Study Abroad at Home: Game Nights and Food to Lift the Mood

In this week’s article I’ve decided to give you all a little insight into how I’m distracting myself this lockdown. As I’m in Newcastle this semester, I’m living at home. If you’re living at home or stuck in your uni house with your flatmates, then I have some ideas you might enjoy to make lockdown feel slightly more light-hearted.

Last lockdown I really struggled not having a routine. I normally centre my weeks around 1. Activities to look forward to and 2. Food. Therefore, this lockdown me and my family sat down and arranged that every Monday night we’d set aside some time for a family games night.


I know it might sound simple, but during the first lockdown I was in a house of five other people and I still felt lonely sometimes. Each Monday we’ve blown off the dust from old games we use to love and spent a couple hours off our phones and screens and did something together. We’ve done everything from your typical Monopoly and Cluedo to Obama Llama and even hide and seek just to have a laugh. I don’t get my Monday blues as bad now because I know on the evening, I can have a guaranteed laugh and destress. You should try and set aside some time with the people you live with and play a board game or do something together, such as cooking.

Image Credit: Siobhan Dale

This nicely takes me in to my next point, I love food. I hold my hands up, I’m a feeder and my mood can definitely be based on whether I’m hungry or craving something. This week me and my mam decided to make homemade pizzas. They were really easy to make, and it was nice to put some music on, have a glass of wine and make our tea from scratch. We used a pizza dough recipe for beginners we found through google. So, it wasn’t much effort, all the ingredients we had in and we just used things in the fridge for the toppings. Although I don’t think it will compare to my first pizza when I eventually go to Italy, it was a good attempt, and it tasted delicious, if I do say so myself.

It’s important to make small memories. Granted most of us haven’t left the UK, or even our hometown, but doing little things like taking 20 minutes to make some pizza dough or playing a silly game can really help your mentality. We’re on our phones so much, even more now that uni is online, so it is important to step away from our screens and have some dedicated time to enjoy the moment. Although most of us can agree this year isn’t what we expected, we can still find small ways to get ourselves in a routine and look forward to the little things.

After our Monday night antics, I feel better, so I get more work done and feel more productive. We talk about what we’re doing that week school, work and uni wise, and even saying out loud all the things you need to do in one week lightens the load. Making that fresh pizza dough reminded me that Venice isn’t too far away and at least while I’m here I can bring a small part of Italy here through my (very basic) cooking skills. Just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself down in your room. Unless your isolating… but then that’s all the more reason to make time for Zoom calls and a little human interaction. I hope that from this article you take away that we all need some companionship, our mental and physical health are so important, and watching a Netflix series or spending hours in my room catching up on lectures haven’t given me anywhere near as much happiness as our Monday family nights. Arrivederci!

Header image credit: Siobhan Dale