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Just a few weeks ago, which seem distant now, students across the world were at school – playing sports, celebrating special days, hanging out with friends, looking forward to a lot in life. Suddenly it all changed, almost overnight. Schools shut, they became home bound. For a while, not going to school became exciting. However, soon reality dawned and anxiety and frustration became the order of the day. While all were hit hard, teenagers will be the focus here. What was taken for granted now became so much more valued. The new ‘normal’ is a given situation and is not going to go away any time soon. It is here to say. We have to adjust to this new normal.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE: Teens like you across the world are affected by this pandemic.
YOU ARE THE CHANGEMAKERS: You are the ones with a trove of ideas.
YOU ARE INNOVATORS: You can do it.
YOUR FAMILY LOVES YOU: You love them too.
Just a few tips for all of the teenagers out there – you may be able to connect with these and implement them in your lives to help pass through these difficult times.
- Talk and address your anxiety: With your family around you now more than ever, find someone to talk to. It is alright to get angry and emotional. Releasing your stress will help you calm down, and move closer to accepting the situation at hand.
- Explore your potential: Don’t forget to use your imagination. You could dance, draw, create a blog, publish a video on YouTube; the options are endless. For once, we have all the time in the world. Try to pass this difficult phase by planning and searching for new solutions. Think of it as a stop in time for you to gather ideas and prepare to put them into action when things are on track once again.
- Stay connected: The virtual space is enormous. Connect with friends virtually; chat, play games, watch movies and have fun. This may be the only time when no one can say that they are busy. Share your worries. Everybody is in the same boat. Sharing halves worries.
- Skill up: There are a range of opportunities on the internet for you to explore, that can also help shore up your skill set. You never know, it may open another avenue of opportunities for you altogether.
- Establish routines: It is very easy fall into a state of complacency. Set a routine for waking up, fix your meal times, fix the amount of screen time per day, and so forth.
- Take up family projects: Take charge of projects where you can involve the entire family, including grandparents; such as organizing family photos or creating a family tree. This is a great topic for calls to grandparents, who can also possibly describe challenging times they have faced in the past, and how the family coped with stress.
- Practice meditation: Allow yourself some ‘me time’, delve into your inner self and emerge stronger.
- Feel grateful: Express gratitude. Look outside and be aware of all those who are not as privileged as you. Incorporate acts of kindness in your day by making someone else’s day better with a phone call, text, or social media post. Volunteer to help tutor children of neighbours or friends online.
- Declutter and donate: It’s time to share. Look around yourself and note what you have that may be of more use to others, and can be shared.
To sum it all up – If you can’t change a situation, you must accept it as a challenge to use it as an opportunity.
- The article was originally published in Career Ahead July 2020 issue.