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Tips for students anxious about the coronavirus

The current rapidly changing situation with the coronavirus is stressful for all of us. It’s natural that as an international student far away from home, one might feel especially vulnerable in times like these. In time of crisis, we want to be close to the people we feel secure with, in a place that feels familiar. It’s difficult to be far away from family and old friends. In such situations, anxiety and fear can increase and even come to dominate your feelings.

With this mindset, we can grow fixated on negative possibilities, and it can be difficult to think in a rational way. There is a risk of getting stuck in narrow way of seeing the world which will only make things seem worse. It is important to be aware of such patterns of mind in these times, both when talking with others and when one is interacting on social media.

Here are a few tips that might make things easier: 

  • Try to hold on to your routines or create new ones that fit the situation. Routine gives signals to your body about calmness and safety.
  • Have a proper breakfast, lunch and dinner and don’t radically change your sleep schedule. Go outside daily for some sun and exercise (unless you are ill).
  • Keep doing things that you enjoy and that make you feel good, even if it just feels routine given the situation.
  • Don’t sit alone with your thoughts, seek the company of the people that you feel safe with. In discussions, try to balance talking about your worries with other less serious topics. 
  • Limit the amount of news that you read/listen to and stick to reliable sources.
  • Get in touch with friends and others in your social circle that you think might be feeling alone or sad.
  • Keep yourself updated on developments in your programme or course in order to not miss important information. As LU is continuing with distance learning, stay engaged.
  • Try to not think or plan too far ahead. Focus on the coming couple of days.

And remember: all this will pass.

If you feel you need help with your corona-related anxiety or worries, you can contact the Student Health Centre.

Watch on YouTube: tips about dealing with corona-related anxiety from an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) perspective.