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News Youth Can Use: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

By Jessica Larson of

Though the world has recently appeared to inch closer to normalcy, there is no doubt that much has changed over the past year and a half. (And it doesn’t seem to be quite finished yet.) During that time, youth everywhere have had to adapt on the fly to changing school schedules, canceled sporting events, and great upheavals to their routines.

The pandemic has also taught us all how to be better in the face of adversity. Whether you’re soon entering high school, studying your chosen degree, or ready to face the working world, here are some handy tips to help make facing 2021 and beyond a little bit easier.

Help Others to Help Yourself

Despite the continuing pandemic, there are plenty of safe ways to get more involved in your community. Clean up a park, volunteer at a shelter, or simply help your neighbors carry in their groceries. If you’re in college, think about setting up an on-campus blood drive. Donating blood is always a worthy cause, but it is more important now than ever with the continuing global health crisis.

It also pays to be there for your friends and family. Creating a web of support within your various circles will not only help those important to you, but also ensure that you’ll have plenty of hands to help you up when you’re feeling down.

Focus on Your Physical Health

Now more than ever, it is essential to get serious about being healthy. Proper hygiene and safety precautions, such as getting vaccinated if you’re old enough, are a great start. But, you should start to implement positive and beneficial routines that will carry you throughout the rest of your life. Try some yoga in the morning before school to wake up your body. Track your water consumption to ensure proper hydration.

Start to create healthy lifestyle habits that ensure your physical health is optimum as you become an adult. This includes familiarizing yourself with your food, optimizing your sleeping habits, and finding your favorite exercises. By educating yourself now on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, you will enter adulthood with valuable health knowledge that many just don’t have time for when they’re older.

Don’t Forget Your Mental Health

Your mental health should always be one of your top priorities. Create a daily routine that cultivates your body, mind, and soul, and be sure to include time for positive thinking, meditation, and plenty of self-care.

There are plenty of hands-on activities you can pursue for positive mental reinforcement. Journaling is a great way to keep your thoughts in order, ask tough questions, and put your concerns and anxieties into words. Be sure to vary your schedules or change your surroundings a bit, as well. Rearrange your bedroom, or try that new ice cream place across town (safely, of course). Additionally, be sure to make time for your favorite activities and pastimes, especially with the constant stress of school, making decisions about your future, and staying safe during the pandemic.

Be Prepared

If the past two years have taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. While it can be impossible to prepare for the unknown, having plans and equipment ready to go during times of emergencies can not only keep you and your family safe. It can also give you the peace of mind of knowing that you are prepared.

Create emergency kits for different scenarios: inclement weather, a lack of power, zombie invasion! Include first aid supplies, water and food rations, batteries, and a portable phone charger. Do this with your family (or roommates if you’re in college) so that everyone knows what is in it and when and how to use it should the need arise. If you drive, include an emergency kit for your car. Fill it with water and food supplies, blankets, and emergency flares. You never know when they’ll come in handy.

Expand Your Talents with New Skills

The pandemic caused many people to reexamine their career path, either by choice or out of necessity. No matter your age, expanding your skillset will serve you well at work and in life. Learning a new skill can help you improve your already-existing talents and even find a new passion.

If you’re in high school and getting ready to start your first job search, consider checking out some online lessons on money management. Maybe you’re about to head to college? Brush up on how to cook (especially on a budget).

It can also be beneficial to look at professional skills, even if you’re still trying to plan your future. Learning how to read floor plans or speak a new language can set you apart from your peers in many industries. Plus, with technology sure to influence more and more of our daily lives, it is worth checking out some tech workshops to hone your IT skills. Who knows? It may spark a passion for programming, project management, accounting, and more!

While a global pandemic is certainly not something we ever want to live through again, valuable lessons are to be learned from the experience. As a young person, these lessons have the potential to set you on the right path for the rest of your life.

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