Having good mental health is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. However, it can be very difficult to look after yourself with all the challenges of various COVID-19 restrictions, We’ve found some great tips from an article with New York Times columnist Dr. Lisa Damour on UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) that might be helpful for you.
1. Recognize that your anxiety is completely normal
Many people will feel anxious about COVID19, but this is completely normal. Anxiety can help alert us to threats and in turn helps us to take measures to look after ourselves and people in the community. Make sure you use good sources you can trust to get information.
2. Create distractions
Psychologists tell us that problems can be divided into two categories: (1) things I can do something about and (2) things I do nothing about. Focus on the first category to help you feel better.
3. Find new ways to connect with your friends
Get creative with social media, but do so smartly and safely. This will help you connect with your friends and family. It is a good idea to work out a screen-time schedule though, as too much social media can make you feel anxious.
4. Focus on you
Maybe it could be a great time to learn or do something new? You could learn how to play musical instruments, how to do computer coding, how to bake a new type of cake/cookie or do something else – whatever you like!
5. Feel your feelings
There can be a lot of disappointment and sadness around missing out. That is totally normal and is an important part of being human. Let yourself feel and process these feelings. You can talk about these with friends or family or channel feelings through art or find a way to get food to food banks, for example.
6. Be kind to yourself and others
Kindness is really important. Some teenagers are facing bullying due to coronavirus, but you can help. Encourage the teenagers who are being bullying to turn to friends or adults for help and support. Also remember that we need to think about saying or doing things that might hurt others.