These are strange times we are living in right now. Things have changed. It is affecting everything and everyone. But how is it affecting teenagers? See the thing is, adults have a bigger voice, more control of the narrative. We are forgotten, left to the side because we aren’t seen as important. But me? Well, I have a lot to say.
Iím not here to lie, or pretend. This sucks. I’m bored constantly, I have way too much homework and my mental health is rapidly declining. I spend every day worrying about my family and friends, who I donít even get to see. I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of facts and figures and lord almighty am I done with the news. So letís break this down, shall we?
School. Oh man is school the worst. Teachers donít know what they’re doing, students don’t know what they’re doing and everyone is stressed. Teachers are posting more work then what we would be doing in class, but at least weíre not getting proper homework right?
Most of my teachers aren’t doing online classes, except for one, (shout out to my maths teacher) and I’m honestly lost. I have to teach myself how to do everything and itís killing me. I sit at my desk and want to bang my head against it. I am stressed 24/7 and actually want to go back to school as sad as it sounds.
News. We live in a generation of the constant news cycle. You go anywhere on the internet and itís news, news, news. But in this moment in time? I am actively avoiding the news. Listen, I get it, you might want to know whatís going on, but I donít. I watch the news once a day, thatís about it. I will sometimes see an Irish news story and give it a glance to keep up but I donít want to overload myself, because, you know, mental health and all that. Speaking of mental health.
Mental Health. This time of self-isolation is really a killer on mental health. Being stuck in the same place is a horrible thing. No change of scenery, no change of pace. Nothing.† Itís hard. There’s nothing to do except eat and sleep. Every day is the same. But I suppose it’s good to have a routine. But I just feel lonely. I’m miserable and I want things to go back to normal. But I worry that this is the new normal. And thatís terrifying. I feel so lost.
So what have I been doing aside from panicking and crying you may ask? Well, a lot actually. Iíve always been a busy person and quarantine is no different. So hereís what I do that maybe you could do too.
Baking. I hope one day to go to college for baking and in this time of self-isolation I have been honing my skills. Each day I bake something bigger and better. Iíve made cheesecake, Victoria sponge cake, key lime pie and a host of other things. Being stuck at home doesn’t have to be boring. There is actually so much you can learn. And how to bake is one of them.
Cleaning. The worst job in the world for most people is cleaning the house but when you’re stuck inside all day everyday what better to do then to clean? Maybe you have a room where all the junk goes or maybe several, hey Iím not here to judge, but now is the perfect time to spring clean everything. The fridge? Why not? The cupboards? Might as well? Your own room that you have been avoiding like the plague? No excuse now.† When you brave the outdoors for the food shop, maybe pick up some cleaning supplies too. Me personally? Iím running out of stuff to clean, but the fridge and cupboards are definitely next.
Journaling. While some people donít know the joys of journaling, for those you do, this is the best time to get some in. Now, for those poor souls who don’t, let me enlighten you. Journaling is basically where you take a notebook and do whatever the hell you want in it. You could draw, scrapbook, write a line a day or whatever you feel like doing. Itís a great way to express yourself.
Catching up on series. I have been catching up on things that I have fallen behind on. I donít watch TV usually, I watch Youtube so I’m catching up on things I haven’t had a chance to see because they were too long or I didn’t see them in my feed. But Disney plus just came out in ireland and england so itís the perfect time to catch up on the classics, like Hannah Montana or Boy Meets World. Netflix has loads of interesting shows, movies and documentaries. Or you could just pirate. No judgement here.
Catching up with friends and family. The only fun part of this has been I seem to be seeing more of my friends and family. I video call with all my aunts, each having their own day to call. One aunt and I are baking each thursday. Iím essentially teaching her to bake and having fun while doing it. Another is journaling with me. Me and her are picking a topic and collecting things to do it. My third aunt (i have a lot of aunts!) and I are playing on journaling as well as doing a book club. My grand aunt is trying to get me into podcasts so Iíll be giving that a go. My family is here to support me and keep me company and I am eternally grateful.
There are loads of things you can do. Learn a language, learn to knit, make something creative, learn to cook, colour. We are in a scary time and we have to be vigilant and keep each other safe but there are things we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing. There are resources and help available. We are all in this together. We will get through this. We have to come together by staying apart. Or something like that.