As we continue our journey into this very uncertain time, our young people are experiencing new stressors in addition to their everyday life. For some, this was to be the last and final semester prior to beginning adulthood. For others, they were looking forward to memories of finishing their senior year, prom, and perhaps college in the fall. Graduations are being postponed indefinitely, classes are being adjusted to online courses, and sports have been indefinitely canceled.
Young people, who tend to rely on social networking as their main form of support, are now cut off from everything that they felt defined them. We are seeing young people struggling with the uncertainty of an unknown future, battling the grief of lost time, and feeling trapped with few avenues to release their stress. They are reporting increasing depression and sadness, low motivation, and decreased appetite. They are missing their friends and, despite being with family, are feeling alone.
Advice for The Young Adults in Your Life
Here are some suggestions for you or the young people in your life:
- Allow the grief as it comes – and it will come – masked sometimes in sadness, anger or depression.
- We don’t have the answers on a time frame, and it may not “be okay” with respect to graduation, sporting events, etc., but listening to and affirming feelings are paramount at this time as well as reminding our young people to stay the course.
- Encourage socializing through FaceTime and Zoom meetings which will allow for true vulnerability and honesty as well as offer opportunities for some unique ways of social distancing, for example: making a meal and eating “together.”
- Remind students of the importance of a healthy sleep schedule and daily routine. It’s very easy to have their days become nights in a time where no one is really required to be physically present anywhere.
- Encourage the use of mindfulness and calming apps. There is no better time to introduce and practice mindfulness than when you are required to remain in one place.
- Limit the time spent watching the news. Remain educated but not saturated.
- Most importantly, use the buddy system. Encourage young adults to identify someone that they can check on and someone that will also check on them.
If you are seeking more help, view more about our programs regarding inpatient treatment for young adults 18-26.