COVID-19: Healthy Coping Skills for Teens & Youth

What to Do If You Feel Stress or Anxiety?:

Your #MentalHealthMatters and is just as important as your physical health during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teens and young adults are experiencing a range of emotions, as a weekly poll in late February 2020 shows the top three current moods as “frustrated” (54 percent), “nervous” (49 percent), and “disconnected” (40 percent). Additionally, many teens are feeling stress and anxiety, combined with feeling extremely bored.  We get it and want you to know that it is going to be OK!! 

The Maryland Department of Health recommends the following for youth and teens during this uncertain time:

  • Limit your screen time. Limit your time watching, reading, or listening to news stories on your cell phone or TV.  Take a break from social media for a few hours each day and avoid Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram or SnapChat posts about illness and COVID-19 if it triggers feeling of stress or anxiety.

 

  • Keep yourself grounded. Exercise, play games, or take some time to read.

 

  • Draw or write in a journal or use music to express your thoughts and feelings. Do things that make you feel good and are also good for you. 
  • Plan the things you can do wash your hands, carry wet wipes or other items when you are out in public. Recognize the things you can control, like having good hygiene. 
  • Reach out to your friends and family. If you can, talk about how you are feeling. Talk about anything positive — laugh, joke. Make sure you get enough sleep and stick to your pre-COVID-19 routine as much as you can. 

  • Stay connected. Staying at home and distancing from others should not mean you are completely isolated. Reaching out to people you trust is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness, and boredom during social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. You can use the phone, email, text messaging, and social media to connect with friends, family, and others. Talk “face to face” with friends and loved ones using Skype, FaceTime, or Echo Show. 

 

Counseling Support Via Texting:

The Mental Health First Aid organizations offers a free Crisis Text Line that allows you to talk via text message to a counselor. If you, or a friend, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions or think you might want to harm yourself or others, text “MHFA” to 741741 to reach a counselor.

Counseling Support via Phone / Tele-Health:

If you feel that you need to talk to a therapist, services are available via Tele-Health appointments where you can talk to a trained therapist over the phone. One resource to locate a therapist to talk to is the Black Mental Health Alliance here in Baltimore:  https://blackmentalhealth.com/connect-with-a-therapist/

You can also search Maryland’s map of Tele-Behavioral Health Providers by clicking below:

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