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Showing posts from July, 2021

Exercise for Mental Health

Exercise has amazing benefits for the body, such as increased strength and speed, but what's not commonly known are the mental health benefits. Increased confidence and high self-esteem have been connected to regular exercise. These are a few of the many benefits of physical activity. Check out the YouTube video: " Physical Activity is Miracle-Gro for Your Brain ." A short video on the science of exercise and its mental health benefits. "...Regular physical activity helps you learn faster, think clear, enhances, improves, and protects your mind." The video debunks the common misconception that increased rest helps improve your brain.  Reading about the mental health benefits of exercising wouldn't be complete without a resource to help you start exercising. The " Physical Activity Websites for Teens " toolkit includes workout routines, nutrition planning, and free fitness and music videos.  Here is a real-life example and popular topic that is tren

The Importance of Self-Advocacy

Navigating life without self-empowerment can lead to anger, confusion, and other difficulties. Having problems are common, and help can come from friends and family. But, others need to know how you feel and what they can do to help. This is the importance of self-advocacy, or expressing needs, wants, and interests. Youth and young adults should make their voices heard because their feelings and concerns shouldn't go unnoticed. Youth empowerment is key to a successful future, finding purpose, and a crucial first step to understanding and building self-advocacy. Check out this opportunity for youth and young adults to encourage their families to practice self-advocacy with the SPAN Stories Project. One of the beliefs and goals of The SPAN Parent Advocacy Network is to empower families through service, support, training, and information.  There are stories and testimonials of families who received assistance from SPAN, and we want to hear them. And, not just families but professional

Hobby Hunting

Keeping busy can be surprisingly difficult. After a pandemic, it seems like you have done everything you can think of. Yet, finding a hobby is endless. Hobbies can lead to learning more about yourself and become more productive in life.   Watch this informative video on finding a productive hobby,  HOW TO FIND A HOBBY | ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW . This video talks about the key steps to finding a hobby and how hobbies can be different. A hobby can be relaxing, self-fulfilling, or discovering something new. The goal of the video is to learn that hobbies are not hard to find if you take them step-by-step.  Along with watching the video, try an aptitude test to match you with a hobby. Check out Buzzfeed's  This 20-Question Aptitude Test Will Reveal Which Hobby You Should Try Next  with 20 questions that are split into four categories to match you with your next hobby. The SPAN Youth Chat attendees tried the aptitude test as a group and were matched with baking! A surprise to some of the yo

Creating Connections

For over a year now, a pandemic led to us being cooped for some time. Our colleagues, teachers, classmates, neighbors, friends, and family had to switch to online apps such as Discord, Zoom, and Skype. The only way to maintain a social was to remain active online. As we shift to in person, it is time to start practicing active social skills to create strong relationships.  Start developing these social skills by watching  5 Ways To Create Stronger Connections .  In this Ted Talk, Robert Reffkin speaks on five ways he connects to people. For example, handwritten thank you notes go a long way compared to an email or text.  Here is a resource to start making new connections with the Family Partners of Morris and Sussex Counties' Youth Partnership group. This group is a way to learn about leadership, communication, and youth empowerment. An incentive to join is free picnics and trips like going to the Turtleback Zoo.  Another way to practice social skills is learning how to read facial

Have a Fun and Safe Summer 2021

As the heat rises across New Jersey, more and more people look to new and fun activities to keep them busy in summer. Some of us are finding new, great TV shows to watch while others have picked up a new hobby they have not done before. Yet, the first step to having fun is thinking of ways to stay safe. Let us talk about summer health safety tips and a Self-Care newsletter from the Connecticut Youth Advisory Board (CT YAB). Read more on those health safety tips on 'Fun and Safe Summer 2021: COVID-19 Safety Guidelines' on the website, ConeHealth. These guidelines are for vaccinated and unvaccinated populations and common-sense safety measures against COVID-19.  Learn what to and what not to do to keep yourself safe.  The Self-Care newsletter by CT YAB is an overall useful resource on self-care tips such as the "Areas of Wellness." The resource on the newsletter focuses on your current habits and habits to build on that relate to each Area of Wellness. This was featured