffee and watch a production from the comfort of your living room? 

Shakespeare’s Globe is also offering theatre at home with their ‘Shakespeare & Love in Isolation’ series, where actors in isolation will share Shakespeare’s words. Alternatively, free recordings of Shakespeare plays are available on their YouTube channel.  

Books, books and more books!

One thing I have been incredibly gratified by is the response from academic publishers towards students during this time. Cambridge University Press have provided students free access to 1,700 books during COVID-19. Oxford University Press have also provided students free access to books via Kortext and BibliU. Amazon is offering a free audiobook when you sign up to a 30-day audible trial (so there is plenty of time to cancel). 

Staying connected

This may be a difficult time to work and switching to virtual learning may seem daunting. However, I have enjoyed trying out some apps for studying that I haven’t used before. My two favourites are Google Hangout and Zoom

Exercise and health

If you’re looking for ways to increase mobility during isolation, why not try yoga? Yoga With Adrienne, by Adrienne Mishler, provides free yoga videos and includes playlists such as ‘Yoga For Uncertain Times’. Adrienne has also created a ‘Nurture’ theme calendar for April, which is free to download. I’ve enjoyed stepping onto the mat and following along myself. 

Celebrity fitness instructor, Joe Wicks has started ‘PE with Joe’. This was a series originally designed for school children, but families have been joining in regardless of age. Fair warning: it is very energetic. 

Mental health is equally as important as physical health and it may be especially difficult for students with existing mental health issues. I suffer from mental health issues and there are a few things I’ve found useful in the pandemic. I strongly recommend following @selfcareisapriority on Instagram for daily positive drawings on your feed and one of my favourite YouTube channels has produced a meditation specifically for these uncertain times.

Community spirit

Some efforts by the community and wider world cannot fail to go unnoticed. Captain Tom Moore is a war veteran and 99-year-old who has raised almost £25 million by walking 100 lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday. 

Lady Gaga has organised a concert called ‘One World: Together At Home’. This concert was to raise spirits and it received donations from big companies. Altogether, the concert has raised almost $128 million for health care workers. 

Of course, there are many ways to feel connected and positive during this time yourself. Most communities will have a local food bank you can donate to or (if you’re fit and not at-risk) volunteer to help with. Now may also be a good time to sign up to donate blood to the NHS (if you are well and able to) as there has been a drop in donations amid coronavirus concerns.  

If the spring of 2020 has taught us anything so far, it’s helped us to balance uncertainty with the good and kindness of humanity.

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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