Stepping into Life: How COVID-19 Has Impacted Young Adults’ Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the mental health of individuals across the globe, especially young adults. Young adults are at a stage in their lives where they are making important decisions about their education, careers, and relationships. However, due to the pandemic, many have experienced disruptions in their daily routines and have been isolated from their peers and support systems. As a result, stepping into life has become much more challenging.

One of the biggest challenges young adults have faced during the pandemic is social isolation. Young adults thrive on social interaction and relationships, and the sudden loss of these connections has taken a significant toll on their mental health. In a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2020, 75% of adults between the ages of 18 and 23 reported feeling lonely at least once a week. The lack of social interaction has also increased anxiety and depression levels in young adults.

Young adulthood is a critical period for social and emotional development. Social interaction is an essential aspect of this development as it helps young adults form meaningful relationships, develop social skills, and establish a sense of identity and belonging. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted these social interactions, leaving many young adults feeling isolated and disconnected.

Social support is an important protective factor against mental health problems, and the pandemic has significantly limited the ability of young adults to receive and provide support to others. This loss of support can leave young adults feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed. Additionally, the pandemic has resulted in many young adults experiencing significant life changes, such as losing jobs or delaying education. These changes can lead to feelings of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety, further exacerbating mental health issues.

Technology has provided some relief in terms of staying connected with others during the pandemic, but it cannot fully replace the benefits of in-person interactions. Many young adults also report feeling overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of news and information related to the pandemic, which can further exacerbate anxiety and stress levels.

The lack of social interaction and its impact on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of finding new and creative ways to maintain social connections and support. While the pandemic has been challenging for young adults, it has also provided an opportunity for them to develop new coping strategies and resilience. However, some young adults may have not been able to adapt to these significant life changes.

For many, the pandemic has disrupted education and career plans for many young adults. Colleges and universities have shifted to online learning, making it difficult for students to connect with their professors and peers. This has resulted in a lack of motivation and engagement in their studies, leading to feelings of failure and disappointment. For those who have graduated, the job market has become highly competitive, and many have struggled to find employment in their chosen fields. The uncertainty of the future has added to the anxiety and stress experienced by young adults during this time.

The pandemic has also resulted in increased financial stress for young adults. Many have lost their jobs or have had their hours reduced, making it difficult to pay bills and make ends meet. This financial burden has added to the stress and anxiety experienced by young adults, leading to feelings of hopelessness and despair.

The pandemic has also had a significant impact on the mental health of young adults with pre-existing mental health conditions. The isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic have exacerbated their symptoms and made it more challenging to manage their conditions. The lack of access to mental health services and support groups has also made it more challenging for young adults to manage their mental health challenges.

Despite the challenges young adults have faced during the pandemic, there are ways they can navigate this difficult time and step into life. One way is to stay connected with friends and family. Young adults can also seek support from mental health professionals. Many mental health professionals have shifted to online platforms, making it easier for young adults to access their services. Online support groups and therapy sessions can help young adults manage their mental health challenges and provide a sense of community. Another option is a young adult to attend a residential treatment facility. Residential treatment centers can provide young adults with the support and resources they need to overcome these challenges and thrive in the aftermath of the pandemic.

It is also essential for young adults to take care of their physical health. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep habits can help improve mental health and reduce stress levels.

Finally, young adults can find ways to engage in activities that bring them joy and fulfillment. Whether it is pursuing a hobby or volunteering, finding purpose and meaning can help young adults stay motivated and positive during these challenging times.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the mental health of young adults, making it challenging for them to step into life. Social isolation, disrupted education and career plans, financial stress, and pre-existing mental health conditions have all contributed to the challenges young adults are facing. However, by staying connected, seeking support, taking care of their physical health, and finding purpose and meaning, young adults can navigate this difficult time and step into life. It is essential for young adults to prioritize their mental health and seek help when needed to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Liz Lund, MPA

Liz is originally from lush green Washington State. She is a life enthusiast and a huge fan of people. Liz has always loved learning why people are the way they are. She moved to UT in 2013 and completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2016. After college Liz worked at a residential treatment center and found that she was not only passionate about people, but also administration. Liz is recently finished her MPA in April 2022. Liz loves serving people and is excited and looking forward to learning about; and from our clients here at Corner Canyon.
When Liz is not busy working she love being outdoors, eating ice cream, taking naps, and spending time with her precious baby girl and sweet husband.