The COVID-19 epidemic has caused a lot of stress and anxiety, especially among middle, high school and college students. With the shift to online learning, students have a new set of challenges which could include having to work in spaces that aren’t ideal for studying, the added pressure of not being tech savvy, issues with the school’s technology and other situations.
Here are a few ways to help them cope that may make things a little easier:
Even though things seem bleak, there's always a silver lining. Whenever feelings of disappointment or negative thoughts start creeping in, have them think about something that makes them smile. What are they grateful for? Staying in the right frame of mind provides the motivation needed to make it through.
- Breathing Techniques
The 8-4-7 technique can help ease or manage feelings of stress. Here's what to do: Exhale deeply and loudly through the mouth for 8 seconds. Inhale through the nose for 4 seconds. Hold breath for 7 seconds then repeat for four cycles. Doing this once in the morning and again at night helps keep any physical reactions to stress away.
Exercise helps your teen stay in shape and makes them feel good. Physical activity pumps up production of endorphins, which are the brain's feel-good neurotransmitters. Even if it’s taking a brisk walk around the backyard or doing some form of yoga, it will make a difference.
Getting enough sleep is key. Having a rested mind makes it easier to take control of the anxiety. When they start feeling mentally tired and need to take a quick nap, they should.
Creating a playlist
Music soothes the soul. Have them create a playlist (or a couple) of positive or upbeat music that lifts the mood. It helps pass the time and adds perspective.
Even though your teen may be stuck indoors, taking time to speak to friends and family can make a huge difference. Most teens are very phone savvy, so using Facetime, Google Duo, WhatsApp or whatever platform is easiest to keep in touch should be easy.
Remember, this too shall pass, but now you have solutions to help with any type of stressful situation you or your teen may be facing. Stay safe and stress free!