Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2021

The isolation of the pandemic took a toll on global mental health, but for many of us, the mandatory break had some mental health benefits as well. It gave us an opportunity to hit ‘pause,’ spend more time focusing on self-care and enjoy some much-needed rest time. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that for teenage girls particularly, the shutdowns actually provided some relief from depression, anxiety, and stress.

The researchers conducted a study based on the diaries of 93 teenage girls in March and April 2020. Many girls did report heightened anxiety and depression levels, especially when struggling with online classes, but the study also found that the lack of extracurricular activities allowed for more time spent with family and engaging in healthy and creative activities they otherwise wouldn’t have time for.

The pandemic experience has been different for everyone based on location, family dynamics, lifestyle, and age, but this study sheds new light on the negative mental health implications that intense extracurricular schedules can have on teens who see these activities as mandatory for rounding out their college and job applications. The researchers note that most of their subjects were from middle and high-income families, so results would likely be different with a more comprehensive subject pool.

“There’s just increasing expectations for adolescents to be the top in everything they do,” said study lead Jennifer Silk. “We really need to think about finding ways to reduce some of these school- and achievement-related pressures.

Source study: Journal of Pediatric PsychologyStorm Clouds and Silver Linings: Day-to-Day Life in COVID-19 Lockdown and Emotional Health in Adolescent Girls 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Popcorn may be the next sustainable building material

Popcorn is more than just a tasty snack to munch on while at the movies—it may soon be widely used as a natural and eco-friendly alternative to man made home insulation. Scientists at Göttingen University ... Read More

Want to get students engaged? Consider career-based classes

Students who are engaged in the classroom are more likely to participate and retain more information, but what exactly keeps kids engaged? Researchers from Ohio State University surveyed 20,000 high school students across the US ... Read More

This 3D-printed eye is an eye-conic development for digital prosthetics

According to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, Steve Verze, a 47-year-old engineer from Hackney, has been the fortunate recipient of the world’s first 3D printed eyeball. He first tried the eye on for size earlier ... Read More

Senegal’s only circus troupe helps homeless children get off the streets

Senegal has exactly one circus troupe: Sencirk—and it was founded by a former child beggar named Modou Touré. Before taking his place as ringmaster of his own circus, Touré, at the age of seven, was ... Read More

New breakthroughs in nutrient-sensing cells

Did you know immune cells can sense nutrients? A new study from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has identified the biological mechanism behind the phenomenon. The type of immune cells with these special abilities are ... Read More

How to stay warm this winter during outdoor social gatherings

Temperatures are dipping and snowflakes are falling, but that doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to our outdoor social gatherings. Plus, it might not always be safe to gather indoors, and everyone will have ... Read More