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Do you find yourself dwelling on the situation or worrying a lot right now - here is some advice that can help

Avoid self-criticism, make regular appointments with friends and ensure positive activities in your everyday life.

Illustration: Colourbox

This new situation can present unexpected challenges, not least with regard to worries and uncertainty in a situation that you feel you have little control over.

Remember that good mental health is developed through close relationships, being with family and friends, leisure activities and a sense of achievement at school and in the workplace.

Here you  will get some specific advice on how to take care of your mental health during this time. 

Take care of yourself and those around you

Self-care and care for others are two sides of the same issue. We all have different personalities, family backgrounds, and experiences in dealing with stressful and disruptive life situations. Therefore, people also handle this situation differently. Much is uncertain.

One thing that is certain is that - in addition to following the advice of the health authorities - we must take care of each other and take care of ourselves.

Try to avoid self-criticism

We are often much harder on ourselves than we would be on anyone else. Self-criticism is not particularly caring. Still, we all do it in the hope of improving ourselves. Therefore, notice what you tell yourself.

Next time self-criticism comes along, try to talk as if you were communicating with a crying child on your lap, with care and respect. When we are more caring to ourselves, it is also easier to care for others.

Maintain the daily rhythm of everyday life

Go to sleep and get up at regular times every day. Make a daily plan for your studies, either the night before or the same morning so you know what to do. Remember to take time off from your work during the weekend!

Ensure positive activities in your daily life

Chat with friends and family, work out, play computer games or pick up the guitar. Take this as seriously as study activities. It helps to maintain the balance of daily life.

Recognize your own brooding and worries

If you spend a lot of time alone at home, your thoughts and concerns often come to visit. You should be aware of this uninvited guest. Contact your friends and family when difficult thoughts come. You can also contact the health service:

Prevent brooding and difficult thoughts

If pondering or brooding tends to worsen in the evening, you may want to set aside evenings for activities that can serve as a distraction:

  • Watch a funny movie
  • Go for a walk with a friend
  • Chat or talk to a friend
  • Follow a digital concert or lecture

Make regular appointments with friends

Make an appointment with a friend to call or chat at regular intervals each day or during the week. This is especially important if you feel that difficult thoughts are building up.

Add extra breaks if you have children

If you have children at home it is not easy to study. Then it is natural to try to catch up on studies while the children are asleep, but remember that you also need breaks without children or studies in order to function in everyday life.

Maintain a positive tone and good mood in interaction with your children. Confirm and validate your children's feelings. Remember that their everyday life has also changed. All emotions, such as anger, are acceptable and understandable, although not all behavior, like beating a little brother, is.

Advice to counter social isolation

The biggest challenge in not being able to meet each other on campus is that we lose social contact with each other. Fortunately, social media and other technologies ensure that many people still have a lot of contact with each other.

But for those who are not already part of the social arenas online, it can be difficult to get in touch. Ask the tutor for help on joining a digital group if you are not in one. Be generous when someone asks to join your study group or group work.

Additional resources

Sources: These text is based on research and texts from the Department of Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Educational Sciences and the Faculty of Law.

 

Published Apr. 3, 2020 12:07 PM - Last modified Dec. 3, 2020 8:48 AM