Since last year, our life changed in many ways. Children and adolescents had to adapt to studying online and meeting their friends virtually. Adults, where possible are working from home whilst the elderly became the most isolated. Many have argued that they are suffering more of loneliness and studies show that mental health issues kicked in.
Although children and teens were born in an era where technology is part of their life they are still struggling to study online. Students who have learning difficulties were faced with more challenges than usual, to focus and grasp the lesson, even though teachers and LSEs are giving their support online. Parents have to juggle between working from home and supporting their children to follow online lessons. This is a very vast topic but I will focus on the challenges of well-being whilst living to survive this pandemic.
A study that was carried out by the Richmond Foundation (2020) shows that 75% of those who participated in this study and were between 16 and 24 years had reported feeling lonely. Although people argue that they are adapting to the current situation however, studies like the one mentioned above generates statistics that show that this pandemic has hit the well-being of every generation and every age. Being far from schools and colleges or university affected youths and young adults due to being cut-off from their mates. Those who are still studying had to struggle with not only the challenges of keeping on track with their studies but also from not seeing these mates so often or not seeing them at all. Hence, reporting feelings of loneliness and also feeling more anxious or experiencing depressive traits is on the increase.
Adults, especially parents, had to juggle between work and parenting and this has caused more stress on parents and on couples. Couples state that spending more time at home was and still is effecting their relationship. The balance between life and work is always the best option for families and couples. The fact that we go to work and meet with colleagues, helps us to appreciate our routines and also miss out on our loved ones so this makes us eager to return home from work. Working from home also challenged us in our relationships. Couples argue that they are more anxious with this new adaptation and hence, are arguing even more often. Moreover, the eldest generation reported that they had feelings of loneliness and are finding it hard to adapt to the present situation because they are the most cut-off from society. The elderly are spending more time alone in their homes and are the most vulnerable so they are even more anxious as they fear that they might be a victim of Covid-19. The fact that the elderly are vulnerable, resulted in them seeing their children and their grandchildren less, and experiencing less affection and warmth. But how can we survive this era? I will be sharing some ideas of how to take care of ourselves and our loved ones in the next blog ‘Living through the pandemic era – Part 2’.
Rachel Osmond is a Family Therapist with Willingness who works with individuals, couples and families. She also has experience with children and adolescents.
Carabott, S. (2020). 75% of teens, youths feeling lonely because of Covid, 16% thought of suicide. Times of Malta. Retrieved on 20th March, 2021 from https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/75-of-teens-youths-feeling-lonely-because-of-covid-16-thought-of.838517