Don't Worry, Be Happy

Extreme ironing; Don't try this at home, folks!

It's a sad fact that the Covid pandemic has seen an increase in mental health problems, particularly in young people. It's heartbreaking that many teenagers, who should be embracing life, are struggling.

When I look back to my own teenage years, I can’t remember a lot of angst beyond worrying about whether my latest boyfriend was going to dump me and trying, usually in vain, to get my homework done on time. Exams were stressful but I was blessed with two parents who told me only to do my best and not that I was washed up for life should I fail Grade 2 in Underwater Basket-Weaving and Extreme Ironing.

I wasn't worried about my image. My father often shook his head in despair at what I was wearing - my purple maxi coat with the puffed sleeves springs to mind - but I carried blithely on. The only way I would have known if I had put on a few pounds would be if my school uniform got tighter – because I never weighed myself. Now experts warn that an epidemic of anorexia is sweeping through schools.

There is a huge list of things teenagers are worrying about including bullying, featuring negatively on social media, grades, getting into university or college, body image, family conflict, friends turning on them, sex and relationships and global warming to mention a few.

There was very little bullying in my school and social media wasn't in existence. In fact, there were no home computers in existence. Yes, I'm that old!

I don’t doubt that I am looking back through rose-tinted spectacles and I know there were times when I felt like the whole world was against me, but my friends and I never reached the stage where we required mental health treatment.

I don't know what the answer is but Unicef has given some advice in Four Things You Can Do To Support Your Teens Mental Health.

If you are worried about anything, listen to this little song - guaranteed to cheer anyone up!

And to cheer yourself up even more, read this book!

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  1. Love that song but not the video that goes with it...not so much. But seriously I agree with you about how teens and young adults have so much more to worry about than my generation did at their age.

  2. Really good advice in that song but hard to do today.
    You did mention something and it startled me. I never remember weighing my self in school either. Could not tell you my high school weight. I did play in sports so I guess it wasn't an issue.

  3. Nope. That song is awful.

    I'll explain. That song came out my senior year of high school. I was in my depressive stage, where I was suicidal for a number of years. (That has since passed.) People used to tell me to smile (as if that would make it better). And that song just exacerbated things. It's easy to tell someone to not worry and be happy. It's not easy to do it when one is in the grips of depression.

    And then my band director decided to put that atrocity in our half time show, so we (the band) had to play it.

    I HATE that song, and will always, just for those associations. (The song itself is innocuous. I can admit that.)

    Sorry for spewing all over your nice blog post. I just have issues with that song.

  4. Social media definitely contributes to their problems.

  5. The real problem in my opinion is the 24/7/365 online media influence. Kids and many parents, are always on their phones reading about what others are doing and saying and they're reading the bad as well as the good and because they are young they often take too much of it to heart and worry needlessly instead of closing the phone and having a good old-fashioned chat with mum or Grandma.

    1. I agree. And the world going crazy exacerbates it. My heart grows heavy thinking of today's youths. I'm old, too.


      I did endure bullying but grew up in a solid family environment. Be well!

  6. Very good points, life just isn't as easy as it used to be. And the world has gotten far larger, we all lived in our own little worlds without care or knowledge of the wider problems. Spotted you on a mutual friends blog, so thought I'd pop in for a visit. It's always fun to meet new bloggers.