PROTECTING THE MENTAL HEALTH OF TEENAGERS DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Being at the teenage stage could be difficult no matter what. With school closures and canceled events, many teens are missing out on some of the biggest moments of their young lives. It also makes it hard for them during the pandemic that they can’t spend time together with their friends chatting or participating in class. For teenagers facing life changes during this time and feeling anxious and disappointed, keep in mind that you are not alone. Here’s what you can do to practice self-care and look after your mental well-being.
- Your anxiety is normal: During this time of uncertainty, know that your anxiety is totally normal. If the closure of schools and alarming headlines are making you feel anxious, you are not the only one. Psychologists have known that anxiety is a healthy function that signals us to take actions to protect ourselves. The anxiety you have will help you make the decisions you need to do such as not spending time in large groups or with other people and washing your hands often. Those feelings will help you keep you safe and others as well. That is how you will take care of the members of your community and the people around you. When anxiety is completely understandable, make sure that you are using trusted sources of information.
- Find ways to connect: If you want to spend time with your friends, you can connect with them virtually. You can use social media and other video conferences available which are a great way to connect while practicing social distancing. The creativity of teenagers is awesome that they will find ways to connect with their friends and relatives. However, it is not good that you use many of the social media platforms. It could be one of the causes that your anxiety will get worse. Limit the usage of your gadgets or social media. You can ask your parents or older sibling to help you manage using it.
- Focus on you: At the entire time of home quarantine, have you done something new, spend time learning instruments, or start a new book? It is not too late yet. You can still focus on yourself and find ways to use your time productively and looking after your mental well-being.
- Feel your feelings: Missing out on events with friends, sports matches, or hobbies is incredibly disappointing. The best way to deal with these disappointments is to let yourself feel them. Processing feelings might be different for everyone. Some people might go to their friends and talk about it, some will do art, some will share their sadness as a way to feel connected, and some will go and get their comfort foods. What is important here is, you are doing what you feel is right for you.
- Be kind: You must show kindness to yourself and others. Keep in mind that each of us needs to be thoughtful about what we share or say that might hurt others.