Suara.com – The Covid-19 pandemic has not only impacted mental health adults only. Children and adolescents are also vulnerable to mental health problems triggered by activity restrictions.
Drastic life changes during a pandemic cause increased fear, anxiety, and worry, and have the potential to interfere with mental health.
To address this situation, an adolescent psychologist, best-selling author and New York Times monthly columnist, Dr. Lisa Damour, revealed that there are a number of things that can be done to maintain mental health in order to stay sane during a pandemic that does not know when it will end.
Like what? See how to prevent the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the health of the following children and adolescents, as quoted from the official website of the Covid-19 Task Force.
1. Anxiety is a natural thing
Realize that the anxiety you experience does not only happen to yourself but almost all teenagers in the world.
Losing important moments in life is hard, it’s not wrong if you experience anxiety because it is normal.
Dr. Lisa says psychologists have long recognized that anxiety is a normal and healthy function that can make us alert to threats, and help us take action to protect ourselves.
Because, according to him, anxiety can help make decisions that must be made at this time, such as not spending time with other people or in large groups, washing hands and not touching your face.
“Those feelings not only help take care of yourself, but also other people. This is what reflects how we take care of members of the community. We also think about the people around us, you know,” he said.
Meanwhile, to overcome anxiety due to COVID-19, it can be overcome by seeking the latest information from accurate and reliable sources such as government-owned websites and social media or credible media.
“And if you feel you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, immediately tell your parents so they can be treated immediately. Because generally in children and adolescents the symptoms are mild,” said Dr. Lisa.
2. Look for redirects
In life, we often have to deal with difficult conditions. However, the way that can be done to overcome it is to recognize the problem first. Problems that arise can be things that can be controlled or which cannot be controlled as it is today.
Therefore, we need a diversion to deal with it. According to Dr. Our Lisa can find a positive outlet and find balance in everyday life.
Examples include doing assignments, reading books or novels, watching movies, cooking, baking, exercising, singing, dancing, painting or even creating new creativity.
3. Find new ways to communicate
In today’s modern era, communication does not have to be done directly. You can use social media to interact with distant family or friends.
Although the role of social media is good, Dr. Lisa reminded not to go too far in its use. Still needed to set the time or screen time in their daily life.
“I will never underestimate the creativity of teenagers. They will find ways to connect with each other online in a way that has never been done before. But having unrestricted access to screens or social media isn’t a great thing. That’s unhealthy and unintelligent, and can even increase your anxiety,” says Dr. Lisa.
4. Focus on yourself
If before the pandemic you were so busy with various activities, now is the time for you to focus on yourself. You can use this time to improve your skills by reading a lot or taking online courses.
You can also do other productive things to maintain both physical and mental health. “When it comes to painful feelings, the only way out is to work through them.” said Dr. Lisa.
5. Feel your feelings
According to Dr. Lisa the best way to deal with disappointment is to allow yourself to feel this disappointment.
“When it comes to experiencing painful feelings, the only way out is to work through them. Go on with your life and if you feel sad, dive into your feelings. If you can allow yourself to feel sad, the sooner you’ll feel better.”
Of course, feelings of disappointment cannot be denied when we lose the opportunity to attend events with friends, activities to channel hobbies, or sports competitions, but this can be overcome.
Some children will express their feelings by creating art, while others choose to talk to their friends and use shared sadness as a way to feel connected in situations where they can’t physically meet.
“Everyone has a different way of processing feelings. Either way, the important thing is that you do what feels right to you,” says Dr. Lisa.
6. Do good
It is undeniable that due to the Corona virus, some teenagers have experienced bullying. The best way to deal with this according to Dr. Lisa is an advocate for every kind of bullying.
“Children and youth who are the target of bullying should not be asked to confront the bullies head-on. Instead, we should encourage them to seek help and support from friends or adults,” he said.
Therefore, he suggests that if you see a friend being bullied, then approach them and offer support.
“Because doing nothing can make your friend feel that no one cares about her. Remember the most important time for us to be wiser in deciding what we will share or say to others,” concluded Dr. Lisa.