The following message comes from Grace Williams, House Captain of Johnson House:

The Lockdown Life: Coping with Lockdown – From a Teen Living in a Pandemic

As a teenager currently living in lockdown myself, I know from experience how easy it is to become engrossed by our phones and let our schoolwork pile up whilst we worry about not getting it done on time rather than actually doing it. But I’ve also realised that there are so many things we can do in lockdown to keep our mental health in check, and still live a happy life, even though we might not be able to leave the house as often as we’d might like to. So, here are some tips I have accumulated after living through the pandemic as a teen!

Remote Learning

The first is to organise your schoolwork in whatever way best works for you. Personally, I write down all pieces of work and Teams lessons that I have that day on a whiteboard, so that I can cross things off throughout the day and prevent myself from falling behind. However, even just regularly ticking tasks off Show My Homework when you get a piece of work done can help you to feel on top of your work, and not like it is drowning you. If you do fall behind on work – make sure you don’t! Our teachers understand that it is difficult for us to manage our own work and all you have to do is ask for help. They’re humans too – they’ll understand.

Another piece of advice would be to stick to a timetable similar to one we have at school so that school life can stay and feel separate from our lives outside of school. It’s so easy to let the two overlap when you’re only moving from one room to another, or in some cases one seat to another, and so dedicating time to specific tasks can help the two feel separate.

Wake Up & Work Out!

The second tip is to regularly exercise, whether that be a daily walk with the dog or a 30 minute at home workout. It’s important that we keep moving! Although I do have weekly dance lessons that have proceeded over Zoom, I have also started doing HIIT workouts every weekday to wake myself up in the mornings and keep fit! Sometimes they’re only 10 minutes and sometimes they’re longer, but either way, it doesn’t matter how long they last or how much they make me sweat because they get me out of bed in the morning and get me moving. But if workouts aren’t your thing, that’s totally fine! There are so many other forms of exercise you can do such as running, cycling, walking, dancing, or even just playing a sport in the garden with the family.

The next tip is to check in with yourself from time-to-time to make sure that your mental health is doing ok. There are many different ways you can do this, but these are some of my favourites:


Sometimes when something is bothering you, you need to say it or get it down on paper so that the thoughts can shift from your head. When you don’t feel like discussing something with a friend or family member, journaling can be a great way to feel the emotions you have been holding in without having to face someone whilst doing it. Of course, I encourage you to speak with friends and family if something is on your mind, but sometimes there are things we like to keep private and feel we can deal with alone.

Journaling can also be a great way to learn gratitude, as it pushes you to find things in your day to talk about, helping you to find good in each day. Whether that good thing is speaking to one of your friends or answering a question right on a Teams session, finding the positive parts of our days can help lockdown feel less gloomy. Other activities you might want to look into are meditation, yoga, reading or even just having self-care night to yourself by putting on a face mask and watching your favourite film.

Productive Screen Time

The final tip is to find purpose in going on your phone, to try and prevent yourself from going down a spiral of TikToks and resurfacing one hour later wondering where the time went (we all know we’re guilty of it).

Social media can be so useful when finding new hobbies or hacks that you can use at home, so make the most of it! Want to start working out but don’t know where to start? Look on social media. Want to learn about skincare? Look on social media. By having a purpose when you first go on your phone, you can find what you’re looking for and then come off when you’re done. I’d like to start a bullet journal soon and have already found some videos on Tik Tok of inspiration and tips when making one! If there is a hobby you’d like to take up whilst we have the time, use the resources you have and make the most of having extra time on your hands: you’ll come out of lockdown being a pro!

Social media is also great for finding things that you can look forward to when we come out of lockdown and can begin to meet up with friends and travel. Personally, I have been loving looking at travel inspiration on Pinterest as at some point in the future, me and a close friend of mine would love to go travelling. Even though it is years away, it is something to look forward to and a reminder that life won’t be the way it is now forever. Something that I am looking forward to which is a little sooner is musicals; my family and I were meant to see a few shows last year that have all been postponed, but listening to the soundtracks and keeping up with their posts on social media is a reminder that I will get to see them, even if I have to wait another year.

I hope that my tips have given you some inspiration for coping with lockdown in a way that suites you, and that it has given you a little bit of hope for the end of lockdown. Remember, if you are ever feeling down, it is important to reach out to someone (a friend, family member, teacher, or a helpline).