COVID-19 has radically changed day to day life for people around the world. Beyond just fears of becoming ill, or having a loved one become ill, teens are also feeling the negative effects of this pandemic on many levels.
Loneliness and isolation: As cities across the world headed into lockdown or stay at home orders, teens lost consistent access to their friends and larger community such as teachers, coaches, and mentors. Many teens are experiencing an increased sense of isolation, depression, and loneliness and one study found that 80% of adolescent girls feel, “more lonely and isolated than before”.
Remote Learning: Virtual learning both partial and full time has been a hot topic during COVID-19. While teachers have worked diligently to create the best online experience possible, school closures have also meant that teens have lost access to some essential developmental services such as occupational, behavioral, or speech therapy. A break in in-person learning may have also impeded teens’ athletic development or hands-on vocational skills. Some teens may experience anxiety over whether or not they will return to school in person as schools open and then close, and those who are doing all virtual learning may feel fatigued around video meetings and classes.
Missed Milestones: With social distancing guidelines in place, many big life events such as graduations, proms, vacations, and birthday parties have been canceled or drastically changed. It is not uncommon for teens to feel grief about losing these things that are important to them. It is important for families and friends to create alternative, safe ways to connect and support each other while maintaining safety guidelines.
Loss of Routine: Healthy routines are an important part of a teenager’s overall mental and physical health. When teens no longer have the routine of their regular school day, it can become easy for them to let routines are personal hygiene, exercise, and sleep fall by the wayside. Creating and keeping healthy routines in their day to day life can also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Without these routines, teens may also turn to dangerous behaviors such as using alcohol or drugs. If they were already using these substances, an increase in stress and decrease in accessibility to their healthy coping mechanisms (for example: staying active, or being in class) can occur.
This global pandemic has shifted the world under all of our feet, but our teens are facing a uniquely challenging time in 2020. If your teen is struggling more than you can currently help them with, a wilderness therapy program may be the solution.
Trails Carolina Can Help
At Trails Carolina, our wilderness therapy program’s mission is to give your child the confidence, coping mechanisms, and communication skills that will help them become the best version of themselves. Throughout our wilderness program, families restore and rebuild their relationship with their child. We believe that by connecting with nature in a wilderness therapy setting, your child can learn to address their problematic behaviors, gain valuable personal insights, and learn important lessons. Free from the distractions and negative influences of everyday life, they can focus on their own personal growth and healing process.
Our multidisciplinary team of caring, expert staff will be there to guide your child along their unique path to psychological and emotional wellness. This journey can lead to a renewed sense of self and a happier, healthier future brimming with opportunity. For more information please call (828) 414-2785.