Dear Dr. Alfiee,
I’m a teen and have been super stressed for pretty much all of 2020. I’m trying really hard to get pumped for what is supposed to be, “the most wonderful time of year” (at least this is what everyone tells us we should do in December), but I feel like those 2 kids in that hilarious Staples commercial for back to school. Basically, I’m exhausted and I have zero energy to get excited for anything. Help!
Dear Team #OverIt,
You nailed it, I know it’s stressful for adults, but I think we too often overlook how draining this year has been for you and other young people. So I’d like to start by asking you a question. Is any part of you feeling ready for a positive energy boost? Sometimes, it helps to begin by setting an intention to point us in the direction we want to go; so today, I want to encourage you to set your intention on feeling positive. Keep reading for some ideas on how to do that.
The goal is to integrate a structure for mental health coping into your day-to-day. This could include things like writing, meditation, reading, exercising, playing or something else you enjoy. I say pick just one thing to focus on so that you do not overcommit or overtax yourself (as this will support your success).
Now consider the space where you’ll build this positive energy. Will it be outside? Will you use candles, or do you need to declutter a small space and play music? Do you want to hang wall art to remind you of your purpose perhaps?
Once you’ve created the physical space, I want you to block time on your calendar and treat it as sacred. This is time you’ve set aside to serve Y-O-U. Don’t treat it lightly. Treat it as a critical appointment that you can’t miss (except for emergencies of course).
If you’d like some prompts on how to center yourself and build that positive energy, check out my website for videos on mental health, my Instagram and YouTube channels for quick videos, old editions of this newsletter for encouragement and most importantly, www.aakomaproject.org for strategies specific to teens just like you.
Wishing you loads of love and light informed by good culturally relevant science.
Also…You got this !