Managing your mental health and loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic
A normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Becoming anxious, scared, bored, feeling lonely or isolated are all completely natural reactions to the difficult situation that the corona pandemic has brought. Try to accept that this is the way it is right now and think about an approach and positive activities that can help you manage your life the way it is today. Here comes a little more help along the way from us.
It is important to actively take care of yourself during the crisis! Many young people have lived at home when they have experienced difficulties previously in life and then had other support. As a student, however, you need to take care of yourself more independently. Try to explore what is possible to do, and what you can change to manage everyday life as well as possible.
Important areas to think about
- Self-care and routines. It is very important to try to create and maintain routines when it comes to food, sleep, and physical activity. This can be more difficult when the studies are mostly or only online. It is also good to make sure to spend some time outdoors every day to be exposed to daylight.
- Maintain balance. Avoid spending too much time in front of a screen (gaming/surfing the net/watching series) or drinking alcohol and don´t use drugs. If you notice that you do any of these activities a lot, think about whether it is something that makes you feel good or if it is an escape from something that feels difficult, or perhaps that the activity actually makes you feel worse? Try to do something else for distraction, for example, play an instrument, learn how to knit, try working out at home, read a book, or learn to cook tasty, healthy foods.
- Being social can help you feel good! When it is not possible to meet in person it is good to try to be social in other ways, e.g. talk with family members and friends on the phone or have a video chat. If you live alone, it is also important to try to meet up with someone in real life at least sometimes if it's possible! Choose a few people that you meet regularly (a study buddy, someone in your corridor, a friend, or a family member). Remember to follow the recommendations for COVID-19. Follow the news for updates or visit www.krisinformation.se/en.
- Studying online differs from studying on site, which makes adjustments necessary! It is important to create boundaries between time for studies and time for leisure and other activities by planning when you should start and finish studying each day. It is also important to have a good work space and to make sure to put away your study materials when you have finished for the day. Another thing that can be helpful, is to have social online meet-ups with people you study with. And finally, plan your studies carefully to reduce the risk of becoming stressed or to start procrastinating.
- Keep perspective. When you need it to feel better, try to focus on the little things and to find small positive moments in your everyday life. Also, remember that the pandemic will pass, even though it may not feel like it right now, and then you will be able to do all the fun things you want to do again.
- Be a positive force for others. Many people can find new meaning in life by thinking about how they can help others. For example, it can be to support a friend, encourage a study buddy, to do shopping for someone who is in quarantine or similar.
- When you are not feeling well, talk to friends and family and tell them how you are feeling. Holding on to your feelings and thoughts and keeping them to yourself often leads to feeling worse. Do not wait too long before you seek other support. You can contact us at The Student Health Services, the University chaplaincy, get help from a study counselor or from others at the university who are here for you, or seek other resources.