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Another lock down, multiple commitments of family, work and studying can get you into a state of monotony, pressure and stress. The feeling of not being able to break this monotony each day can be demotivating and pulling students away from their study focus too. You can break this monotony of each day in the lock down by doing simple things that can be refreshing and great to build back your motivation and interest back in the study.

1.       Do one new thing each day. It could be a new book reading, taking up to support your child on a new project or online learning, or simply just decluttering some important spaces that may come handy to you later on.

2.       Develop some hobbies- art, book reading, learning a new language, take a shot term course, photography and so on.

3.        Engage with nature- just gardening, bird watching, creating spaces of reflection and peace outside and inside can help.

4.       Talk to others through online devices and resources.

5.       Use technology and social media to arrange virtual coffee hours, chat time with family and friends, virtual games or quiz night.

6.       Seek help if you are feeling depressed, anxious or lonely. There are many confidential online resources within the Open University that offer excellent support 24/7. Check the link below https://help.open.ac.uk/togetherall-24-7-free-confidential-online-mental-health-support

7.       Plan each day with a difference in pattern of work you do. Patch the work hours with some free, reflective and rest times.

8.       Keep physical and mental health at the top no matter what you do.

Always remember that you are not alone in this pandemic. Seek,explore, reach out and cope well!

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Natalie Webb

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Thanks for this Renu, it is great to have you back.

I have struggled with most days being around the same area. My dining room is where we all eat, do home learning, where I work from home, live lessons, zoom class call and where I study.  The areas used to only be used as our family meal times and when the children were in bed, it would be my study area.  It's hard to get into the study mind when I'm not in school, I'm in the same place all day long.

I have found that getting through half the children's home learning with them that isn't live, before they even get dressed helps.  They work hard, then get ready for the day, have a snack and use that as the second part of their school day.  They're getting into the habit of getting it done without too much drama means they get more time to follow their own time table they write (usually Lego, board games or out for a bike ride as their exercise and at the moment, playing in the snow.)  I find then that by the afternoon, I can do some study reading and notes away from the dining table, leaving me my study area to go back to in the evening when everything is a little more child free and tidy again.

I have tried to declutter and be more organised with our strange new routines and make time where we all do silly games, something different or something relaxing.  Mostly I'm trying to not focus on how much I have to do because the 'to do' list is overwhelming.  I find I study better on days where I have been in work, I think because this is my 'normal' way of studying, so I plan for that.

As always, I do love to hear others peoples ways of managing the changes, we can probably all learn from each other while we find a way that works for us.