Roots & Wings Online

Staying Mentally Healthy During COVID-19

Article by Suhina Sharma

Being a teenager is difficult as it is – and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more challenging for teenagers who have felt isolated, depressed or anxious. Remember – you are not alone! Many teens have been struggling too – whether it’s from the stress of distance learning or not being able to socialize.

Fortunately, the James Henry Ransom Foundation and the Yellow4James club (San Juan Hills High School) are available to help and provide guidance on how teenagers can navigate this crisis while maintaining positive mental health. A Yellow4James club leader said, “During the quarantine time, it is tempting to be lazy and unproductive. And yet, being proactive is crucial to a healthy mind and life.” With the lack of social interaction it is easier for individuals to get lost in their own thoughts. To counteract this, teens should stay physically healthy by remaining active and getting plenty of sleep.

James Henry Ransom Foundation notes that it’s important for teens to maintain a healthy balance of productivity and their own personal time. Being anxious during uncertain times like these is normal, but should be kept in check.

Some stress relievers that the Foundation suggests are physical exercise, art, baking, and meditation. Stress can be caused by a lack of social interaction. Some options to stay in touch with your friends and family are Facetime, Game Pigeon, Houseparty, and Netflix watch parties.

How teens can cope with stress:

• Get outside for walks, hikes or runs; it helps to get in the sun, breathe deeply, exert yourself and stretch your muscles

• Clean your room or space which helps you focus on things you can control

• Work on self-improvement gets your mind focused on positive things

• Take breaks to do things you enjoy in-between your school work topics

• Need a break from school work? Take one! You need balance and to know your limits.

Staying positive when your time with friends is limited (by James Henry Ransom Foundation):

• Remember that we are all in this together

• Decorate your room

• Take your dog on more walks or play with pets

• Strengthen connections with family

• Walks, hikes, runs, meditations

• Acknowledge that everyone is going through difficult times right now

• Learn a new hobby

• Keep your mind active by keeping your body active

• Just Dance, YouTube workouts

Overall, stay positive! A positive outlook will get you through difficult times. All in all, staying active and productive is the key to a healthy mind during quarantine. If you feel like you need help, reach out to others. Teens – you can do this!