By Nafisa Kiani, MSc Global Public Policy
Working hard or hardly working?
For me, a typical lockdown week involves working for the House of Commons education and engagement team and studying remotely at the same time. I have been reading a research proposal from a student and outlining its strengths and weaknesses. I have also been facilitating team meetings with staff members I work with, checking up on their health and wellbeing and finding out how working practices can be improved. I have encouraged them to fill in a survey feedback form outlining how managers can improve their work approaches. I have also delivered coaching sessions to check that their career objectives are being met and if they need further training.
I have started mentoring a young intern within the workplace, offering guidance to assist her in reaching her career goals and aspirations. When you are starting a new role it is ideal to have a supportive figure to resolve queries and to point you in the right direction.
‘I have also been meditating, praying and reading the Qur’an, exercising and reaching out to friends. It is important to take a holistic approach to cope during unprecedented times…’
Episode IV: A New Cope
I have also been meditating, praying and reading the Qur’an, exercising and reaching out to friends. It is important to take a holistic approach to cope during unprecedented times, especially since I have been shielding and not going outside since March 2020 – nearly a year!
Sharing is self-caring
I would encourage SOAS students to sign up to the British Red Cross ‘Phone a Friend’ scheme where you can converse with another SOAS student once a week and offer advice and guidance to support each other during the pandemic. I think this is important as some students can feel isolated, and mental health can be adversely impacted if the right levels of support are not offered at the right time. So, self-care is essential.
Photo caption: Remote learning has become the norm. (Credit: Andrew Neel via Unsplash)