Thank you for posting this question, which many kids have been asking. In regards to all of the things that you are missing out on, it’s ok for you to hurt about this. You can hurt and others can hurt for different or more serious reasons. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions makes you more empathetic for others (Thank you, Brene Brown!). So honor and feel your own emotions and your own loss. AND feel empathy for those around you. Everyone is going through a tough time right now. We are all allowed to hurt at the same time. There’s enough empathy to go around.
Can you and your friends reschedule prom because Coronavirus derailed the school schedule? Why not? Prom can be in the summertime, too! Can your school hold a virtual graduation? Or a full-on actual graduation this summer? When the school opens back up, maybe your school can host a “Last Day of School”. Why not? Think of anything you may be sad about, and find a way to make it happen anyway. Be creative and find solutions because if you are hurting about these possibly lost memories, so are many others. Let us not think of these moments as lost, but postponed. Be a hero!
You can also reach out to those around the world or in your town who also need support right now for more urgent or serious reasons. Remember–empathy is not finite! There is enough empathy to go around. It’s ok for you to hurt, and you can also help people while you are sad. It will mean a great deal to them and it will certainly lift your spirits. Take food to elderly people since it’s not safe for them to go to the store right now. Help a food pantry. Volunteer to collect masks and PPE for local hospitals. Teach English online to kids out of school in other countries. There are lots of ways to use your time to help out, and these will be much appreciated.
Here are some thoughts about how to stay sane:
- Remember the importance of setting a schedule for yourself each day. Get up, shower, eat three meals, work out, having daily and weekly goals, etc etc.
- Set some goals for things to achieve, try, and learn during this time. That will really help.
- Drink more water! Water lowers stress and anxiety.
- Have different areas around your house or apartment where you can go, to break up your day. Do different activities in different spots or rooms, and don’t forget to go outside!
- Go outside! Exercise.
- Journal. Meditate. Pray. Sing. Create. Talk to friends on the phone–old school!
- Take a bath or light a candle or both, and add soothing music. Music has great power to lift our thoughts, as does art. Look at some art!
- Eat as healthily as you can, and avoid sugar as much as possible. Sugar does NOT make us feel good in the long run. It’s quite hard on the brain.
- Sleep well. Enough. Not too much. Avoid screen time near bedtime, as that REALLY helps your sleep. Put your phone in another room when you sleep. Yes, really. It’s ok to feel tired as your body and mind adjust to a whole new world at the moment.
- Remember that no one is at their best right now, so if a friend or family member does something strange or not super awesome, LET IT GO. We’re all operating with low-grade level anxiety (or high!) running in the background at all times, so be gracious with others and with yourself. This, too, shall pass and things will get back to normal. Hang in there, kiddo, and be a team-player during this tough time for our world. We are all in this together, so you are not alone!
All the best to you,
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