Martina's tips for quarantine

9 September 2020

Having been through two quarantines in Italy and Australia, Martina Burgo is here to give you some practical tips on how to stay motivated during those two weeks.


Set a daily routine

Keeping yourself busy takes your mind away from negative thoughts, while being productive and completing tasks can boost your mood. Try to keep a regular wake up and sleep time and get a decent amount of sleep, so you are likely to feel energised in the morning. Setting daily tasks and goals to achieve by the end of quarantine really helped me stay on track and motivated. However, be realistic: no one expects you to write a whole book in two weeks!


Exercise improves your physical and mental health, so try to move your body every day. Workouts do not have to be hours long or very intense, the goal is just to stay active. Mixing up your workouts keeps you looking forward for the next one. For example, I would alternate between HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts, bodyweight strength training and yoga. They can all be done in a small space and do not require any equipment. There are many free workouts available online and personal trainers often do live workouts on their social medias. I particularly like YouTube and Instagram. Most workout apps also offer free trials. Finally, I found a lot of fun challenges to do online and they are often two weeks long. Maybe set as one of your quarantine goals to complete one of them!

Get ready for uni

If you are about to start your degree at UCL, you could learn about your modules and assignments and get ahead with some suggested readings. You could organise your calendar with your deadlines, lectures, seminars and tutorials to have an idea of how your weeks will look like. You could also have a look at the Student’s Union website and find more about all the amazing clubs and societies at UCL. This year they will all offer online events and activities so you can already join them in quarantine and make new friends!

Do some hobbies

Set some time for activities that you enjoy, whether it is playing an instrument, drawing, painting, singing, or reading. Again, you can find free and live classes on social media to help you improve your skills.

Eat well

It is tempting to order your favourite junk food but eating unhealthily often can make you feel sluggish, lazy and affect your mood. Try to eat a balanced diet as much as you can. There are many websites and YouTube videos that offer free, cheap healthy recipes. This could be the perfect time to learn new dishes and improve your cooking skills before uni starts.

Stay in contact with family and friends

You may feel a bit lonely and anxious during quarantine. However, just because you are not seeing your loved ones it does not mean that you cannot contact them. Schedule in regular calls with friends and family to check in with them. For example, I would have daily coffee meeting with two friends of mine and that really helped me stay connected.

Do not watch too much Netflix/Amazon/Disney +/Whatever

Quarantine seems like the perfect time for binge watching but spending entire days in bed watching series and movies can make you feel detached and disoriented. Instead, keep yourself busy with other tasks for most of the day and limit your online-streaming time. Maybe ‘virtually’ watch something with a friend and discuss it together. There is even a free Chrome extension called ‘Netflix Party’ that syncs accounts for you to watch the same thing at the same time.

Take care of your mental health

Lack of social interactions and the possibility of going outside can bring feelings of loneliness, fear and anxiety. If you start feeling down, acknowledge it. Maybe do a calming activity. Put some relaxing music on, take some deep breaths, take a shower or bath, maybe write down your thoughts. Remember that it is okay to feel this way. This situation is temporary and quarantine only lasts two weeks.