Life can be filled with highs and lows, happiness and stress, fun experiences and scary ones. I
personally have many things in my life that make me happy and then in the next instant worry
me to death. Working with teens brings this feeling daily. One minute everything seems to be
going right and the next it blows up in my face and vice versa. Dealing with what comes your
way in life is important, but more than that, it’s important to manage the things in your life that
you can control. Being balanced in all areas of your life can help make sure that the high points
are fully lived out and the low points become experiences that you learned from, not just lived
Creating balance in your life starts with creating healthy habits mentally and physically. Below
are some ideas of how to create some mentally healthy habits.
1. Journaling gives your brain and heart the opportunity to let go or relive feelings, thoughts and
experiences. Suggestions for types of journaling that I have found works wonders for myself and
the youth I work with include:
a. Awesomeness Journal- Fill it with great things you do every day, and then look
at it whenever you need a boost.
b. Awareness Journal- Answer these three questions every day and see how it
changes how you go about your day. 1. What is something good that happened
during the day? 2. What is something good I did during the day? 3. What was
something that was hard to deal with during the day that I can learn and grow
c. Gratitude Journal- Don’t let the pain and worries of life overshadow the joy.
Write down the big and small things you are grateful for and then elaborate on
them. You will start to see all the joy that’s in your life.
2. Meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating by trying
to do multiple things at once. Slow down and let yourself focus on you and what you need.
Types of meditation to try include:
a. Taking a walk- Focus on your five senses. This can help you stay in the moment
and stop your thoughts from jumping and racing around.
b. Dance meditation- Turn on some tunes and cut loose! Surrender to the rhythm
and movement and get ready to release some tension.
c. Breathing meditation- Longer exhales tend to be calming, while longer inhales
are energizing. Do this for a couple of minutes and then jump back into your day
ready to go.
3. Random acts of kindness or conscious acts of kindness. Serving others can not only uplift
others but can also uplift you. Ideas for quick acts of kindness include:
a. Leave a note. Let someone know you appreciate them.
b. Intentional physical acts. Give someone a genuine smile, hold the door for
someone, ask someone about their day and then really listen to them.
c. Do something extra that helps someone out.
Try these techniques for two weeks and faithfully keep your journal. After the two-week period,
reflect on your experiences and compare your feelings with how they were two weeks earlier.
Then recommit yourself, keep doing these things until they become a habit that does not require
conscious effort. You will then be on the road to a healthy, balanced life.