It’s not news the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to all our lives, and teens are no exception. All at once they were ripped away from their friends, sports, church groups, school clubs, jobs and other social supports. Although school has resumed, life is massively different. With these new challenges, some teens have turned to substances to cope with the difficulties they face. Because the teenage brain is still developing those who misuse drugs or alcohol are at a higher risk of developing a substance dependence or addiction. Therefore, it...

Stress is a part of life. However, with COVID-19 being our new normal, along with the recent ongoing struggles for racial justice in the Black community, we have more to be stressed about than ever. Recognizing that you are feeling stressed or may potentially experience stress is important to finding relief. There are no stages to moving through stress. Stress follows no rules. At times you may not realize that the reasons you feel or act as you do are stress-related. When something stresses us out we react emotionally and physically....

The month of April was difficult for me, both as a human living in the age of a global pandemic, and as a bereaved daughter. April 13, 2020 marked what would have been my mother’s 70th birthday. We lost her suddenly just over four years ago. This was the first year that I did not feel moved to memorialize her on social media as a reminder to the world that she had once graced us with her larger-than-life presence, only to slip away from us quietly in the night. In the...

“I’m getting really tired of being alone,” a friend said, tears flowing down her face. “I’m angry I don’t get to have my graduation ceremony,” a high school student confided. “I’m disappointed we can’t go on the cruise we’ve looked forward to for a year,” someone lamented on a telephone call. What is unusual yet common about these comments? They all focus on feelings…It is as if the horrific death toll juxtaposed with awe-inspiring stories of everyday heroes who live and die serving us all has ignited a volcano of emotions. Our feelings are...

The COVID-19 crisis has been marked by a relentless and sometimes unreliable exposure to news. We are living in the presence of uncertainty, without a sense of direction for recovery. We say “I don’t know” more than not, yet we want to discuss this time of our lives. Most of us feel a heightened sense of anxiety and are frightened about the state of the world and our personal and family safety. It is human nature, when in the presence of such unknowns and without good solution-focused direction, to resort to...

Time is an interesting thing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just ask Spiderman. Days run together,we’re trying to keep our anxiety in check,many things are at a standstill,we’re dedicating time to making sure our basic needs are metand we have extra jobs, like teacher and TikTok star. We have memes and others on social media telling us what we should be doing. If it has never been easier to save lives, then how come some of us are having a hard time with it? If there are so many things we...

COVID-19 has become a thing. It has permeated our daily lives. It has become a driving force in our decision making, our work life, school life, social life and even our home life. Most of us can’t remember the first time we heard the terms, COVID-19 or novel coronavirus. Perhaps we recall being intrigued by what was happening overseas or we remember the compassion we felt for the people who were impacted. Now, WE are those people. Our friends, family members, co-workers and extended networks are all affected by COVID-19....

Why? Why did this have to happen? Why me? When we don’t have answers to impossible situations, a human response is to cry out, “why?” Why did my dad get COVID-19?  Why can’t I see my parents trapped in a nursing home? Why? And when we don’t have an answer to “why,” we often will make up an answer – blaming ourselves, others or the Divine.  Perhaps that is a way we can experience some semblance of control when we feel scared and helpless. We might think some of the following thoughts: “I had a fight with...