5 tips for Gen Z-ers feeling stressed by the pandemic

The pandemic has taken a toll on us all. In a short period of time, people of all ages have had to make drastic changes to their daily lives. If you are a teen, the pandemic has meant switching from going to school every day to staying home and taking your classes online. Before, you were probably spending plenty of time with friends, teachers, and peers. Now, most or all of your time is most likely spent with family. You have gone from a daily routine that you have been practicing since you first started school to something entirely different. Not only that, but you have gone from seeing friends on a near-daily basis to being isolated at home.

These changes are a lot to deal with, especially when you’re young and have never had to experience something like this before. It’s completely understandable to be feeling stressed, overwhelmed or just stuck right now. Here are 5 tips to help teens manage stress caused by the current situation.

Establish a routine

Before the pandemic, you most likely had a daily routine to follow. It may have been something along the lines of: wake up, go to school, come home and take a break, do homework, etc. Now that you are no longer going to school, you may find yourself feeling unsure of how to spend your time at home. This uncertainty, piled on top of all the uncertainty of the pandemic, can
cause stress to build up. Reduce some of this stress by creating a daily routine for yourself. As an example, your routine can be something like: wake up, attend your online classes, take a break, do homework, etc. Planning out your day and having a routine to follow will help you feel more structured.

Focus your energy on learning new things

You may have noticed that you have a lot more free time now than you did before, so make the most of the current situation by investing your time into learning something new. Focusing on learning something new will give you goals to work towards, and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Not only that, but you will feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach
these goals. Maybe there’s a language you’ve always wanted to learn, or maybe you’ve always wanted to try a hobby such as cooking or painting. Whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time for, now is the time to do it. Try to find time in your daily schedule to work on learning this new thing.

Help your parents

The pandemic has made things harder on everyone. Maybe you’ve noticed that your parents have been stressed too. Parents have had to take on a lot of extra responsibilities lately. They may be finding it difficult to manage working from home while also taking care of everything in the house. If your parents are acting moody, try to remember that they are under a lot of
pressure right now. See what you can do to take some of the weight off of their shoulders. Ask your parents how you can help them out around the house. Offer to help your younger sibling with their homework, or cook a meal for the family. Your parents will appreciate it, and it will feel good to know that you have helped take some of their stress away. These times are challenging for us all, but one of the best things you can do is support one another through it.

Practice gratitude

Spending so much time isolated at home may have you missing the way things used to be. It may be hard to see it now, but eventually this time will pass, and things will go back to how they were. Until then, practice gratitude for the little things. Every day, make a list of everything that you are grateful to have. This list can be in your head, but you might find that it helps to write it down in a journal or on your phone, computer or tablet. Practicing gratitude every day will help you feel more positive. To learn more about practicing gratitude, explore our website.

Stay in touch with friends

Talking with a friend can be a great way to relieve stress. Your friends can probably relate to the stress that the pandemic and all these abrupt changes are making you feel. While you may not be able to see your friends in person at the moment, one of the great things about living in the digital age is that we have so many ways to keep in touch with each other.

Here are some ways that you can stay connected with friends during these times:

● Keep a group text going
● Schedule video calls
● Play online games together
● Watch a movie or show together (try this on Netflix Party)

Hopefully, these tips can help you reduce a bit of your stress. We are all going through a challenging time, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by everything. If you’ve been feeling depressed or anxious, or if the pandemic has negatively impacted your mental well-being, consider seeking help from a therapist. Know that asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength and resilience, and you do not have to go through this alone.

Ariella is a senior at San Diego State University studying advertising. She is passionate about creating content and especially enjoys writing about travel and lifestyle topics.

by Ariella Hayden

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