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Essential coronavirus info
We can’t wait to welcome our new and returning students from 19 October 2020. Your safety is our first priority.

Painting and textile

Adjusting to the new normal in 7 steps

Written by Max Holloway
Published date 19 May 2020

Image: Painting and textile by Yan Feng - David Poultney

It's been a challenging couple of weeks, and you might be worried about Coronavirus and how it will impact you, your family and your studies. That’s completely normal. This situation however, is far from normal and one none of us ever expected to be in, or had an opportunity to plan for – and that can be more than a little daunting.

In the face of this change we’re all going through a period of transition. This is what happens to us when confronted by change, and it’s how we process and come to terms with the new situation. It’s less about what we do, and more about listening to how we feel.

Whether you’re used to working from home or this is your first time, the challenges we’re facing together are the same and it’s important that we take the chance to ‘check-in’ with ourselves – This list will help you do just that.

It’s work from home, but not as we know it.

Working from home during lockdown isn’t the same as normal home working and it’s good to acknowledge that. For many the journey too and from campus was a chance to unwind and meant the end of the working day, find something that does this for you.

Striking the right balance

Working in our homes means we need to adapt our personal space, and that can be a challenge. But it’s more than choosing the right corner of the kitchen table to claim as your own. It also calls for new routines, taking care of the practical and emotional needs of our families and housemates and adjusting to spending so much time living on top of others.

Professional or personal?

Keeping the dividing line between your two selves might be harder to maintain during lockdown. It’s important to remember that there’s more than one way to be productive and professional – but this might take some time to figure out what this means to you and how you work.

Give yourself time

It can be tempting to try and do everything at once, but try to avoid the urge. Give yourself time for these new ways of working to settle in before introducing other ideas or processes.

Keep connected

Isolation doesn’t have to be isolating. Make the time to actually speak to family and friends throughout the day. Having a meaningful conversation can make all the difference.

Keep calm and carry on

Watch out for the signs of emotional exhaustion and information overload. Anxieties about the Coronavirus can be contagious and we’ll all be affected by concerns about our friends, families and communities. There will be moments of feeling stressed, overwhelmed and emotional – and that’s normal. Give yourself the time to acknowledge your feelings and to do something that will help you change your emotional and mental state.

Look after yourself and others

Do what you need to stay mentally strong and give others the time to do the same for themselves. Remember to reach out for support if you need it, you’ll find some useful links below to help with this.

The past few weeks have shown just how creative, innovative, energetic and committed the UAL community are as we work together to map out what this new normal looks like.

UAL has lots of activities that you can get involved in, from prayer through the chaplaincy to virtual yoga thanks to the Social Programme.

Take a look at the Wellbeing Page on for more advice on looking after the wellbeing and mental health of you and your team.

Don’t forget to keep up to date with the latest advice from UAL on our Coronavirus page, including the latest advice from the University, Government and the NHS.