Authored by: Lexi Bross
Teen To Teen is a series of blogs written by teen authors for teens on topics that matter most to them. Please Note: “Teen to Teen” should be considered peer to peer advice and support. It is not given in place of professional consult or care.
I can’t remember when the world first started talking about the coronavirus. I remember laughing about how we wouldn’t have to wear masks and that there was nothing to worry about. I was wrong.
I was sitting in my Chemistry class watching the President talk about how this pandemic was coming to our country, how we needed to prepare, and how things were about to change. The following Sunday, we got an email from the president of our school, who said we were going on a “break” for a while, but no one knew how long. I was staying with my sister at the time because my parents were in the Dominican Republic on vacation. My sister told me to go home and pack what I needed for a few weeks because I wouldn’t be back for a while.
I kept making jokes about COVID-19 as a way to cope, but I could tell this virus was really freaking my sister and her husband out. Anytime I would try to make a joke, I was quieted and told, “this is serious stuff.” I started to feel alone. As a very extroverted person who loves to be surrounded by people, the fear and social isolation caused by the pandemic was extremely hard for me.
This was when I entered my depression. I wasn’t comforted by things I normally enjoyed, like going on walks, talking on the phone, etc. I was frequently in tears. It had only been a few days since the announcement, and at this point, my parents were back home, but I couldn’t see them because they had to quarantine. There was nothing I wanted more than a hug from my mom.
After about a week of feeling this way, I began having trouble falling asleep and felt the strain affecting my relationship with my boyfriend. Being alone with my thoughts scared me. I was getting sad around the middle of the day, sometimes to the point of being in tears. My family was worried about me.
Learning To Cope With Lockdown
I had to make some conscious decisions to cope with this lockdown and how it was affecting me. Firstly, I decided to try falling asleep to music. I tried different genres; at first, it was country music, then instrumental music, then I decided I would try praise and worship music. This finally worked. I began falling asleep and waking up feeling refreshed.
I also decided to “Jesus journal.” I would pick a Bible verse and decorate a whole sheet of paper to that verse. This was great because it made me feel like I was accomplishing something while I felt pent up inside! I would put in my headphones, turn on my faith playlist and start decorating. I did this for hours. I felt happier and finally more like myself.
Ultimately, finding hope in the smallest of things helped me cope and feel happy; and I was reminded that doing so is part of what makes me, me! I still struggled during that time, but I was also reminded that no matter what, I was loved right there, even if I didn’t know it—and so are YOU.
There are always ways to cope with hardship, be it an overwhelming change like quarantine or the stress of a big decision.
Reaching out for help, especially when you feel like you’ve lost a sense of self, is a massive step towards prioritizing your mental health and making sure you get the care you deserve.