Nastasja Minja (Slovenia/Psychology) and Valentina Bortolotto (Italy/Education and training services) – Corona Story

Nastasja Minja

How can you make the best out of the current situation?

Since the corona crisis struck I have been staying in the house and complying to the restrictions of movement and social interactions. Not my cup of tea to stay inside and avoid physical contact with people, but what can we do… We need to have respect for others who suffer great consequences, if they contracted the virus. And since it is apparently extremely contagious and you never know how or where you can get in touch with it, we should all find the power within us to respect the quarantine and be patient until new rules apply. 

I am keeping contact with my host through What’s App and am continuing with our collaboration online as many others decided to do. I am working on creating content for sport psychology (my profession) while at the same time being available for my host for any activities and possible help he would need from me that I can provide online. I adapted my first SMART goal to the current situation and will complete my work on time until the first deadline.

My main recommendation for remote work would be to create an environment at home that resembles a working environment, such as the one you normally work in or your office. It is also important to settle a daily schedule and make sure you can implement it in your daily routine. It is more difficult to avoid distractions at home, especially if you don’t live alone, so you might need to adopt your schedule (e.g. work when the others are sleeping). 

Communication with my colleagues hasn’t changed much and to be honest it might have even flourished a bit, since now we all have the time to talk to each other (virtually, of course) and discuss various topics and potential projects. The things that work out in all of this are the ones that are first of all allowed. So you need to adapt your services to virtual methods until the quarantine ends. 

The government is trying to help business owners out with finances as much as I’ve heard. I honestly am not aware of any details in this section as I am trying to stay away from social media as much as possible. 

Finally, I would like to accentuate the importance of creating a daily routine and sticking to it to the maximum extent. Not in terms of being rigid (of course you can adapt it, if new tasks unexpectedly arise during the day), but to be disciplined and persistent, even though it feels like you can just relax 24/7 doing nothing. This situation, no matter how bad it truly is, is also an opportunity to grow your business and to take action for your personal development. Regarding the latter, I would like to make myself available to other entrepreneurs who are currently abroad and struggle with all the challenges that this situation withholds. You can reach out to me with any questions considering your well-being and everything you’re going through right now. My mission as a psychologist is to help people to overcome the worst and thrive in adversity and I would be more than eager to offer you my support in these times. 

Stay well and all the best,
Nastasja Minja

It is now the fourth month of my Erasmus Exchange for Young Entrepreneurs that I am engaging in working remotely. It has been interesting to read the story I wrote at the beginning as things have taken its course and now the restrictions are much less strict than before. I am spending time every single day working on this project as my host and I decided to create video series on stress management for everyone who needs some useful tips and support in these uncertain times. The title of the video series is: Coping with Adversity and Recovering from Crisis. It will be consisted of six videos (approx. 20 minutes each) and the content will be very interactive with several exercises that can help you recover your balance, restore your well-being and keep your performance at the highest level possible despite the difficult circumstances. The course will be in English and I will make sure it is be available for everyone, including Erasmus participants who have had issues with their projects due to the world pandemic. Furthermore, the content will be made in such a way that you will be able to watch this and apply the strategies you will learn anytime, as the purpose of this project is to help you become mentally tough, flexible and resilient in all difficult situations and also provide you with knowledge on how to recover from stressful events with the help of the extra material that will be provided. My host and I are working together on making this work and I am very excited that I will be able to share this with you most probably sometimes in mid-July.

I hope that everyone has managed to go through these challenging times without severe consequences and that you are successful in making the best out of your Erasmus exchanges, keeping in touch with your HE, overcoming the obstacles and thriving in times of adversity.

In light of what I wrote previously, I stand behind sticking to your daily routines and adapting them to the situation when appropriate. I am happy to see that there are Erasmus participants who have continued with their exchanges and gained valuable knowledge throughout these difficult months that are now luckily behind us. Keep it going and if you catch yourself struggling, contact me or check out the online video series for stress management once they’re online.

Take care and all the best,

Find the video series here: