31.3.2020

5 tips for relieving anxiety about corona

COVID-19 virus and the special circumstances caused by it have affected us all. Life from regular everyday routines all the way to vacation plans has changed dramatically in few weeks. There is a lot of uncertainty, worries and stress caused by the changes in the air.

People react to increased stress differently. One is worried in behalf of all of the world, the other is scrolling through figures and statistics about corona all day long, while the third one focuses on enjoying the slow mornings made possible by working remotely. Most of us however experience feelings of anxiety and insecurity at least at some extent. In this blog you can find a few ways that might help ease up the anxious feelings.

1. Choose your sources

Continuous flood of information about coronavirus might feel overwhelming. Especially social media spreads misinformation like wild fire, which only makes matters worse. You should also avoid starting your mornings or finishing your days with corona news, since it might make shaking off corona-related issues more difficult.

Choose one or two reliable sources and focus only on them. One good source is the Finnish institute for health and welfare THL. You should also consider following the corona page of Oamk: oamk.fi/coronavirus.

2. Focus on what you can control

Teams is not working, exchange period got cancelled, that guy in the grocery store sneezed straight to his hand and now it seems that your internship might get cancelled as well. These are examples about things that students might be worried about now. But what do these things have in common? You don’t have a control over any of them.

Instead of wasting your energy worrying about issues like these you should focus on things you do have control over. Every single issue you worry about may mix into a huge lump of worries inside your head. A circle of control is one useful tool for organizing your worries based on how well you can control them.

In the centre of the circle are the things you have full control over and the things you can decide about. These are related to your own actions and attitudes. For example, you have a control over your own daily routines or how well you follow the instructions of authorities about washing your hands. By focusing on the things in the centre of the circle you can increase the feeling of control, which might ease up the anxiousness during these uncertain times.

The middlemost circle contains things that you can somewhat control, but you can’t fully decide yourself. With issues in this circle you might need to be ready to make compromises. One example is that you can affect how actively you participate in remote group work, but you can’t control how active you group members are.

The outer circle has the issues that you can neither decide nor control, such as the ones we listed in the beginning of this chapter. It’s pointless to waste energy in something you have zero control over. So it might be a good idea to list all of these type of worries you have, place them to this circle and then leave them there. If you wish you can take a pen and paper and draw your own circle.

3. Get some air

Studies show that spending time in nature has positive effect on wellbeing. So go outside for a walk or just enjoy the beautiful spring weather. While being outside it is easy to keep the safety distance (1-2 m) to your friend, so it is also a good chance to socialize a bit. There’s also plenty of options on exercising indoors. YouTube is filled with all kinds of workout videos from yoga to dance exercises. Try something new or take part in one of the toilet roll challenges: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CltuxoemWKM.

4. Keep in touch with loved ones

Even though we now need to keep our distance physically, we don’t have to isolate ourselves socially. Visiting people isn’t really an option, but there are plenty of other ways to keep in touch with family and friends. This is a great time to call grandma or text siblings. Lighten up the mood by spamming group chats with funny memes. By contacting your loved ones, you also remind them that they are not alone.

There are multiple options for spending time together remotely, such as Discord voice channels and Skype. Personally, I have proven that the videocall feature of Facebook works just fine for remote coffee moments with friends. It also allows multiple people to join the video call.

With a little bit of imagination, you can come up with tons of fun things to do together remotely. You can for example spend time together by playing different online games such as skribbl.io and Board Game Online. Another example is that we are going to try and attend an online pub quiz with my friends. If you’d like to attend a quiz, stay tuned for OSAKO’s IG-live this Thursday 😉.

5. You don’t have to be alone

You shouldn’t and you don’t need to stay alone with all your worries. There’s help available in various forms. Here are a few examples (some of these are only available in Finnish):

You can also contact us with any issues related to studies and student life. E-mail us at osako@osakoweb.fi. If you like, you can also leave anonymous feedback at our chat or feedback from (scroll down): http://osakoweb.fi/en/contact/.

Stay healthy and stay safe! We’ll get through this together.
Linda Holma
OSAKO’s specialist of communicatons and international affairs

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