Teen Resource – Guided Journaling

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

It’s Memorial Day. Even though most of us have a day off from work today, how do you plan to remember those who have died serving our country? How about taking a moment and saying a prayer for those families who have lost a loved one while serving?

Did you get a chance to touch base with that teen or young adult in your life last week? Be sure to check in with them. Ask them what they are thinking about or if anything may be bothering them. And be ready to listen.

May’s Theme – Mental Health Awareness Month

Since 1949, Mental Health America and affiliates have observed May as being Mental Health Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness.

During the height of the pandemic, the CDC had this Public Service Announcement which popped up when you searched for mental health awareness on Google.

Be Kind to Your Mind:

Tips to cope with stress

PAUSE – Breathe and notice how you feel

TAKE BREAKS – from internet content

MAKE TIME – to sleep and exercise

REACH OUT – and stay connected

SEEK HELP – If overwhelmed or unsafe

This month I am going to focus on bringing more awareness to mental health. Check out my mentor page and see how I am doing it Selma P. Verde – Mentor Page

Guided Journaling

Back in September, I featured journaling as my monthly theme. As we talk about mental health this month, I would like to focus on guided journaling to help teens drill down into identifying how they feel, be able to talk about it and get some help.

This type of journaling tends to come in two different forms, specific pages that are catered to a subject that we want to journal about and journals and workbooks which have many different subjects. A book I would like to recommend for this is one created by Lisa Schab. She is a Chicago based Clinical Social Work/Therapist who became interested in helping teens through the work she was doing through her private practice. She realized her natural compassion for this age group and was able to connect with them easily.

The Journal Itself

The idea for these journals came from her publisher, New Harbinger, who is a leader in self-help publishing. They wanted to combine the rising popularity of journaling with their long-standing stellar reputation in evidence-based self-help books. They asked for her help and a “therapy that doesn’t look like therapy” process was developed in this new journal series.

A journal is a great option to keep all of your thoughts and feelings in one place. It may work really well for a teen who wants to keep their feelings private and separate from their day-to-day activities. Here is Schab’s approach according to her profile on Psychology Today

“Often we think we should be able to fix everything by ourselves. But recognizing we need help is a sign of wisdom, not weakness. Working with a counselor is not about giving up but having the courage to keep going.”

A guided journal is a great way to do some work on your own before meeting with a counselor or to help you understand how you are feeling.

A guided journaling example

As I looked through a copy of this book, there are a lot of thought provoking exercises to work through with space to write your responses right in it. Here’s one that caught my eye.

On one page the question was

Write the headlines for the CATASTROPHE that you’re imagining will happen

and on the next facing page

Then write the story of what’s more likely to happen

This is an exercise that can be used to work through feelings about something that seems big and anxiety producing for us. When we are anxious about something, we tend to let our imaginations run wild with the possibilities of what may happen. And when we compare it to what actually happens, it tends to not be as big as what we imagined it to be. After working through an exercise like this, we may be able to give ourselves a little prospective on how we feel or what the situation really is before we actually face it.

To see more guided journaling examples and to learn more about her and the journals she has created, here’s a link to her website – Lisa Schab

The process of journaling is different for every person. Once you find the method that works for you, just start writing. Let those thoughts out onto the paper or screen. It is amazing how much it helps to see your feelings in your own handwriting or in print. A guided journal will help you by asking thought provoking questions for you to think about and write about. By answering them truthfully, you may learn something about how you are really feeling.

$.99 eBook sale coming up soon!

The Way Series is a coming-of-age series for teens and young adults. It focuses on challenges that teens can face while growing up. The Hard Way is the first book, and it is a relatable story about peer pressure and Shawn’s Way is a relatable story about bullying. These books may help you to start a conversation with your teen about these issues or may give them a story they can relate to about something they may be facing.

The eBook sale is coming up this week! Starting on June 2nd, the eBook versions of both books will be $.99 each. What a great time to pick up your very own copies. Here is a link to my books tab – Selma’s Books. This sale will run through Sunday, June 5th.

Have a great week!

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