Numerous people have reported that they are having significant mental health problems during this Covid-19 pandemic. Reports have primarily shown that people are in unease of their mental health, occupation and income, as well as isolation from loved ones with new Covid-19 mandates. This is occurring all while we are trying to grapple and adapt to this new normal. Mental health spans all ages and even extends to children during this difficult time. Though we like to believe that children do not have the emotional maturity to truly understand what is happening currently, they most definitely cannot be oblivious to the changes around them, seeing as this pandemic has completely changed many aspects of their lives just the same. If you would like a deeper understanding of the side-effects of Covid-19 on the emotional level of your children, please continue reading.
Repressing daily class activities and switching students to an online learning model has led to feelings of isolation in a brand new learning environment. To start off, there is a prominent lack of peer interaction while at home. Because children are facing this level of isolation, their mental health has been immensely impacted. With such an important aspect of their lives being withheld from them can lead to feelings of loneliness. School is the social hub for children and unlike adults, they immerse themselves in most of their social interaction alongside their education. Because of this, transferring them to online schooling can lead to a lack of motivation.
Reiterating the importance of physical activity is vital for children of all ages. Not only does it improve physical health, it does wonders for mental health as well. When so many people are cooped up in their homes and in quarantine, doing something as simple as going out on a walk and enjoying the fresh air is quite enjoyable. Other activities include but are not limited to biking, sports or going on a run. Physical activities provide numerous benefits for the mind as well as the body. These benefits involve protection against anxiety and depression, decreasing stress levels and increasing overall self-confidence.
As a high school student, my point of view on the changes in the school setting is more understanding of our current situation. I believe that the masks we wear are for our safety and for the people around us, however I simultaneously think that it is quite unnatural for people to look at your face and see no expression. Our facial expressions change upon different situations and in many ways they define who we are. I quite often have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that makes me feel uncertain of how people perceive me and like I am being stripped of my individuality. For children, it is much the same thing. Conversations just do not have the same authenticity they used to and a lot of the times, it feels abnormal. Though children are at low risk in terms of being inflicted with Covid-19, I believe it is more than understandable for parents to want their children to be safe and require them to wear masks. I very much wish the circumstances were different, where the difference between life and death did not cost us our uniqueness.
Mental health is an inclusive topic and spreading awareness can greatly impact the lives of people who are dealing with complications. It is more than possible to guide children through these trying times and make this experience as painless as possible. For more information, subscribe to our monthly newsletter here at Green Schools Green Future!
Blog Image Credit: Jessica Lewis by Pexels
Written By Maaya Chander