Teenage is one of the most exciting and most difficult times of one’s life. They are exploring their identity, their sexuality, worrying about their future, pushing boundaries set by parents to set their own and coming to terms with being on the cusp of adulthood but still at times feeling like children and being confused about which they like better.
It is also a stage where parents take a backseat and friends gain utmost importance. Where screaming matches, slamming doors, saying hurtful things to adults and then regretting it become commonplace. Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced all of us to stay at home but this has most acutely affected teens mental health.
The change in routine, the lack of privacy, the lack of opportunity to vent out against parents and teachers, the inability to meet friends who are in a similar boat, dealing with virtual learning seems to have taken a toll on the youngsters. There is a rise in anxiety and depression in teenagers with epic proportions.
Many teenagers are feeling frustrated, trapped, unable to communicate their feelings, feeling overwhelmed with their emotions, finding it difficult to deal with the uncertainty that this pandemic has brought as well as seeing their parents struggle with the situation and feeling helpless about it.
Sleep disturbances, having panic attacks, Increase in addictions, depression, self-harm or suicidal thoughts, anxiety, lack of concentration are some of the common presenting complaints for teenagers.
Unfortunately we cannot control everything but some of the things that the young people and their parents can do to encourage the teenagers are…
Maintaining physical distance need not mean social distancing. Stay connected with your loved ones, family and friends. Call your friend, have a video-call or catch up with your family or check in with someone on social media. seeking support from others helps us realize that we may not be alone
Express your feelings
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, confused, uncertain. What is important is that you express your feelings with someone you trust. You can also write a diary or use creative arts to let go of your pent up emotions
Get into a daily routine
When everything around us seems uncertain, having a structure and routine makes us feel in control. you might find it helpful to plan out your time in advance and know what you are doing each day, so you have something to look forward to.
Look after your personal environment
Create a space that you are able to enjoy and feel comfortable in. It could even be a small corner of your room or a space in the balcony.
Take a break from social media if you need to, Stay away from excessive negative news coverage or social media
Seeking help from a professional when you need it in a timely fashion is crucial in building resilience especially when you feel stuck or have difficulty making progress.