pandemic Tag

Parker Bates from This is Us on His Pandemic and Pearson Life Parker Bates plays young Kevin Pearson in the hit show This Is Us. We caught up with the teen actor to chat about the show, his advice to other teens about coping with pandemic life, and the very Pearson-esque advice he got from his on-screen dad, Milo Ventimiglia. By Julyanna Trickey You have played the character of young Kevin on NBC’s This Is Us for about six years now. What has been your favourite part of working on this show? It’s always fun when I get to work with Milo, just me and him. It’s always super fun because I get to learn a lot from him. Before Covid, I learned a lot about the directing side of things and more of the camera operating stuff so that has been pretty cool. But mostly my favourite has been just being on set and hanging out with my friends. Since I’ve known them for six years now, they’re like my family. Whenever I’m on set I just have so much fun with them. Do you keep in contact with your castmates a lot outside of work? Yes. Me and my siblings on the show have a little group chat called “The Mini Big Three” that we keep in touch with. I see Milo sometimes too just to hang out and chat. What have you noticed is different about your job since the pandemic started? Every other day you have to get tested or sometimes it’s every day. So, it’s been kind of weird going to the city just to get tested. On set, there are these boxes that we get to take our masks off in to eat something. They look a bit like a hockey penalty box so that’s kind of fun. But we have still been working a lot so at least that has been normal. How are you coping with the Covid-19 pandemic? It’s been a rough year! I’ve just been trying to stay busy and get outside as much as I can. I’ll go exercise and I’ll go play golf a lot. It’s been one of my main hobbies that I can do with my dad. I usually play soccer, but I haven't been able to do that because of the pandemic. We’ve also been cooking and baking a lot! I have made A LOT of cookies. So yeah, just trying to stay busy! What is

3 Ways To Help Your Teen Cope with the Pandemic By Julyanna Trickey This pandemic sucks, we all know it. But how has it affected our teenagers and their mental health? How well are they coping with not seeing friends regularly, not playing sports and not getting to just live a normal teenage life? Everyone is feeling the stress of this pandemic but it has affected our teens immensely. In a recent survey by the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health and the CHEO Research Institute of 1,341 young kids, 61 per cent of teenagers have reported a worsening of their mental health since Covid-19 started. We chat with Dr. Mario Cappelli, a clinical psychologist with 25 years’ experience specializing in youth mental health, about our teenagers and how they are coping through Covid-19. This pandemic is hard on everyone but especially for teenagers. How has this pandemic affected teenager mental health overall? Overall, we’ve seen a decrease in the general mental health of teens. I think there is lots of well-documented evidence that Canadian, American and international teenagers are experiencing increases in anxiety, mood problems like sadness and withdrawal, and more recently we are starting to see an increase in more serious illnesses like some of the major eating disorders. I think that, without a doubt, there has been a substantial impact on mental health. But I don’t want to say all kids are equally affected because that isn’t true. And despite the impact on mental health, a lot of kids are able to do a lot of the things they normally do. This is an important statement because it tells us that there is a lot of resiliency amongst our young people. They have still managed to get through the challenges they have had to face and have managed to cope. But there are levels to it. There have been differential effects on young people who had a prior mental illness versus those who were healthy before, so you start to see some differences. Are teenagers who haven’t experienced anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems at risk now? In our own research, we have found that kids with no prior history of mental health concerns have reported increased stress, increased worry about the future, and an overall negative effect on their mental health because of the pandemic. But what they wanted for support wasn’t necessarily seeing a therapist or seeing a psychologist,

5 Ways to Get Your Teen Off Their Screens By Rayyan El-Baf Do you have bored teenagers roaming around the house? Without other activities like sports and clubs that normally keep them busy, their go-to boredom beater is probably being on their phones or playing video games. And, let’s be honest, we are likely on our phones more than we should be ourselves, simply because we are bored too. So what else can teenagers do to beat those boredom blues? For some inspiration, here are five activities that your teens (and you) can enjoy without looking at a screen. Learn a new Skill Teenagers typically run on a very specific schedule between school, extracurriculars, homework, socializing and hobbies. Amid the heavy schedule of their lives, it may be difficult for teens to engage in current or new hobbies. The pandemic and lockdowns have given everyone a lot of newfound free time; so why not learn a new skill? Hobbies that don’t include screen time could vary from painting, drawing, learning how to play an instrument, knitting, cooking, or learning a new language. Learning a new skill is a great way to engage your teens’ minds while stuck at home. Complete a puzzle Puzzles are great for the sake of passing time. Lockdowns may make the day seem laboriously long and completing a puzzle is a great way to make time fly and activate your critical thinking skills. These puzzles can be done individually or together as a family if you want to make a day out of it. Family members can also complete different puzzles and then compare them after completion. Puzzles can vary from classic 1000-piece jigsaw-themed puzzles or Rubik’s puzzles. Get Moving If you have access to a front yard or a backyard, this is an excellent opportunity for teens to get exercise with outdoor sports and activities. Shooting basketballs or kicking a soccer ball is a fun activity to get their bodies moving. Other sports such as football and softball can be played among siblings or between parent and teen. If your teen doesn’t feel like exerting themselves, why not do some chalk art on the pavement! Family Games Being in lockdowns creates a strong sense of loneliness and isolation. Engaging as a family to play board games, card games, and other family games is a fun way to pass time, socialize, and curb the cycle of isolation. You can engage in classic card games and other

5 Tips to Help Kids Find Inner Peace During the Pandemic This school year looks like nothing we’ve seen before. Among the many challenges teenagers and young adults are facing in their life, a global pandemic is sure to add some stress! Conversations with your child about mindfulness will have immediate benefits to their mental well-being. It will not only help them navigate the unprecedented school year ahead, but it will also introduce healthy habits they can build on for a lifetime of inner peace. Of all the ancient and modern practices designed to wake us up, the simple practice of mindfulness has arrived at the forefront of our cultural sensibility. Over 30 years ago, when Jon Kabat-Zinn began sitting and adapting Zen Buddhist mindfulness practices to the healthcare arena at UMass Medical Center and writing Full Catastrophe Living, no one and certainly not he, could have predicted the Mindful Revolution. While so much is out of our control right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more vital than ever to focus on taking care of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This must begin with the personal responsibility of mindful living. Here are some proactive everyday tips to help your child maintain his/her mental health and find inner peace during times of unrest and uncertainty: Stay Balanced and Grounded through Self-Care Remember you’re not alone if you’re worried or anxious. Schedule self-care into your day and do at least one thing for yourself. Go for a walk, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee or tea, take a long shower or bath, etc. Tune into your breath and body regularly Simply bring your attention to your breath, noticing each inhale and exhale. At the same time, feel both feet grounded to the earth. Your breath becomes an anchor in the body to the present moment. Bringing our attention to the present helps relax the body and mind and lessen any worried or anxious thoughts you have. Express your feelings to close friends and family, don’t keep them inside Worries or anxious thoughts can seem more difficult if we keep them inside. It helps to share and express your feelings to someone you trust. Make human connection a priority for your mental health several times a week and you’ll feel less alone. Consider limiting time on social media and watching the news You’ve probably heard this before but make some positive choices for yourself about how much time you look at social media