Teenage Mental Health During The Pandemic

By Kayla Kim

While the current pandemic has affected everyone in some way, teenagers have been particularly impacted. With the constant let downs of cancelled sports seasons, graduations, proms, and other annual  events, these circumstances take a huge toll on the social lives of the younger generation. People, especially teenagers, have lost the authentic in-person interaction and are deprived of  the social aspects of their lives. Naturally, the continual disappointment leads to sadness. Recent studies show, depression and anxiety rates have increased by an additional 18,000 people in comparison to January. For teenagers, coping during  this tough time, emotionally, can be strenuous. Due to the pandemic, they often feel hopeless, anxious, or angry and can have a hard time dealing with these emotions. Westmont senior, Luca Zaya, expresses how Covid-19 is “a blessing and a curse. The pandemic took a toll on my mental health and made me sad and anxious about what the year had in plan especially since I was starting my senior year. But spending time with my family has helped all of us grow closer and it has made me appreciate my friends more because of how much I realized I value social interaction.” Spending time with family helps teenagers push through such tough times and can improve moods. With this time, teenagers have the ability to slow their lives down and explore new things they’re interested in. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, creating a routine and staying consistent with sleep, school, exercise, and meals will help teenagers adjust to this new lifestyle. Encouraging teenagers to open up and talk about how they feel, while trying to keep a positive mindset, improves teens’ moods and can help them cope during  these unpredictable times.