The teenage years are considered to be the most difficult period of a person’s life. All the hormonal changes and emotional rollercoaster is already too much to handle for a teenager, add to that the trauma of Covid-19. The new normalcy is being locked up at home with classes being taught online and using the phone to keep up with social life. Focusing on your mental health is important at all times but it becomes even more crucial while facing an existential crisis such as this. If you are feeling sad, lonely, or depressed or know someone whose mental health is deteriorating because of Covid-19, please look at our five strategies to help protect your and other’s mental health.
1. Avoid Fake News
Staying informed on current events is very important and one should always keep track of what is happening around the world. However, in the information age where the news is available at the tip of your fingers, the social media is also abuzz with fake and terror-inducing news. This can make you paranoid and increase your levels of anxiety. For the sake of your mental health, don’t believe everything you read. Try to get your information from credible sources instead. You can count on your trustworthy national news media companies or the WHO for information on the latest developments of the virus. Apply due diligence and check for the authenticity of any news you come across.
2. Learn New Things
Take this time given by COVID-19 as a blessing. If you have ever wanted to try out new things but failed to do so due to time constraints, this is the perfect time to learn. Learn to cook, get creative on famous video apps & websites, write poems and stories, start a new music class or talk to your childhood friends, and catch up. Being stuck in the house doesn’t have to be boring. You can always strive for productivity by reading new books or learning how to dance. You can take this time as an opportunity to spend some quality time with your family.
3. Maintain a Healthy Routine
Just because everything is locked down, doesn’t mean you stop moving too. Mental and physical health go hand in hand. Yes, times are hard but that doesn’t mean you ignore your health completely. If anything, this is the time for you to get stronger. Try to maintain your earlier routine of getting up and sleeping at the same time. Make sure to maintain good hygiene and always eat healthy meals on a regular interval.
In the current pandemic, it is normal to have feelings of fear and anxiety. The best way to cure this is to reach out to others to help overcome such feelings. Teenagers may particularly be wary of reaching out to others, but we urge you to reach out to people you’re comfortable with. It is absolutely fine to be vulnerable at times because we are all human and there is nothing wrong with expressing our emotions.
Also, check on your loved ones, your friends and family and ask if they are doing well. If you feel someone is acting wayward or differently, be there for them. You don’t need to do much, just listen without judgment. When the time comes, they’ll surely be there for you too.
5. Do what’s best for you
Amidst this lockdown, teenagers may feel that they’re missing out on too much like going to the movies with their friends or their friends’ birthdays. Staying indoors and keeping to your room is the new normal which may bring feelings of sadness or disappointment. The best way to deal with these feelings is to make peace with your current situation. Some may want to deal with this by making art, some may want to rewatch an old series and some may want to talk to their friends over Skype. It’s normal for you to deal with the situation the best way you can. Everyone deals with things at their own pace and their own way. Do whatever you can to make your situation better.
In the wake of this existential crisis, let’s be thoughtful towards each other and mindful of how we react and what we share. If you know someone is feeling low, let us reach out to them. Do not be afraid to seek help from professionals if things get out of hand. Let’s all help remove the stigma around mental health and speak up more.