The Study Psychologist greeting to students at Hanken
In the context of events that may disrupt our sense of basic security, like the pandemic caused by Coronavirus (Covid 19), it is normal to feel a variety of uncomfortable emotions and reactions.
It is not uncommon to feel stress, insecurity, anxiety or disinterest in everyday things one usually enjoys. Also, physical stress-triggered symptoms such as an increased heart rate, an upset stomach, low energy or other uncomfortable sensations in the body may arise. You may also experience difficulties concentrating or reacting by having sleeping problems. Feeling the need to isolate oneself from others or experience fear of going out in public places may also occur. It is good to remember that all of these are normal reactions in an abnormal situation.
When we feel anxious, we tend to overestimate risks and focus on all possible signs of threats in our environment, which in turn increases our anxiety. This is something we do automatically, but it is rarely helpful for our well-being. However, through conscious choices, small practical changes and actions, we can help to reduce our anxiety and stress.
Strategies to cope with the anxiety, stress or worry that may have risen:
- Limit the flow of information and the time you spend reading about the virus on social media and news sites. To keep us updated on the most important information, it can be sufficient to read briefly the news for example, once per day. If you read about the corona virus several times a day, it may result in anxiety being triggered over and over, which in turn keeps the anxiety levels elevated for longer periods of time. Read information from reliable sources, to avoid news that circulates around sensationalism and false information. Reliable information can for example be found at https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates.
- Focus on what you can control. Follow the advice and recommendations provided by the authorities and the university, including information regarding good hygiene and social interaction with other people. If you find yourself feeling stuck in anxious thoughts about something you cannot control, instead try to gently and consciously direct your attention to something completely different. For example, focus on things that you have previously been interested in: hobbies, exercise or the like. Things that remind you of the normality of life and of the fact that there are things that are unchanged.
- Take care of yourself – continue with your everyday life and normal routines as best you can. It is understandable if you find that this unusual situation affects your studies adversely. It takes energy for us when we need to change our daily routines, but at the same time, we can help strengthen and restore our energy-levels and sense of security by finding new routines and habits wherever it is possible. An example of this could be to stick to a certain timetable, as if you were at work, even though you actually study at home. Share your ideas on helpful study-routines and enjoyable leisure activities with others! When creating new habits and routines, it is good to remember that likely all of us benefit from reducing our overall load, e.g. the amount of work, responsibilities and demands we put on ourselves, when we experience a higher level of emotional and mental strain.
- Stay in touch with friends and family. In stressful situations, the emotional support from others can become central in reducing our anxiety and stress. Seek out people who can strengthen your sense of calm and security. Do nice things together and share the feelings you are experiencing. Try to avoid discussions about themes that lead to increased catastrophic thinking.
- If necessary, seek professional support. If the feeling of anxiety and stress grows and start to affect your everyday life and your studies in a harmful way, it is good to seek for help. The study psychologist is here for you if you experience difficulties in your studies or if you feel you need to talk to someone.
At this time, all contact is offered virtually. To make an appointment, please contact me by phone, sms or e-mail.
Study psychologist Fanny Hedenborg
Tel: +358 50 448 9172
Email: study psychologist (at) hanken.fi
OTHER AVAILABLE RESOURCES:
The student priest at Hanken
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone / Whatsapp: 050 380 0662
- Anonymous chat during on-call times, for more information: https://www.helsinginseurakunnat.fi/artikkelit/chattamedstudentprasten
Crisis helpline in English
- Phone: 09 2525 0112
Mondays and Tuesdays between 11-15 o’clock
Wednesdays between 13-16 and 17-21 o’cklock
Thursdays between 10-15 o’cklock