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What is «Vær god mot deg selv»?

It’s a website with lots of research based tips and advice intended to give you a slightly better every day life during the pandemic.

In Autumn 2020, the University of Bergen initiated the project to help students and young people get through a challenging period. Covid-19 has affected our everyday life. We socialize less. We are not getting to know new people, we are homesick or bothered with «corona shame,» and struggle with feelings of missing out on the best of student life. This may have both physical and psychological consequences, and some even give up on their studies. The benefit of being a big university is that it encompasses enormous amounts of knowledge on how to master everyday life in all its facets. That’s why all the tips and advice are rooted in research and science originating from UiB itself.

Do you have any good tips on how to improve every day life during the pandemic?

Get out

Going for a walk boosts your mood

Physical activity has in several studies been shown to have a positive effect on mild and moderate depression equivalent to that achieved with pharmaceutical and psychological treatment


Now that there is limited access to gyms and other indoor training facilities, going for a walk in and around Bergen is perhaps the easiest way to be active.

Why is going outside so good for you

While the coronavirus pandemic results in much of the teaching taking place on Zoom, and dark winter days and screen time prevail, just going outside is a positive step. It provides a distraction from your daily routine and allows you to be social (in a responsible way) more easily than when staying indoors. The positive health benefits of physical activity are well documented. Research consistently finds that physical activity improves mental health. You simply feel better – physically and mentally – after being active. It is also well documented that physical activity can prevent depression and reduce stress. This has also been observed among students.

Spread it out

The Norwegian Directorate of Health recommends adults to get a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week. It’s OK to break this activity down into smaller chunks. Still, the intensity should be moderate – corresponding to brisk walking – to get significant health benefits. Brisk walks are a good way to reach the Directorate of Health’s recommendations.

Good for learning

Several studies have demonstrated physical activity to have a positive effect on mild and moderate depression equivalent to that achieved with pharmaceutical and psychological treatment. Being active has also been shown by recent research to have a positive effect on cognitive function, which can affect learning and concentration. In other words, from a purely neurophysiological perspective, there is much to suggest that it makes sense to take a walk in the fresh air and then return to your studies.


Ellen Haug

Associate Professor at the Institute for Health, Environment and Equality from the Department of Psychology at UiB


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