Workshops and Resources for Teens Navigating Uncertain Times

By Erin H. RSS Thu, May 28, 2020

This is a time of great uncertainty and anxiety for everyone. But if you're a teenager, you may be feeling especially vulnerable. The Free Library is bringing you a series of workshops over the next several days to help you process your thoughts and emotions surrounding the pandemic.

  • High school seniors should be celebrating traditional milestones like prom and graduation right now! Instead, are you feeling lost as you try to make decisions about your future? Are you unsure about what to do or where to go next year? We want to help! Join us for a workshop on Thursday, May 28 at 3:00 p.m., led by educator and advisor Liz Sutton, Ed.M., MAPP. Register through Eventbrite and you'll receive an invitation to this free virtual program.
  • We'll hold a similar workshop, just for high school juniors, on Wednesday, June 3 at 3:00 p.m. You'll have a virtual space to talk about what you think your senior year might look like, and how to plan for the future when our current days are so uncertain. Register through Eventbrite and you'll receive an invitation to this free virtual program.
  • For freshmen and sophomores, maybe you're feeling sad or angry about having a different high school experience than you expected? Are you worried about things in the future, like planning for taking standardized tests, applying to colleges, or landing your first job? We have a special workshop on Monday, June 1 at 3:00 p.m. planned just for you, led by wellness practitioner Shesheena Bray, MS Ed. Register through Eventbrite and you'll receive an invitation to this free virtual program.
  • There are many things out of our control right now, but one thing you can do is take action to seek out opportunities to explore and share your thoughts and feelings. We'll end this series with a positive hour of support and encouragement with Free Library staff members and their pets on Friday, June 5 at 3:00 p.m.! Everyone feels better after seeing a cute dog or cat, right? Register through Eventbrite and you'll receive an invitation to this free conclusion to our virtual program.

Looking for additional resources for exploring your feelings? Check out this recent Free Library blog post series exploring self-care during these uncertain times. And although our libraries are closed and our in-person events are canceled for now, our staff are still planning virtual programs that you can enjoy from home, including virtual yoga, mindfulness, and meditation workshops. Find something that interests you today!

The Free Library also has many ebooks and audiobooks featuring tips on mental health and wellness. Here are just a few of our offerings:

(Don't) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health edited by Kelly Jensen
This book is a conversation starter and guide to a better understanding of how our mental health affects us every day. 33 writers, athletes, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore their personal experiences with mental illness, how we do and do not talk about mental health, help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently, and what, exactly, might make someone struggle. If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages, and let’s get talking.

Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety: A Workbook for Overcoming At Home, School, and Everywhere Else by Christopher WIllard
Psychologist and learning specialist Christopher Willard offers teens proven-effective, mindfulness-based practices to help cope with anxiety, identify common triggers (such as dating or school performance), learn valuable time-management skills, and feel calmer at home, school, and with friends. Readers will learn tips for dealing with specific situations that cause anxiety, such as public speaking, social anxiety, test anxiety, and more. You'll also learn special breathing exercises to help calm you in moments of panic, and guided visualization exercises to help you stay cool and collected, even in the tensest situations.

Life Sucks: How to Deal with the Way Life Is, Was, and Will Always Be Unfair by Michael I. Bennett, M.D. and Sarah Bennett
Being a teenager can suck. Your friends can become enemies, and your enemies can become friends. Your family can drive you crazy. School and teachers can be a drag. Your body is constantly changing. And everyone seems to tell you to "just be you." But just who is that? With their open and honest approach, father-daughter team Michael I. Bennett and Sarah Bennett's book is sure to appeal to teenagers and show them they aren't alone in dealing with fake friends, with parents who think they're "hip," and even how high school isn't everyone's glory days. Young listeners-and their parents-are sure to find this no-nonsense, real-life advice helpful, and it will help them realize that it's okay to talk to their parents and other advisors around them about big issues that might be uncomfortable to discuss.

Have a helpful resource to share? Let us know in the comments!

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Hi! My name is Anna Shaffer and I am the immigrant wellness group coordinator at a local non profit in Philadelphia called Hias PA. I am planning to start a wellness group for high school students and I was wondering if the person who handles these teen workshops would be willing to share some advice and tips! Thank you for any help you can provide! Anna Shaffer
Anna Shaffer - Philadelphia
Tuesday, June 9, 2020