COVID-19 Effects on The Youth’s Mental Health and Daily Routine

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Baraa Alhendawi, a third-year medical student at Al-Quds University, Al-Azhar Branch, Gaza, Palestine. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


As a youth, I always think about the changes that happened to me over the last 18 months, I had a nice life, I used to hang out with my friends till midnights, go shopping, try challenging games, attend valuable lectures at the university. But COVID-19 spread all over the world and pushed me to not enjoy my life the way I would like to. Now I am home, and I became less productive during the first period of COVID-19…

COVID-19 has affected many systems including health, social, financial, and educational ones. But what are the effects of COVID-19 on mental health especially of the youth is an interesting topic to be tackled. Many pieces of research revealed that COVID-19 led to stress, depression, and anxiety.

(Power, E., 2020) has published that young people are affected by social isolation, changes to the delivery of therapeutic services, and almost complete loss of all structured occupations (school, work, and training). Furthermore, young people may face predicted recession on their mental health.

Another study has shown that 40.4% of the youth group had a tendency to have psychological problems. Thus, this was a remarkable evidence that infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, may have an immense influence on youth mental health.

So now we are sure that COVID-19 affects the mental health of the youth negatively, and this could be caused due to the closure of the entertainment centers, malls, gyms, parks, and educational institutions where they normally spend the majority of their time at.

In my point of view, I believe that having an unproductive routine guarantees having a bad mood because being surrounded by four walls is not exciting at all. So, the youth have to create their routine including indoor sport, reading, learning new languages, studying online, having virtual parties, calling their friends frequently; to overcome these challenging conditions.

After considering these points, I changed my mind and I said “Life is amazing whether indoors or outdoors”, so I built a new structure of my day, I attended many online courses, I gained a lot of valuable skills. This helped me a lot to empower my mental health and now I am coping with the situation amazingly.

Thanks,

References:

Power, E., Hughes, S., Cotter, D., & Cannon, M. (2020). Youth mental health in the time of COVID-19. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 37(4), 301-305. doi:10.1017/ipm.2020.84

Liang, L., Ren, H., Cao, R., Hu, Y., Qin, Z., Li, C., & Mei, S. (2020). The effect of COVID-19 on youth mental health. Psychiatric quarterly, 91(3), 841-852.

About the author

Baraa Alhendawi is a third-year medical student at Al-Quds University, Al-Azhar Branch, Gaza, Palestine. He is the Communication and Public Relations Support Division Director of PMSA-Palestine. He is a Public Relations Coordinator at Hult Prize Al-Azhar University. Furthermore, he is working on research projects and activities with The Researchist Community and other local communities. 

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