Mindset is key for dealing with the effects of a pandemic
My experience as a young person, without any underlying risk factors, living in Sweden during the current Covid-19 pandemic, is probably quite different from that of other people around the world.
I have been able to leave and enter my home as I please, and I have even been allowed to travel using the bus and train.
My local stores and gym are still open, and I can meet friends and family in smaller groups.
I have however, just like most people, had to take certain precautions when interacting with other people to ensure the safety of everyone, as well as washing my hands more frequently.
Worrying about my older relatives is also something I share with other people around the world.
On the positive side, the effects of the pandemic have in some ways been beneficial for me. It has allowed me to have more time at home, pushing me to start new habits that I probably wouldn’t have started otherwise. For example, I have become better at writing and reading the newspaper every day as well as listening to podcasts.
I have also started a new online course on wellbeing and joined in on a 21-day abundance meditation challenge.
These times have really improved my ability to say YES to new things.
Furthermore, I have also been spending a lot more time in nature and studying outside in the open air, which as a Swede has been lovely since the spring sun has arrived. We don’t get much sun during the colder part of the year.
Soaking up all the vitamin D has been noticeably beneficial to my mental and physical wellbeing.
All of these have also been good for my introverted side – relieving some of the social pressure I experience from time to time, which again has been beneficial for my mental wellbeing.
There have of course also been several unfortunate outcomes of this pandemic for me personally. Vacations abroad have been cancelled with little chance of getting my money refunded.
My exchange semester in Australia will most likely also be cancelled, which means I’m left unsure of what I will be doing this summer and next term.
The pandemic has led to a lot of uncertainty in areas of my life, which has been very stressful, as I feel like I am losing control over what my future year will look like.
But just like most people I have learnt to adapt and be proactive in both the actions and the mindset I have towards future events.
I will eventually earn back the money I lost to the airline companies, or hopefully be refunded.
I have applied for a course in rhetoric for this coming autumn, in case my exchange semenster is cancelled, which I am excited about.
I have also applied to become more engaged in the student life for this fall, hopefully allowing me to enjoy an even better social life after the summer.
As for the summer, I have decided to spend a lot more time with my family, which will be incredibly valuable since we live in different cities.
I am trying to stay optimistic and feel confident that whatever happens in the next following months or years, it might not be what I expected, but it could also be a time that allows me to grow in new areas I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to.
Keeping an optimistic mindset and being proactive when uncontrollable changes occur around us, has helped me to stay afloat during this pandemic, and I think it could help others as well.
Lund University Behavioural Science student
Living in: Sweden