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Tips To Manage Teen Anxiety During COVID


teen with anxiety

The novel coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, traveled rampantly through the world, affecting millions of individuals in a variety of ways. It is a new and highly contagious disease that has not previously been seen in humans. Clinical Microbiology and Infection (CMI) asserts that COVID-19 “is associated with a respiratory illness that may lead to severe pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).” In efforts to slow the spread of the virus, states all across America instituted social distancing guidelines, implemented sporadic stay-at-home orders for all non-essential workers, and closures of restaurants, schools, entertainment venues and more. Nearly every person in America, regardless of age, has experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Typical teenage years are filled with exponential physical, emotional, and mental growth, which can be confusing, difficult to manage and at times seemingly impossible to navigate. Maturing through adolescence in and of itself can be physiologically arduous and when coupled with simultaneously living through a pandemic developing situational and increased anxieties are likely to be expected. While the true impact of living through the COVID-19 pandemic remains unknown, there are an array of mental health coping mechanisms and anxiety management strategies that can be useful in navigating these unprecedented times. Consider the following tips to help your teen manage his or her anxiety during COVID-19, some of which are provided by the  (CDC):

  • Stick to the schedule: create a sustainable daily schedule that aligns with both the needs of your teen and fall within the parameters imposed by the pandemic (e.g. social distancing, wearing masks when in public, etc.)
  • Explore relaxation methods: encourage your teenager to explore different relaxation tactics (e.g. meditation, journaling, listening to music, creating artwork, etc.)
  • Exercise: regular exercise can help your teen remain physically fit as well as provide a natural release of endorphins, elevating his or her mood
  • Stay social: although the social distancing requirements prohibit large gatherings, it is imperative for teenagers to remain connected to their peers and remain social during this time
  • Talk about feelings: living through this pandemic is a new experience for everyone, and for some teenagers processing this situation, especially difficult emotions as they arise, with family and/ or friends can be incredibly helpful in reducing anxiety

The world was ill prepared for this pandemic and the emotional repercussions will no doubt be astounding. Many teens, especially during the pandemic, will attempt to manage the evolving changes they are experiencing with unhelpful coping mechanisms and/ or turn to harmful self-medicating tactics (i.e. drugs and/ or alcohol) before seeking guidance from others. Keep a close eye on your teen during this time; maintain open lines of communication, model healthy behaviors, offer reassurance, and appreciate your own parental limitations by nonjudgmentally pursuing professional support for your teen in moments of need. 

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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