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Staying Positive When You’re Testing Positive

Almost two years into the pandemic, restrictions are starting to lift; however, if you test positive for Covid-19, you still face isolation. Personally, I have managed to spend a total of 29 days over the last year-and-a-half in isolation, so I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert.

The first 14 days were thanks to my flatmate testing positive (cheers – I didn’t even get Covid), the next 6 days were thanks to the NHS Track and Trace App pinging me, causing me to have to isolate just in time for the EuroCup final (cheers – I still didn’t get Covid) and most recently, I have spent the last 9 days isolating thanks to finally contracting Covid myself.

With the new rules requiring only individuals to isolate, rather than whole households, it’s becoming more common to be forced to isolate alone in your bedroom. As such, isolating can be a lot more mentally challenging (or just boring) than it was earlier in the pandemic.

I wanted to share a few tips I’ve picked up along the way for making isolation a bit more bearable:

Cut yourself some slack

When you’re isolating, my number one tip is to prioritise self-care!

Whilst the free time you pick up in isolation is a great opportunity to catch up on those lectures you’ve missed, it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself when you’re not feeling well, or not feeling as productive as you might in the library.

Having to eat, sleep, work and relax all in one confined space can feel overwhelming, so it’s important to pace yourself and set boundaries. Personally, I chose not to work in the evenings to keep myself sane.

So, put on a facemask, watch a new film, and do that thing you’ve been meaning to start all term but haven’t had time to – your deadlines will get done so trust the process.

Speak to your friends

Whilst the point of isolating is to keep your distance from friends and family, there’s no reason why your friends can’t visit you and talk to you from the window. I personally had a great time watching my friends going to cafés to pick me up coffee, cooking me dinner and delivering it to my door, and even dropping off surprise goodies! I might even “get covid again” just to see how far I can push it…

On a serious note though, as long as you’re being safe, invite your friends to come say hi from a distance if it will stop you from going crazy! And on that note, if it’s your friend who is the one isolating, taking the time to pick them up a coffee or stop by and say hello will probably make their day, so look out for your friends!

Keep smiling

Even if you can’t go to the pub or out with your society, there’s no reason why isolating should stop you from having fun. Use the time to do something you otherwise wouldn’t when you’re busy with University.

Much to the annoyance of my friends, since the first time I isolated (yes, all 29 days), I have posted a joke every day on my Instagram story, in a series we like to call ‘Joke of the Day’. Whilst many of my friends have been very vocal about how irritating they find this, a few have enjoyed it, and most importantly it’s brought me a lot of joy!

So those are my top tips! Hopefully we won’t have to isolate for much longer, however if you do, remember to take care of yourself, reach out to your friends and have a laugh, and it will be over before you know it!

-Annie Garry

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