Opinion: Audrey Byars

Agony Audrey: 'How do I keep my motivation up during the pandemic?'

Hi, everyone! This is Agony Audrey, and it's my first EVER week answering your questions!

This week's question: 'How do I keep my motivation up during the pandemic?' is particularly relevant right now as the UK is going into its EIGHTH week of lockdown (literally two months, if you can believe) and COVID-19 celebrates its one-year anniversary of qualifying as a pandemic by the WHO.

Taking breaks is so important to being motivated, happy, and satisfied with your work. As I'm pretty sure they said in a movie once: 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...'

And as the self-ordained queen of indulgence, I'm pretty sure treating yourself in moderation can literally never hurt.

With this in mind, I came up with ✨ Agony Audrey's Seven Steps to Self-Indulgence to Spur Inspiration ✨

First, write down seven things/activities that spark joy. Here's mine: tea, walks, yoga, shopping, painting my nails, travelling, takeaways.

Image: Emma Matthews from Unsplash

Then, think of a way you can make each of those things or activities into a COVID-safe break for yourself.

Next, you'll assign each activity to every day for a week. For example, I love to travel but obviously can't do that right now, so instead I'll set aside Wednesday from 3pm-5pm to plan my dream holiday; I also love tea, so I'll plan to walk to a coffee stand I haven't been to before and try a new tea on Friday at noon; I love taking yoga classes with my friends so I'll set up a zoom call where we can all do yoga together... you get the idea.

And if you don't have time to take a break, make time! I guarantee that taking some time for yourself in the form of a break that's focused around something you love will leave you feeling refreshed, inspired, and motivated.

Good luck!

Audrey 💕

(It should be noted that a lack in motivation could be a sign of depression, and if you're feeling down it's important to reach out to a doctor or mental health professional for help. The University has plenty of advice available here.)