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War in Ukraine

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The current events in Ukraine are currently occupying the whole world. We are witnessing how people who live less than a two-hour flight away are losing their belongings and suddenly have to leave their homes. Countless people are currently fearing for the lives of friends and family.

Student life in Schleswig-Holstein is characterised by the fact that students from all over the world study peacefully together in the universities, on the campuses, in the halls of residence and in the refectories - including students from Ukraine and Russia. Diversity and plurality are lived here every day and this should continue to be the case.

We would like to offer our help to all students who are in need due to the current situation.

Service of the Studentenwerk SH (is constantly updated)

If you have financial worries, questions about your residence status, or if you want to bring your family and friends to Schleswig-Holstein - feel free to contact the Student Life Counselling team.

If you need support to talk about your experiences and feelings - feel free to contact the Psychological Counselling team.

If you live in one of our halls of residence and are currently unable to pay your rent, or would like to apply for an extension of your place in the halls of residence - feel free to contact the halls of residence administration team to find out what is possible now:

Burdened by bad news? Tips for dealing with the current political situation

The war in Ukraine is causing many people to feel anxious. The suffering of the people is becoming even more palpable, not least because of the geographical proximity to Germany, making the potential threat to us even more real. More and more students report to us in counselling sessions that their existing personal stress situation is worsening due to the world political events.

The unpredictability of further developments creates anxiety and triggers feelings of loss of control in many.

We would like to give you some tips on how to deal with this situation.

In the first step, it is helpful to observe your experience more closely:
What are my current feelings?
Am I afraid? Am I angry? Or do I rather feel helpless and hopeless?

In the second step, you can observe your impulse to act:

Am I trying to shield myself from everything right now?
This could be an indication of the "flight reflex". By avoiding fear-triggering stimuli (such as seeing news images from the war zone), the brain manages to reduce fear, at least in the short term.

Do I experience an inner drive, perhaps anger?
In this case, the anger could possibly also be understood as "disguised" fear" and be an expression of the "fight reflex".

Do I feel paralysed?
This suggests the reaction of "freezing". The so-called freezing reflex (first observed in animals) often leaves us humans feeling powerless and resigned.

Through increased awareness of our emotions, we can become aware of these three highly automated fear reactions. As a result, we can develop meaningful and more differentiated alternatives for action.

Fear always pursues the question "what if...". This results in worry loops and often catastrophic thoughts. It is important to get out of this subjunctive cycle, i.e. the possible consequences, and into a cycle of action. This circle looks at the question of what I can actually do in this situation in order to be able to influence what is happening (at least on a small scale). This approach prevents the feeling of powerlessness.

For example, you can influence and express your solidarity by:

  • Expressing your opinion (with friends, family, in seminars).
  • Going to peace demonstrations
  • Making a poster or sign for a demonstration
  • Writing letters to the editor
  • Volunteer to support aid organisations:
  • Sorts and packs aid supplies; Donates clothes, necessities or money; Assists arriving refugees on arrival in the country
  • country (for example, accompanying them on their way to accommodation); sponsoring a family.

It is helpful to find a balance of information:

  • Choose a time window of the day in which you can inform yourself about events for a limited period of time (!). Avoid watching/listening to the news before going to sleep.
  • Choose serious sources, avoid information channels that are known for highly emotionalised news presentation. The social media algorithm aims to arouse emotions. Video material in particular can quickly overwhelm the brain emotionally and cause you to "not get the images out of your head".

As in all other stressful situations, it is important to pay special attention to self-care during these difficult times. This means paying attention to:

  • Eating regularly
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Daily exercise
  • Meeting people who are good for you
  • Daily structure
  • Don't be afraid to seek professional help. There are many counselling centres where you can find support, and we are one of them.

Here you can find the contact details of our psychologists on your campus.

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+49 431 8816-0
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