Guide on wellbeing: wellbeing during covid 

Fatigue is a natural reaction to the prolonged pandemic situation. Tips for relieving Corona fatigue and supporting the wellbeing of mind and body.

The covid pandemic has caused many upheavals in all our lives. Your daily life may have been through a lot of changes with the various restrictions that have been valid at different times. Some have lost loved ones in the pandemic or reacted to others losing loved ones, or other important things in life. So-called corona fatigue is a very common experience and a healthy reaction to long-lasting stress. However, everyone’s experience with the pandemic is their own, so any kind of experience with the pandemic is equally true – including people’s experiences that the pandemic hasn’t had much of an impact on their own lives, or that the pandemic has also brought positive things, such as a welcomed change of pace, into their lives. 

Corona fatigue brings additional challenges to studies

At the individual level, coronary fatigue can manifest as, for example, general physical and mental fatigue, lack of capacity to get things done, lack of motivation, hopeless thoughts, and difficulty taking care of studies or work at normal capacity. 

If you’ve started your studies during the coronavirus pandemic, you may not have been able to experience so-called normal student life at all. And even if you had studied before the pandemic began, the challenges created by physical isolation and distance learning may still have affected your ability and experience as a more advanced student. 

For some, distance learning has been very challenging and anxiety-producing, while for others, distance learning has also provided positive experiences. In general, however, students have found it challenging to anchor themselves socially in their student group when there have been fewer opportunities to spend time together outside of teaching situations. The quality of one’s own studies in distance learning compared to contact studies may also have raised a few questions. In addition to all this, the separation of studies and leisure has been even more challenging for many than in a contact learning setting. 

Studying art is, of course, very intensive and often requires not only close contacts with people, but also various space and equipment resources. The organising of these resources in distance learning and teaching has required a lot of creative solutions, but also physical and mental efforts from both students and teachers. It is therefore important to realise that fatigue is a natural reaction to this long-lasting challenging situation. When you understand yourself, it is also easier to be more merciful to yourself. 

Additional pressures on artists during the pandemic

Not only has the coronavirus pandemic created challenges for arts students in their studies, societal restrictions have also impacted students’ work prospects and future in general. For many arts students, corona fatigue may be connected to additional stress related to graduation and work, as various future projects have become more uncertain than usual. 

How can we deal with the covid situation?

We all have elements in our lives that expose us to mental stress, but fortunately we can also foster factors that protect our wellbeing. Here are tips on how you can focus on supporting the wellbeing of your mind and body. 

  • Practice conscious awareness, or mindfulness, every day. You can start with a 1-5 minute guided morning meditation as soon as you wake up and gradually create a regular habit for yourself. Life constantly brings all kinds of external and internal challenges for us to face. By learning about present moment awareness, it becomes possible to face different kinds of challenges with a more flexible and thereby a more effective approach. 
  • Consciously activate your body’s safety system by treating yourself like a best friend. In other words, practice self-compassion. When you treat yourself well, you may find that it’s easier to see this pandemic as a period when you’ve not been alone and where you’ve tried your best, even though at times it may have seemed like time has been wasted as the pandemic hasn’t allowed us to do certain things. With self-compassion, it is possible to learn to be graceful towards yourself and to the reactions that the pandemic period has brought up in you. Self-compassion can also encourage the achievement of goals that require perseverance in a sustainable way, so that you enjoy not only achieving the goals, but also the process of doing them, in a new way. 
  • Systematically do new things. The pandemic has caused a lack of new things in the lives of many people, due to various constraints. However, adding even small new experiences to everyday life separates the days from each other and creates the feeling that new experiences and new learning are accumulating. So start by thinking about what could be a new, maybe just a small thing that you may not have had time for before, or that you may not have thought of to do or experience before. 
  • When you find yourself feeling bad, make two lists: In one list, note the practical problems that need to be solved. For each problem, write down as many solutions as you can come up with, and make sure to also ask a friend to help you think up alternatives. In the second list, write down all the difficult emotions that you notice in this moment. Note that these are not necessarily problems you can solve, but experiences that you should learn to give space to, for example through the exercises of mindfulness and self-compassion mentioned above. 
  • Don’t leave yourself alone with difficult emotions. For example, ask your loved ones to just listen to how you feel without them having to solve anything. Alternatively, you can specifically ask them to help you come up with alternative solutions to your practical challenges. 
  • Listen to and respect your body’s needs for rest, eating, social relationships and exercise. These may seem obvious basics but taking care of them affects your wellbeing very effectively. 

If you feel constantly tired and depressed, you may need to consider whether your experience involves more long-term experiences of lack of motivation and joy. If so, it would be important to find out if it might be a case of depression, which needs treatment. Persistent fatigue can also be caused by a physical imbalance relating to one’s diet, sleep patterns, or a disorder of the thyroid, for example. It’s important to remember that whatever the cause of fatigue is, any symptoms of fatigue are attempts by your body and mind to let you know that you may need better care than before. Listen to your body and feelings, and don’t leave yourself alone, and instead, seek support from an outside professional alongside your loved ones when needed. 

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