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Ayad out side, bunting hung between the buildings behind him, with glasses resting on his head smiles to camera

Making the most of the lockdown as a student with MS

Ayad Marhoon

I’m a university student with spare time. And lots of it…

Life before the COVID-19 lockdown

All my life, I’ve taken the weekend as an excuse to stay up late and have a lie in the next day. I’d wake up and stay in bed while I scrolled through my phone and watched videos until midday.

Unfortunately, I still had to go into university on the weekdays. This meant waking up early, and it also meant that I very rarely got enough sleep. Even after I was diagnosed with MS, and was told by my doctor how important sleep was, I was still stuck in student mode: not enough sleep and too much coffee.

Every day is a weekend

But since this lockdown, every day for me is a weekend. And when it first started, that’s exactly how I treated it. I would sleep late and wake up whenever I wanted to.

You could say I was getting enough rest, but really, I was just justifying my laziness with my MS. I would tell myself “the doctor said I should get enough sleep”. This went on for a couple of weeks before I realised I needed to stop kidding myself.

And so, I decided to go with a different approach. The lockdown wasn’t going to end any time soon, so I was left with two options. I’d could either carry on like every day was a weekend, or I could start planning my days and start making the most of this lockdown.

My new MS lockdown routine

That’s exactly what I did - I started making the most of it! Nothing was stopping me from sleeping early, so I started to sleep at around 10pm. Now I wake up early every day and have a list of things to get done before 10am that I write the night before. On that list every day is skipping, tai chi, physiotherapy, reading, making breakfast, taking my medication, and then any other particular things for that day such as uni work or recording a vlog.

I would post my progress every day on my social media with #10amchallenge and get so many messages of encouragement which helped me keep going with it. It’s amazing how productive the rest of the day is when you have a good start. And since starting the routine, I’ve felt so much healthier and so much happier. It’s up to you to make the most of this lockdown!

You can follow Ayad on Instagram to how he’s getting on with his new lockdown routine.