Uncertainty brings anxiety – it’s natural.
It’s quite normal for us to feel stressed or worried when we are unsure of what’s going to to be happening in the near future. We also feel stressed and anxious when daily routines change and we have to find different ways of doing our tasks. While some of us may adjust to such changes or uncertainties quite easily, the majority of us will feel some level of stress and anxiety.
The outbreak of CoronaVirus has impacted the whole world in such grand ways. From our travels being limited, to our numbers at the shops, schools moving to online learning, or our increased hygiene practices when in school and out about. Whatever the change, it comes with some level of stress. Online learning came into play so quickly, placing pressure on students, parents, and teachers to make education work in an entirely different way. While there was much relief about going back to school, it left some students feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work they had to catch up on or expectations that they need to be up to date with their learning and work. Senior students are most anxious with the uncertainty around their HSC assessment tasks and end of year exams.
Now there are talks of a second wave and possible potential lock down measures coming into play including the closure of schools and going back to online learning. It seems that living with such possibilities has become our ‘new norm’ for 2020 and we need to try and ride the wave and stay afloat.
While we have pressures to keep up with our work, stay connected, stay active, have a routine in our sleep and diet, these have all been disrupted in one way or another. The great thing about these areas of our lives is that we can influence them and therefore use them as anchors to keep us stable and riding the wave despite the turbulent changes around us.
Here are some simple yet very helpful tips to keep in mind and most importantly put into practice. Remember, the one thing you do have influence and control over is your present moment, so keep making healthy and helpful choices about your present moment, day, and week.
- Sleep well – go to bed before midnight and wake up a consistent time every morning
- Eat well – keep a balanced diet and keep your sugar and caffeine intake to a limit
- Connect well – stay in contact with friends while at school or during online learning
- Tech well – monitor your social media engagement and time on there and try and avoid over-doing it
- Game well – it can be tempting to use up your time this way but remember that too much gaming is harmful to your growing mind
- Think well – use gratitude lists or cheerleading statements about yourself to keep a healthy mind
- Seek support – if you don’t feel well speak to a parent, sibling, or friend. Ask to see your school counsellor or an external psychologist. Reach out to eheadspace or Kids Helpline (Phone: 1800 551 800). You don’t have to struggle on your own. There is lots of support available, just make sure you reach out.
- We have a number of psychologists at Sydney Psych Hub who see adolescents and provide support around various mental health difficulties