Do not go to work, watch TV shows and sleep plenty - it would seem that this is exactly what every young man dreams of. However, with the beginning of quarantine in Europe, only the level of anxiety increased, as well as the number of tasks for distance learning.
Quarantine should protect us from the coronavirus and accelerate the moment when each of us can normalize the usual pace of life. Caring for the safety of our own and public, we stay at home and limit social relations to an acceptable minimum. However, unfortunately, the realization that we are doing a socially important thing does not compensate for our need for communication, fresh air and new locations. What consequences does this have for the least protected social group — youth? What new problems did they encounter and how can they be solved?
How isolation affects youth.
The times when it was considered fashionable to be an introvert and a sociophobe have passed. Now hide the sadness due to lack of conversations with friends and joint walks has become more difficult. Therefore, young people and adolescents are increasingly experiencing all the shortcomings of the quarantine regime, and it becomes a real test from “rest”. Studies show that the lack of social connections causes stress, correlates with the same damage to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Now the level of stress and tension goes off scale, and will only grow. Everyone can observe this for themselves - just stop for a moment, take a deep breath of 5 minutes and appreciate how much attention, talk and thought you pay to discuss coronavirus, quarantine?
This stress may not be conscious, but you are still under stress, whatever the practice. The reason is simple: the world has changed and will no longer be the one we are used to and where we felt comfortable. If in February there was still hope that it would "carry over", then today we have to learn to accept that quarantine is a long time.
However, why are young people experiencing this period more traumatic?
This is due to features of a difficult age. The reason is a change in the body, as well as the mind, which is just beginning to adapt to the world. For graduate students who are required to take exams of students, volunteers who are just starting to earn a living, this forced choice causes serious pressure. Closing schools, canceling favorite concerts, closing cozy cafes and restricting physical contact with peers - all this destroys the usual way of life of young people. Those who say that getting out of the comfort zone is often necessary simply do not realize that this is not a situation that tempers and makes you stronger. Maybe it does something, but for most young people, a long quarantine means the risk of panic attacks, depression and fear.
Quarantine - time for family unity or family panic? If the first is expectation from quarantine, then the second becomes a sad reality. As they say, ma'am is funny, the situation is terrible. To solve it, it is important to understand how to help young people and reduce their level of anxiety.
1. Normalize Anxiety
Help young people understand that healthy anxiety has a purpose: it warns us of potential threats and helps us move towards safety. Say calmly: “A sense of anxiety now makes sense. This means that you have the right reaction to the news about the coronavirus. "
2. Offer a perspective
For Euro psychologists, anxiety is unhealthy only when it occurs in the absence of a threat - when there is nothing to worry about at all. Or when anxiety reaches such a high level that it is not significantly dependent on the threat. For example, when a young man experiences panic attacks due to quarrels or domestic difficulties. We can help young people keep their quarantine concerns up to date by making sure they don’t overestimate the danger or underestimate their ability to protect themselves from these dangers. Tell yourself: "You can reduce the risks yourself: wash your hands and keep them away from your face, avoid those who cough and sneeze, protect the immune system, get enough sleep and stay at home."
3. “Move the spotlight”
In difficult times, studies show that young people feel better when they turn their attention to supporting others. After the flood in 2006, which destroyed a small town in southern Poland, studies found that young people who provided high levels of social support to flood victims showed the greatest confidence in their ability to solve the challenges in their lives.
To do this, Teenergizer provides free online psychological help. On teenergizer.org, every teenager can receive a consultation from a psychologist or consultant in complete confidence and free of charge.
4. Encourage distraction
When we focus on danger for a long time, anxiety grows, and when we turn our attention to something else, anxiety decreases. Many young people are not able to disengage from Covid-19, given that this topic permeates headlines and social networks. Young people can be a great support for each other thanks to social networks - suggest that you often call your grandparents, friends, and just ask them about their health.
5. Manage your anxiety
Among anxious people, anxious children are most often. This conclusion has many logical explanations, but one thing: young people are unconsciously trying to find in adults the answer to how calmly or nervously to react when faced with something new. Young people see when adults say one thing and feel another. Saying reassuring words will not do anything good when our own anxiety grows. Exhaustion from stress leaves us with fewer opportunities to console teens and young people who are upset by missed events and able to enjoy the spring. Teenergizer launched the #StaySafe campaign on social media, which aims to reduce anxiety among teens and youth. It's goal is to support psychological health.