How the Coronavirus Outbreak is Having an Impact on the Lives of Young People
The coronavirus crisis is having a huge impact on young people. The loss of routine, school closures and exam cancellations are all factors, as well as wider health concerns.
For teenagers on the verge of independence, losing their freedom can be hard. As many young people are regularly out of their homes, seeing friends and working, it can be very challenging to be stuck in with their wider family.
In addition, the government’s cancellation of GCSE and A-levels has been a blow for many young people in secondary education.
To Get a Better Understanding, We Spoke to Lucy
Lucy is a typical 15 year old from Plymouth. She lives at home with her mum, stepdad, two brothers, two dogs and a rat.
Here’s are Lucy’s thoughts on how the current situation is impacting on her.
Were You Active Before You Were Advised to Stay at Home?
Yes. I did ice hockey once a week and also did ice skating once a week, both at a local leisure centre in Plymouth.
What Has Been the Hardest Things You’ve Come Up Against and What Are You Missing?
I’m missing being on the ice and seeing my friends.
How Does it Feel to Spend So Much Time on Your Own?
It’s ok at the moment as I have people at home I can spend time with. Plus, I have been using my phone a lot to chat with friends.
What Have You Done to Try and Stay Active Since You’ve Been Staying at Home and Has It Been Hard to Get Motivated?
I have been out on my roller blades and trying to improve my skills with my hockey stick. I’ve also been walking the dogs.
So far it hasn’t been too difficult to get motivated, but I’ve only been at home for two weeks and understand I might be here for quite a while yet.
If You Look Online for Activity, What Kinds of Things Would You be Interested In?
I looked up some techniques for using my skateboard such as balance and pushing. There’s a fair bit on YouTube to look at but a lot of it isn’t relevant to what I want to do.
Is It Important to be Able to Get Outside When You’re Active?
For me, yes, it is. I like to get outside when keeping active as I don’t t like the thought of doing inside activity. This is proving difficult as most of the online ideas need you to be on Wi-Fi inside the house. However, the advice says you can only go out once a day for exercise.
So, When It’s All Over What Will You Look Forward To?
I’m looking forwards to lots of things already. They include getting back on the ice rink, seeing my friends and going back to school. I’m also looking forward to getting back to normality and routine, and not being restricted to the house. Plus going on holiday and eating out.
This Can Be a Difficult Time for Some Children and Young People
Speaking to Lucy it’s clear she’s a really well-adjusted young lady and typical of many thousands across the country.
But this may be a difficult time for children and young people. Some may react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty later on.
How a child or young person reacts can vary according to their age and how they understand information, and communicate. Also, their previous experiences, and how they typically cope with stress.
What to Look Out For
Negative reactions may include:
Worrying thoughts about their health or that of family and friends
Problems sleeping, or physical symptoms such as a stomachache
During this time, it’s important that we all take care of our family’s mental health as well as their physical health. There are lots of things you can do, and support is available if you need it.
The Mix provides essential support for the under 25s including suggestions of things to do at home if bored. Mind also has some great advice to help people of all ages whilst staying at home.
Active Devon has also set up a range of tools and resources for all the family. This includes tips and advice on staying active, plus a range of free online activity sessions.
It Can Be Difficult to Cope When There’s So Much Changing Around Us
If you would like to speak to someone Childline is a free, private and confidential service where children and young people can talk about anything. Childline also provides advice if you, or someone you know is dealing with anxiety.
This article is written by Karen Jones – Programmes Manager Leading on Adolescent and Young Adults, and Safeguarding at Active Devon
During these strange and challenging times, we believe that:
“Everybody should stay at home and follow the latest government advice, protecting the NHS and saving lives. However, it is also more important than ever that people keep moving, as physical activity is crucial to good health and mental wellbeing. Throughout this crisis, here at Active Devon we’re doing all we can to support you, your family and your community, so that you have the tools and resources to remain active whatever the situation.” #StayInWorkOut