Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

Young people

With the country in lockdown to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), as a young person your day is completely different to how you could ever imagine it to be.  

Keeping active

During this time, to help you through it, there is a range of things to get involved in and help to pass the time. Youth, Family and Community Learning Service’s, Universal Connections facilities have moved online to provide the same quality service, which includes:

  • Stay at Home Challenge
  • fitness workout
  • arts and crafts sessions
  • photography competitions
  • Throwback Thursdays
  • mental health check-in
  • TikTok challenge
  • drawing challenge
  • virtual drop-ins
  • IT drop-ins
  • Employment Gateway groups

All of these services are available through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which can be accessed through the following link:

You will find the link to each Facebook page on the Universal Connections directory.

Keeping informed

Got a question about COVID-19? Young Scot have pulled together Q&As which are regularly updated.

Keeping safe

Being online could be new to you and there are a lot of ways you may be doing this such as social media, console games forums or online house parties but regardless, you still have to look out for your own safety. Young Scot’s Digi Know guide gives you advice and guidance to help keep you safe and your personal data safe.

Wellbeing

It’s normal not to feel at your best all of the time and the current situation doesn’t help. A range of services is available to you to access in different ways. It’s important to look after yourself and here are some tips on how to do so.

Big White Wall

A mental health and wellbeing service for 16-19 year olds is now available round the clock. The mental health and wellbeing resource offers online peer-to-peer and professional support for 16-19 year olds is free to use 24/7. You will be asked to provide your postcode and date of birth when you register.

It’s OK to not be OK

We are living through a rare and unusual situation, and it is OK to feel worried or upset right now. Try and make time daily to do things that make you happy. You could try keeping a mood journal to notice how you are feeling each day and figure out what helps to make you feel better. You can register to use a Childline mood journal, and there are other mood journal resources online.

Connect with others 

Whilst it’s important that we stay physically apart from people who we don’t live with, you can reach out through phone calls or even video calls to friends and family. Keeping in touch with people that you know can not only lift your mood but could also help the person on the other end too by seeing or hearing from you. 

However, be mindful of social media. It might not be helpful to spend a lot of time scrolling and reading the news. If it is affecting you, try muting or unfollowing accounts that make you anxious or worried. There are some positive news stories about the way people are helping each other at this time. Be aware that some stories are not accurate and are disinformation and speculation, and if you follow influencers, try to follow positive influencers. Keep an eye on how much time you are spending online compared to other ways of spending your time and try keeping a balance. 

Look after yourself 

Try to take daily exercise outside as long as everyone in your household is feeling well. You might also want to try an online video as many are being streamed freely just now such as Joe Wicks’ fitness programme. Physical activity helps to lift our mood and makes us feel better.  

Even though schools are closed, try and keep to a daily routine for getting up, showered, having meals at regular times and going to bed as usual. Good sleep habits help us to keep our mood stable and to cope better. 

Think of ways to keep you calm 

We all have different ways of relaxing, maybe reading a book, drawing, listening to music or cooking work for you. Mindfulness is helpful and if you have never tried it there are some helpful websites to get you started. Headspace is one that some young people find helpful and you could try - there is lots of information without having to pay for a subscription. 

Doing something that makes you feel productive can also help, maybe clearing out your bedroom or wardrobe is something you could do. How about trying to set and reach one goal every day. The Innerdrive website has goal-setting worksheets you can use.

Talking to others that you trust can also help. Reach out to someone you know or through some specific online organisations set up to help young people such as Childline or Young Minds

Managing difficult situations at home 

Life is very different for all of us just now. There might be more tension than usual. Try to walk away from arguments until things are calmer. If arguments are about helping around the house, try and have a rota. For example, you can take it in turns to decide who helps to make dinner and who cleans up. 

If your situation is too difficult for you to manage, call a friend or a helpline. People are available to listen to you if you are worried or anxious. If you urgently need help contact Young Minds.

Notice the good stuff 

These difficult times seem to have brought about lots of wonderful acts of kindness and a sense of community. Keeping a gratitude journal can help us remember the positive things that are happening around us.