Practicing social distancing does not come easily to teenagers. Risking becoming what may be perceived as an ‘outcast’ is probably one of the biggest punishments a teen may feel. So how can you maintain your teen’s mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak?

Explain the nature of anxiety to your teen

Anxiety is an essential emotion we all feel in response to a threat. It will bring about a response that affects all parts of our body, our thinking, and our behaviour. When anxiety is managed it can be helpful – allowing us to harness its protective nature to spur us into positive health management.

Help them to develop positive self-care behaviours to maintain health and hygiene

This will build their confidence in their ability to protect themselves and learn to take responsible action.

Help them to challenge negative thoughts

These may make them overestimate dangers, leading to difficulties such as over-thinking and over worrying so talk through any negative thoughts with them and try overcome them together.

Help them regulate the amount of information they have access to

This could be through the news, social media and online. Misinformation spreads fast and an ‘infodemic’ is as unhealthy to the mind as a pandemic may be to a nation.