Master Your Mindset

By Fiona Duncan-Steer, Theatre Design NTU Alumni

With the UK still in lockdown some have been bossing their time in lockdown and enjoying the downtime, whilst others are just plain fed up and ready to be released.  There is no right or wrong in how you are feeling and every emotion you have is justifiable right now.

We have entered the age of digital communication and remote working, simplified routines and click and collect, parents have become teachers and Netflix and jigsaws have become the main source of our entertainment.

Life has changed somewhat drastically for many of us and this is naturally a shock to the system.  Our routines have gone out of the window and we feel somewhat discombobulated.  Therefore, focusing on self-care practise is so important -now more than ever…

Subconsciously many of us have little rituals we do to prepare us for our day ahead; an interview, a public speech, a day at work, you see where I’m going. This is to ensure our mindset is in the right place for when we approach these things.  To make sure that we are the best version of ourselves when we walk into that room or take on that task and this is where routine comes in and acts as such an important foundation to life itself and to your well-being and ultimately your happiness.

Having even a loose routine will provide structure to your daily life and provide you with purpose. There are no rules here, this is completely personal to you, so I encourage you to write down your current daily routine, look at it and see how you can perhaps improve upon it, by structuring it accordingly.  Integrate the key elements into it that you need to complete during your day and then intersperse something for you into your day too, whether it be a work-out, a walk or something that you know will help you to switch off and reset.  Something that will nourish your mind and body.

Here is an example of my daily routine since January 2021:

My daily routine – Monday-Friday

  1. Make my bed- Tidy surroundings, tidy mind.
  2. Make a cuppa- My hot drink of choice is generally herbal/fruit tea.
  3. Ten minutes of guided meditation using an app on my phone.
  4. Ten minutes of journaling – ‘Free writing’ has amazing benefits.
  5. Work-out on the mat in my living room to loud music provided by Alexa.
  6. Start the working day- tackling emails and enquiries first, then tasks.
  7. An afternoon walk – three times around my crescent is exactly one mile.
  8. Read a couple of chapters of my latest book to wind down from work.
  9. Dinner and Netflix!

Since setting up this routine and acknowledging that is exactly what it is- a routine, I actually look forward to each stage of it, as mundane and simple as it may be now in comparison to my amazingly active life pre pandemic.  It gives me purpose and fulfilment when I have achieved each element of it.  There is something about looking at the day ahead and breaking it down into bite sized achievable chunks, much like when you set yourself a goal.  See your day as a goal to smash and pat yourself on the back when the sun sets and you have got through another, but it is worth saying, don’t be hard on yourself if some days you wake up and you are just not feeling that Zoom call or online Pilates class or really anything at all-, we all have those days and weeks, however, be aware of them, notice them and let them pass. 

In the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “Afterall tomorrow is another day”.

For help and advice whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
Support from NTU
Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
Depression advice
Counselling
Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
Struggling at Uni? Go to Student Minds
10 Keys to happiness

For help and advice whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.


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