As we near the year anniversary of Covid-19 restrictions, it is important to check in with others and ourselves. How is your mental health? How are you taking care of yourself? Many of us are feeling discouraged and lonely during the continued isolation with no clear end date known.
During Covid-19 conditions, the youth in our community experience inconsistency with school structure, changes to routine and a lack of healthy social engagement with their peers. This likely has a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing over time.
Here are a few simple suggestions to offer support to youth:
It is important for all of us to take moments to nourish our mind, body and soul. To support a youth, you can model self-care practices or provide accountability by checking in on the frequency of their self-care. Self-care activities can range from maintaining a proper sleep schedule, getting exercise or journaling.
It is easy to become negative about the current conditions, but having positive affirmations to challenge these thoughts is essential. You could send a text message or put a note in their room with sayings such as “this is just a moment in time” or “we will get through this”. Overtime, these affirmations can change our outlook and open us to hope for the days to come.
With limited options for safe social activities or gatherings, life can begin to feel mundane with the same options day after day. An antidote is to create special moments to look forward to together. This could be as simple as a weekly phone call, planning a family hike to get outside or ordering in once a week from a new restaurant. Shake up your routine to bring renewed excitement to the week.
Take time to check in with your youth on a regular basis. Asking simple questions about how they are doing provides a safe space for conversation and demonstrates that you are there for them. Ensure you are listening, reflecting and following up on further support from mental health professionals, if needed.
We are all in this together! Reach out and provide support to the youth in your life.