Journaling Intro: Get the juices flowing!

Journaling methods for mental health.  

Welcome to the beginning of our new series on journaling!  Journaling is a practice we stereotypically associate with kids and preteens who complain about their parents and gush about their crushes and chat about school in a diary with “DO NOT READ” scribbled in all caps over the front cover – which is a perfectly valid and fun form of journaling, don’t get me wrong!  But in fact, many people from the young to the old have picked up journaling as a form of creative and personal expression, and there are studies that show the benefits of journaling for our health.  Not only that, but journaling can come in many more shapes and sizes than you might think.  Throughout this series on journaling, we will present to you some of these journaling methods in hopes that you might find one that strikes your fancy.

For this first installment, we will discuss the most basic form of journaling:  regular, old-fashioned diary journaling.  I think you probably all understand what this entails, and many of you might have even had this type of journal when you were young, but some of you might not know just how beneficial it can be for your mental and physical health.  Below, we have a couple links to resources talking about this, but to keep it short and simple:  a journal is a place where you can write down your thoughts and feelings in a safe, judgment-free space so that you can examine them and better understand them, which can help you manage stress, anxiety, and depression.  And as a consequence, lowering your stress, anxiety, and depression has been proven to have wide-ranging physical health benefits.

If this sounds appealing to you, we have a challenge for you this week…

**Take 5 minutes or less (or more!) every day for a week to just write.  You can write in a physical notebook or in a digital Word or Google doc – whatever’s easiest for you.  But don’t worry if you miss a day!  The point of this exercise is to reduce stress, not add to it.  You can write about anything, even just one sentence or one phrase will do.  What did you do today?  What did you accomplish?  What do you want to accomplish tomorrow?  If you didn’t do anything that day, that’s okay.  You are allowed to have those days.  We all have them.  Instead, write about what television shows or movies you watched, or what music you’re really into right now, or how you felt that day.  If you really, truly can’t come up with anything, go for my mother’s default in conversation:  How was the weather?**

Normally, if you can start with one sentence, it’s easier to move on to two, then three, then more.  And by the end of the week, you’ll have a record of how the week went for you.  Did you have a bad week?  Were you tired or bored or down a lot?  Looking back at this record might help you see why you had such a bad week and come up with strategies for making the next week better.  Or maybe you had a wonderful week, picking up a new hobby that you’re finding you really love, spending a lot of happy, quality time with your family, and so on.  You’ll be able to look back at those times a year from now and remember the happiness that you felt.  If you continued with the new hobby, maybe you’ll be a year into it and be able to look back and see the exact date that you started.  It’s like a mini time capsule just for you and your life.

If this method of diary journaling seems too vague or too boring to be of any use or interest to you, or maybe you find part-way through the week that it just isn’t working for you, keep an eye out for our next installments where we will be giving you some ideas for more different types of journaling.  We’ll be talking about Bullet Journaling, Mindfulness Journaling, Dream Journaling, Art Journaling, Micro Journaling, and more.  The most important thing to keep in mind throughout this whole series is:  Does this work for you?

Resources & Inspiration:  

Journaling for Mental Health” from the University of Rochester Medical Center

Journaling isn’t just good for mental health.  It might also help your physical health.” from NBC News

how i finally started journaling *and actually enjoying it*” video from ‘bestmess’ on YouTube

Teen Update: COVID-TV — An Amazing Website Created by and for Teens

Two teen-aged girls from Chicago, Krishita Dutta and Lauren Tapper, have created an inspiring website, COVID-TV. This is a place where you can “Quarantine Together” with teens from around the world as they share their stories about life during this pandemic. It is an opportunity for you to share your story as well. Topics include everything from creating music and art to dealing with loneliness and stress.

COVID-TV also includes a community tab which details many ways that you can have a positive impact in your own town. You will find a lot of ideas about how to take action. Ready to make a difference? Get started now!

Teen Update: Space Explorer Training – Digital Escape Room!

Are you ready for another escape room challenge? You’re traveling to outer space for this one.  Space Explorer Training is recommended for kids ages 11 and up or for families. You can complete this challenge on your own or with a group. Have fun!

Thank you to Morgan Lockard, Adult/Teen Services Librarian from Campbell County Public Library, for creating and sharing this awesome digital escape room.

World Book access during COVID-19

World Book is currently offering free access to ALL our Digital resources to support patrons, educators and parents during COVID-19 distance learning through the end of May.  

Click here  or use the username and password below to access your free World Book Online resources:
Username:  wbsupport
Password:  distancelearn

Visit the World Book Online  Training & Support Guide  to learn more about these resources and other  Distance Learning Support for Parents and Schools.

Have fun exploring and learning!

Kids’ Update: Read a Graphic Novel

Audrey's Magic Nine - Posts | Facebook

Audrey’s Magic Nine follows a young orphan named Audrey who goes on a quest to help her newly discovered friends unravel an enchanted mystery. Armed with a pencil, sketchbook, and some surprisingly unexceptional magical help, Audrey and company will embark on many whimsical adventures and escapades to reach a mysterious realm beyond her artistic imagination. Audrey’s Magic Nine is written by Michelle Wright.  All art and colors are done by the team of Courtney Huddleston, Francesco Gerbino, and Tracy Bailey. You’ll find Audrey’s complete stort in The Magic Nine archives!

Teen Update: Mütter Museum Virtual Tour!

Do you know about Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum? It is a world-famous attraction considered to be the premier museum of medical history. Last week it posted an amazing virtual tour on YouTube. You don’t want to miss this 25-minute video that features some of the museum’s most popular exhibits.

You get a chance to visit fan favorites such as the Hyrtl Skull Collection (139 skulls collected by Dr. Joseph Hyrtl in the mid-19th century), The Soap Lady (see her body and learn about its postmortem decomposition) and, of course, the Giant Megacolon (the world’s largest human colon on display). Some day you will be able to visit the museum in person. For now though, sit back and enjoy this interesting and entertaining virtual tour!