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Handle worry and anxiety caused by COVID-19

The developments across the globe due to COVID-19 have affected us all, some less and some more. It may cause you to feel worried or anxious about your own health, about one of your relatives falling ill or about how the virus will affect society. It is understandable to feel worried.

Worry and anxiety are not dangerous, and, to some degree, it can even be helpful. Nevertheless, it is important to seek help if you are so worried or anxious that it affects your mental health and wellbeing, and you find it difficult to cope.

Some advice on how to cope with your worries on your own:

Limit the intake of news

It is good to stay updated on the current situation, but make sure to fact-check information and use credible sources you can trust. If you notice that your search for information is getting exaggerated and that your worries are amplified by what you read, try to limit the time you spend on following the news.

Reasonable safety precautions

Follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s advice and recommendations. Excessive safety precautions, such as washing your hands several times after another often leads to increased worries over time. If you realise that your safety precautions are getting excessive, try to return to the public advice and recommendations.

Sustainable routines

With increasing worries and anxiety, it is common to lose your appetite and sleep worse, but equally, worries and anxiety can be amplified when you are tired, hungry and stressed. This is why it is particularly important that you stick to your normal routines for eating, sleeping and exercising.

Talk to someone

Talking to someone about your worries can be of great help. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.

Accept your worries

It is normal to feel worried or scared, it is a part of human survival. Try to talk to yourself in the same friendly and calming way that you would use if you talked to a friend. Remember that it is OK to have feelings, and to share your concerns with others.

Interrupt your worries with an activity

Change your focus by doing things that you like and that puts you in a different frame of mind. For instance, you can contact family and friends, read a book, listen to music, exercise or spend time in nature.

Avoid the use of alcohol or other drugs to repress your emotions

Worry can increase your urge for alcohol and it is easy to lose control and start drinking alcohol in higher quantities and more frequently. Since alcohol tends to have a numbing effect, it can feel soothing to drink, but in the long run there is a risk of serious effects.

Seek help

There is a fine line between normal worry and excessive worry. In a situation like the one we are in now, it can be extra tough to determine if your worries are reasonable. If you are so worried or anxious that you find it difficult to handle, or if it stops you in your everyday life, it is important that you seek help.

Students who are worried about their studies or their mental wellbeing based on the current situation are welcome to get in touch with the Student Health Service during the phone hours.

Student Health Service contact details

 

More advice

Find out more about anxiety

1177 Vårdguiden about anxiety

Advice and counselling by phone:

These are some examples of external helplines you can contact

The Red Cross, open weekdays from 12.00–16.00 on 0771-900 800

The Church of Sweden, open weekdays 13.00–21.00, weekends 16.00–21.00 on 0771-800 650

The Church of Sweden accepts calls from anyone, regardless of religious belief and sexual orientation. All conversations are anonymous and confidential. Find out more about the Church of Sweden in English.

Advice and counselling by written chat:

Church of Sweden 

Create a user. An answer will arrive to your account within 72 hours.

Insurance

Find out about Student IN/FAS/FAS plus

CSN

For students who get Swedish student finance from CSN, the Government has reported that students will receive their funding even if education changes. Students do not need to contact CSN. Payments will be carried out as usual. Find out more on Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN.