Some of the questions you might be asking are, “Should I be freaking out about COVID19?” and “Why can’t I hang out with my friends in person?”. You may be feeling worried, bored, or frustrated. COVID-19 is frightening, and you are not the only one feeling stressed.
While anyone can catch the virus that causes COVID-19 and people of all ages and backgrounds can get severely ill, most people have a mild illness and are able to recover at home. But regardless of your personal risk, it is natural to be concerned for your friends and family or about uncertainty and changes in your daily routine.
How to Maintain Your Social Relationships During Online School
Transitioning to online school comes with many challenges, including not being able to see your friends every day which can lead to loneliness. Maintaining relationships with people virtually can be a challenge, and it might take a little extra work than if you were going to school with them. As long as you focus on your studies, you can also make time to connect with your friends, even if you aren’t physically at school with them every day. Read more ar How to Maintain Your Social Relationships During Online School
What Can I Do When I’m Afraid?
Even though we’ve been dealing with COVID-19 for a few months now, most of us still aren’t used to it. You may not fully understand what it even is, or maybe it feels impossible to make sure you and your loved ones will stay safe. It’s totally normal to be a bit scared right now, but just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it feels good. Read more at What Can I do When I’m Afraid?
Missing How Things Used to be
There are a lot of things you might be missing right now. You probably know what big things you’re missing, like summer activities with friends, sports games, and school dances. But chances are you’re missing some small things too—things you may have taken for granted, like sitting next to your friend on the bus every day or getting to show o your new outfit. Almost every part of life has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re all living in a completely new world than we were a year ago. As you shift to a “new normal,” it’s common to miss how things were before. Part of that sadness and discomfort you’re feeling is actually grief. You may have only heard of grief in terms of death, but it’s a lot more than that. Grief is the emotions we feel related to loss, even if that loss is something like your typical schedule or your sense of safety and control. Grief is a complex emotion. Many people recognize ve distinct stages of grief. You may not go through all of them, and you may experience them in different orders, but these are common responses to loss. Check out the fact sheet: Missing How Things Used to be
There are things you can do to manage your stress.
- Learn about COVID-19. Knowing the facts and stopping the spread of rumors about COVID-19 can help you feel more in control of what is happening.
- Help stop the spread of COVID-19 by washing your hands often with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding close contact with other people – even your friends. COVID-19 may be spread by people who do not have symptoms. These actions will keep you from getting sick and spreading the virus to other people you care about.
- Wear masks in school or when you do leave your home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. People who should not wear are children under age 2 and anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- You can be social, but do it from a distance, such as reaching out to friends by phone, text, video chat, and social media.
- Find ways to relax. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to do activities you enjoy, like exercising, gaming, reading or other hobbies.
- Keep to a schedule. Plan times for doing school work, relaxing, and connecting with friends.
- Talk with someone you trust about your thoughts and feelings.
Head Back to School Safer and Healthier this Year!
Heading back to school is an exciting time of year for students and families. As students go back to school, it is important that they eat healthy and stay active, are up to date on their immunizations, and know the signs of bullying for a healthier and safer school year in COVID-19.
Eat healthy and stay active- Students spend the vast majority of their day at school, so it’s a place that can have a big impact in all aspects of their lives. Schools can help students learn about the importance of eating healthier and being more physically active, which can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases. Prevention works. The health of students—what they eat and how much physical activity they get—is linked to their academic success. Early research is also starting to show that healthy school lunches may help to lower obesity rates. Health and academics are linked – so time spent for health is also time spent for learning. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children and adolescents limit their intake of solid fats, cholesterol, sodium, added sugars, and refined grains. Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function. Young people aged 6-17 should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Research shows that physical activity can help cognitive skills, attitudes, concentration, attention and improve classroom behavior – so students are ready to learn.
Where can you get more help?
If you still feel overwhelmed, unable to cope and as though your loneliness is affecting how you function every day, you may be experiencing the rst signs of a mental health condition, like depression or anxiety. Take the youth screen at MHAScreening.org to see if you may be at risk. Once you get the results, MHA will provide you with more information and help you to gure out next steps.