Being sick is the absolute worst! From an annoying runny nose, a fever to even fatigue, it can be incredibly difficult to find the motivation to study! It can even be frustrating as there could be a list of things that need to be done and yet finding the energy for them can be like finding a needle in a haystack! But fear not, for this guide has your back to help you to be mildly productive while you recover! As always, this guide is aimed at those studying any academic subject regardless of level…By Kayvon Taee
Make a plan!
As I am writing this, I am currently sitting next to a giant box of tissues, drinking plenty of tea and making a to-do list that is realistic of what I need to do whilst I am trying to get better. However, there can be times even myself I do not know what to prioritise, especially when I have multiple assignments due on the same week for different modules (I.e. This week I have 3 assignments due and the timing of my flu couldn’t have been more perfect(!)). Fortunately, the University of Oxford has released has a time management guide that not only helped me but will help you too! To put it simply, it’s about categorising by importance and urgency. Try to be honest by how urgent/important a task really is, as it can be rather deceiving at times! To give you an example, let’s say you have exams coming up in 2 months, but have three assignments due next week and each of them is due Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The exam revision would be labelled as “important but not urgent”, however the assignment due on Monday would be under “urgent and important”. As such, you would choose to complete the assignment due on Monday first then complete each one respectively until the week is over. After that, you can now focus on the exam revision as this would be now “urgent and important”. The beauty part of this is you can even add non-academic tasks too – even something as simple as cleaning the house! It may be daunting to implement but I promise you that your future self will thank you!
Take (more) frequent breaks
Studying can easily be a mentally exhausting task, especially when the subject matter is difficult. I find especially when I am ill, that I need to take more frequent study breaks when I am ill. Since my body is focused on fighting any disease I may have, I don’t want to exhaust myself even more by stressing how I don’t understand a concept, as stress can make you feel worse! That’s why every 30 minutes of study I take a study break between 15 to 30 minutes (depending on how I feel). Sure, I may not get what as much as I usually do but the key thing to note is if you are ill! Chances are you won’t want to study as much and may wish to focus on recovering! If note taking is difficult, consider watching a video associated with the topic you are studying (Recorded lectures are a bonus!) as this is a much more passive way of learning and may even take your mind off from being ill!
Focusing on recovering
I find it’s very easy to not eat/drink very much whilst I am ill, as it can make you feel tired and have a loss of appetite. However, it’s times like this where being healthy is especially important! Make sure you do the usual advice doctor’s give when you get the flu: Plenty of fluids, plenty of rest, stock up on fruit and veggies and have plenty of vitamins and minerals!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you are really ill and lack the energy to any assignments, I highly recommend focusing on recovering and consider going to your GP to get a doctor’s note and ask for an extension for assignments or apply for mitigating circumstances for exams as they may make adjustments if you are a borderline candidate. Also, be sure to reach out to friends who are willing to loan you some good soup and tea, as well as moral support (I wouldn’t recommend hugging whilst ill – I did this once and my friend ignored me until they fully recovered…). Finally, even ask the library front desk for help! Sometimes I find when I am ill I am prone to making mistakes, so I would ask them to help me find a book that I needed as part of my reading list and they were very happy to assist! They are really friendly people! On that note, I better get back to recovering fully by having plenty of rest and drinking fluids, so until next time! Cheerio!