The Mental Health Aspects of COVID-19

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During these difficult times, teens are finding it hard to make their days worthwhile and it's hard for them to find happiness when they are alone in their room, spending most of their time thinking about their future. Although most of us have school to keep us occupied and finally give us some contact with the outside world, it still doesn’t seem to shake off that feeling of loneliness and never-ending days. According to Mental Health America, “Youth mental health is worsening. 9.7% of youth in the U.S. have severe major depression, compared to 9.2% in last year’s dataset.” This is the highest rate that is being shown among young adults. This increase in mental issues among teenagers is a result of the global pandemic.

The common effects of depression in teenagers include anxiety and stress. There are many ways teenagers can relieve their stress and anxiety. One activity is exercising. According to the research being done at Harvard Medical School, “The mental benefits of aerobic exercise have a neurochemical basis. Exercise reduces levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that is the body's natural painkillers, and mood elevators.” Many teenagers may be out of their comfort zone, but different hobbies help relieve that stress and anxiety.

Some of the hobbies I have that help me calm down and relax are reading and yoga. For me, reading helps me escape from the world around me and I get to imagine that I am a part of a fantasy world. Sometimes when life gets too hard you need to create a space where you can feel comfortable and at peace. Yoga helps me control my anxiety and control my breathing whenever I'm having a bad day. Ultimately, to combat negative mental health effects from this pandemic, I would recommend trying hobbies. Try practicing hobbies that help you relax and make you happy.

Camillia Mendez, TeensForHope Head Editor

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