COVID-19: Stress Throughout the Generations

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Bridget B., editor

There are increasing levels of stress that the youth are facing. The younger generations are experiencing more stress than any older generation is facing today. This stress affects many people on a daily basis whether it be from school or homelife, especially recently with COVID-19. There are many temporary solutions to try and improve stress levels, but everyone has different ways of coping and ways that work better for them as an individual. 

 

Statistics

For years there has been a downward spiral for teens’ and youths’ wellbeing. The mental health for teens has recently been shown to be worse than adults, including higher levels of stress. The 2018 American Psychological Association (APA) survey shows only 45% of Gen Z have “excellent” mental health. More than half of Generation Z have been said to have poor or below good mental health, which is shown in none of the other generations. Most of the stress teenagers face is due to school, proper self-care, social media, and national issues in the news. Another 2018 APA survey shows the stress that is caused by national issues in the news, from climate change to mass shootings. The survey reveals Gen Z experiences more stress than any adults on these global issues. When it comes to school, most teenagers feel overworked by their schoolwork, which anyone out of school (primarily adults) would not face. Kids’ and teens’ minds are not fully developed, so the stress might be affecting them more. Gen Z’s mental health has shown to be the worst of any others in recent years, but recently millennials and generation Xs’ mental health has also dropped extremely quickly. The root of their stress is due to the recent Coronaviris, also known as COVID-19. COVID-19 has brought many people to stress for themselves and others. Millennials are another generation that has been facing stress for years, but in different ways than Gen Z. The spread of the virus has increased the stress that these millennials are facing. When it comes to finances the APA says, “Most adults are concerned that the coronavirus will have a serious negative impact on their finances (57%) and almost half are worried about running out of food, medicine, and/or supplies. Two-thirds of Americans (68%) fear that the coronavirus will have a long-lasting impact on the economy.” The adults referenced consist of older Gen Z, Gen Y (millennials), and Gen X. Besides the virus and the stress, the mental health rates are still decreasing and Gen Z suffers from it the most. There are still ways to improve your state of health while the COVID-19 pandemic is occurring. Especially at a time like this when society is required to stay quarantined, de-stressing and staying calm is to be prioritized while keeping safe. 

 

Solutions

Typically, embracing nature and the outdoors is important but is not always possible with quarantining. Coping with the stress and giving ourselves activities are both important when there is time and when it helps most. Some solutions could be listening to your favorite music, changing your environment, reading a book, meditating, stretching, exercising, using your creativity, and/or creating a new routine for yourself. Since being in groups is not recommended at this time, send a message or video chat with the people who make you happy. Whatever it might be, find the thing that works for you. It is important to stay indoors, stay safe, and wash your hands at the time of this virus’s outbreak. 

 

Resources

Divecha, Diana. “Our Teens Are More Stressed Than Ever: Why, and What Can You Do About It?” Developmental Science, Developmental Science, 9 May 2019, www.developmentalscience.com/blog/2019/5/7/our-teens-are-more-stressed-than-ever.

Gilchrist, Karen. “Psychology Experts Share Their Tips for Safeguarding Your Mental Health during Quarantine.” CNBC, CNBC, 20 Mar. 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-tips-for-protecting-your-mental-health-during-quarantine.html.

Health, Virtua. “10 Quick Ways to De-Stress.” Virtua Health System: South Jersey Healthcare & Hospitals, 20 Dec. 2018, www.virtua.org/articles/10-quick-ways-to-de-stress.

Reinberg, Steven. “Young Adults Are America’s Most Stressed Generation: Survey.” MedicineNet, MedicineNet, 8 Feb. 2013, www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=167665.

The survey, American Psychological Association. “Stress in America Generation Z.” American Psychological Association, Oct. 2018, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2018/stress-gen-z.pdf.

Stieg, Cory. “The Psychological Reasons Why Gen X May Be Taking COVID-19 More Seriously than Boomers and Millennials.” CNBC, CNBC, 19 Mar. 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/03/18/psychological-reason-why-gen-x-is-taking-covid-19-pandemic-seriously.html.

The survey, American Psychiatric Association. “New Poll: COVID-19 Impacting Mental Well-Being: Americans Feeling Anxious, Especially for Loved Ones; Older Adults Are Less Anxious.” New Poll: COVID-19 Impacting Mental Well-Being: Americans Feeling Anxious, Especially for Loved Ones; Older Adults Are Less Anxious, 25 Mar. 2020, www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/news-releases/new-poll-covid-19-impacting-mental-well-being-americans-feeling-anxious-especially-for-loved-ones-older-adults-are-less-anxious.