The previous blog discussed the impacts of what young people have observed and experienced during lockdown. We’ll continue to discuss more indirect impacts of coronavirus. It is worth noting that some of these indirect impacts may be seen immediately, while others may be seen in the longer term.
Changes in daily routine
It seems like every time we almost get into a routine, we are forced to change it again because of new government guidelines. For some , a lack of routine means constant anxiety and overwhelming feelings – this is the case especially during stressful situations, as we are in now. Structure allows us to focus on each aspect of our day with more brainpower, rather than ruminating on other tasks. A daily routine allows us to feel more in control of our thoughts, our activities, our time, and more. Young people have been in and out of routines over the last year, which has caused anxiety and distress. From having schools closed down, to moving to online classes, to then being asked to return to school in stages (where they were in school for only a few days a week), to also having then seen many friends and teachers catch COVID, then again having school shut down once again in the new year. This, no doubt, had a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of young people.
What can you do?
It’s understandable and quite normal for routine to change as life moves forward, but we often have time to transition. These young people haven’t had the time to make this transition as it came so abruptly every time. This does mean that parents have to take this difficulty and support their children in accepting this difficulty and making the most of it. A great way is to use this difficult situation as an opportunity to teach them about routines and how to create and adapt a routine. This can be done as a fun activity, with lots of colours and drawings! We can sit with them and create a timetable of the week, breaking down the day into hourly slots and filling it with all the activities that need to be done. Be sure to add lunch times and play times, etc.
There may be no better time to teach young people to take control of their lives and give them a little independence (where they have the comfort of making mistakes). Use this as a chance to grow and allow them to become resilient!
During this time, we should take extra special care of our children’s wellbeing and be considerate to their difficulties. If you or your child find yourselves struggling and unable to cope, please give us a call and we will support you.