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7 Ways The Coronavirus Pandemic Affecting Teens’ Mental Health

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After months of being stuck at home away from friends, unable to attend school or go out, many teens are struggling to adapt to changing times.

Teenagers have their separate needs. At this point in their lives, they want to be with their friends away from their parents. It is time for teenagers to develop self-identity if you look at developmental stages. Some teenagers may find it difficult to understand what the pandemic really means, and how it is affecting their world.

The most common changes in many teenagers’ lives have been:

Missing Major Milestones

Many of them had to grieve for exciting high school experiences like sports games, theater plays, dances, awards ceremonies, graduations and developing friendships.

An important thing for parents is to let their children talk about their grief. Their losses may not seem significant to what adults are dealing or coping with but avoid judgement or criticism because it is not a competition. In the context of the major problems during this pandemic, we should not underestimate their feelings. Their grief and disappointment are palpable, and parents need to give them time to cope or deal with it instead of pressuring to get over it.

Feeling Isolated

Bonding with friends is an important part of many teenagers’ lives. Open up about missing their friends, validate how they feel, and therefore learn how to thrive during these tough times. It is healthy for parents to share their own past experiences with loss of friendships where the teen may be able to relate.

Unstructured Daily Routines

Teenagers can withstand this time of stress if they sleep properly, eat healthy food, and regularly exercise. It is especially crucial for a healthy mindset and their ability to fulfill academic standards with a regular sleep schedule, including times to wake up and go to bed. Hold them accountable for maintaining a regular schedule.

Risky Behaviors

Teenagers may feel invincible and believe the coronavirus is nothing to worry about as it is for older adults. Families can make their adolescents understand that they do not know if their friends may be infected. If your teenager takes that chance, they risk bringing it back to your home. Let your teenager realize that no one fully understands how coronavirus affects all age groups: Contracting the virus can damage your teenager’s health or a family member’s health.

Reliant On Screen Time

Teenagers depend on their mobile devices to talk and connect with their friends. Parents can work out with their teenagers to have structured screen time by not allowing electronic devices during meal time, early in the morning, and before bedtime. It is also necessary to make sure teenagers use social media in healthy ways rather than engaging in negative and often anxiety-inducing ways. You may need to have a talk with them to bring the issue to their awareness.

Worries About The Financial Impact

Teenagers are worried about the coronavirus crisis’ financial fallout on their families.

According to the Junior League in partnership with Citizens Bank, 36% of teenagers said they are concerned that their parents or guardians don’t have enough money to pay the bills. Money is not an easy subject for discussion, but teenagers may struggle with feelings of anxiety and stress that may not feel comfortable opening up to their parents. Parents can address their concerns with their teenagers and support by teaching them about finances.

Teen Anxiety And Depression

Healthy routines are important for teenagers grappling with anxiety or depression. Your teenager may stress over losing their regular routines. Ensure your teenager is eating, sleeping, socializing virtually with friends, and engaging in enjoyable pursuits.

Parents will also need to lessen tensions between siblings at home, because they will stress a lot more. For every family, how to do so will be different, but parents will want to think about when to give more freedom to their teenagers while ensuring their time is structured.

Conclusion

Teenagers need kindness and compassion as they try to understand the emotions and issues during this crisis. Although these are tough times, they offer a valuable lesson in resilience. With continuing support, they can learn they can come out of this crisis stronger than ever.

They can make this crisis a well-learned lesson that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

If you see your teenager experiencing anxiety, depression, and other stressors during this time, contact us today to book a session with one of our teen therapists or counselors.

Visit our teen counseling page

Contact us at 919-647-4600

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