Isolation tips and advice during COVID-19

If you're self-isolating because you have COVID-19 or are a household contact, it’s helpful to keep to a routine if you can. The advice and activities on this page can help support your physical and mental wellbeing while you're isolating.

Create a routine

When you're studying remotely it can be easy to lose routine. You can create regular time slots in your week to work on your assessments and for exercising, joining online classes, enjoying meals, or connecting with friends. This can help to create a sense of normalcy while you're living with COVID-19 restrictions.

Set your intentions

Set intentions or start thinking about changes you want to make. These intentions may be around nutrition, physical activity, learning something new by watching TED Talks, using language apps or practising a new cooking skill. It might be connecting with others in an intentional way or finding old friends and reconnecting. You could start a gratitude journal or get into a habit over the next ten days to think of three things you are grateful for while brushing your teeth.

Commit to finding joy in the small things you can do in your room or flat such as sipping on a hot drink, joining online communities, or talking to a friend.

A useful exercise can be to think about how you would answer the following questions:

  • A change I would want to make is…
  • Over the next 7-10 days I plan to…
  • I want to start my day with…
  • I am going to reach out and connect with…

Get centred

It’s easy to get distracted with all the things going on right now, or to experience boredom or poor concentration. To help you feel in charge, get centred with this 20-minute class with Bright Side guide Brian Berneman.

Guided breathwork and meditation

Follow the AUT Recreation Centre on Instagram to take their guided breathwork and meditation each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8am on Instagram Live.

AUT Recreation Centre on Instagram: @aut_recreation

Wellbeing resources


Mentemia is a free tool to help you explore ways to feel more energised and productive, as well as better equipping you to deal with whatever the world throws at you.

Mentemia website
Mentemia can be downloaded for free on your Apple and Android devices.

Small Steps

Small Steps is a collection of resources and practical tools for maintaining wellbeing. Use these tools to help you take small steps towards calming your mind and lifting your mood.

Small Steps website

Move your body

You may be in a confined space for most of the day, but there are online options for physical activity.

You can watch AUT’s Recreation Centre Instagram Lives, and join along with their HIIT classes, open choreography, and lower and upper body stretch sessions.

AUT Recreation Centre on Instagram

You can also join AUT’s Lex Pritchard, Brightside guide and former New Zealand Olympian, in this 10-minute stretch and decompress session each day.

Keeping up with study

Use a Pomodoro app

Keeping up with your studies can be tricky if you’re feeling unwell, but if you’re asymptomatic perhaps try using a Pomodoro app to help you stay motivated. You can also stay connected by joining your online classes and engaging in class chats.

15 free best Pomodoro apps (Jotform blog)

How to live value-aligned

Join our Brightside guide, Anja Helyer, on how to live and study value-aligned over this time.

Other resources to help you study and succeed

Check out these other resources to help you study and succeed while in isolation:

Worried about missing classes or assessments?

If you are worried about missing classes due to testing positive or you are isolating, we recommend you let your lecturer or programme team know.

If you are impacted by COVID-19 and are too unwell to complete an assessment, you can apply for special consideration (SCA).

Applying for special consideration for an assessment

Talking to a counsellor

AUT counselling and mental health support

AUT offers free counselling services and mental health support to all students based in New Zealand. You can make an appointment with an AUT counsellor to talk about your support needs – make sure you tell the receptionist you are self-isolating.

AUT counselling and mental health support

Text 1737 day or night for free

You can phone or text 1737 any time of the day or night for free, to talk with a trained counsellor.

1737 Need to Talk? website

Make sure you're getting COVID-19 info and study updates

Make sure you keep your personal contact details up to date with AUT so that you continue to get all updates about COVID-19 and your study.

How to update your contact details

Tell us if you're isolating or have had a COVID-19 test

If you're isolating, have had a COVID-19 test or are waiting for results, fill in the online form.

Tell us your situation form for AUT students

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