Join Youth M.O.V.E. National in Text Talk Act

Every day is a day to talk about mental health. But do we?  Having candid dialogue about mental health isn't easy.  Just think about how you might bring the topic up in conversation... 

See, it's easier not to say anything!  Which is one reason Youth M.O.V.E. National is so excited to support a national dialogue for youth via text message on November 20!  We invite each of you to join our Chapter Network and individuals across the country for a #mentalhealth conversation on the 20th.  It's easy to join in!

Here’s a little about Text, Talk, Act:

Text, Talk, Act uses text messaging to facilitate a face-to-face conversation on mental health. Participants gather in small groups (3-4 people) with one cell phone per group. They text START to the number 89800 to receive a series of text messages that guides their group through a conversation on mental health: why it is important, how to care for it, and how to help a friend in need. The text messages include videos, social media interactions, polling questions and discussion questions.

Getting youth to talk about mental health is an especially important conversation, given that ¾ of all mental health problems begin between the ages of 14 and 24.  Using this innovative approach), thousands of young people in all 50 states have gathered in small groups (in dorm rooms, kitchens, cafes, classrooms, and more) to participate in this growing movement. 

Bring Text Talk Act to your youth group, community meeting, school classroom or elsewhere on November 20. And please, help us spread the word!

To learn more about Text, Talk, Act, go to: www.creatingcommunitysolutions.org/texttalkact.

#InspireWellness: Finding Balance

I have always been a person who struggles to find balance between all the things I love to do and all the things I have to do.  As I have gotten older I find myself in a place of reflection looking back on all the things that have brought me joy before I became a career oriented adult and the fun spirited, athletic, creative person I was in high school. Somewhere during my personal transition into adulthood I have forgotten how to have FUN!  As a sister, a daughter, advocate, a friend, a survivor and someone who lives with a variety of mental health challenges it can be overwhelming to balance all those roles and mange my own wellness. Often I am so busy with work, helping others and family by the end of the day I have very little energy to give to myself let alone financing time to add fun back into my life.  

I have great people around me who always remind me to disconnect, take vacation and make myself a priority again. So over the last year I have been doing exactly that, finding ways to incorporate more balance into my life.  Balance for me means that I have a plan to manage my work responsibilities, with my family responsibilities, and find ways to nurture my physical and emotional health while adding in more FUN. So in celebration of wellness month I wanted to share with you some tips that have worked well for me over the last year and let you know what I have been up for FUN!

What has worked well for me at work and with my family is being more confident in setting boundaries around what I can do and what I can’t do within the number of hours in a day.  I have found having open communication with those around me has made a huge difference elevating my anxiety and stress. This communication has helped open dialogue to give me more of a voice in how my day and to do list is structured.   

To maintain my physical and emotional health I have made changes in my daily routine that consist of eating healthy, reducing my caffeine intake and making sure I find time to get outside and exercise daily. Focusing more on my physical health has done great things for my energy levels and really helped with my depression.

What has been most exciting for me over the last year is getting reconnected with my creative side, finding hobbies and challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone.  So over the last year I have set goals for myself to train for a 5k, picked up hiking (which is not easy for someone with a fear of heights) and I got back into my creative space and now upscale old flea market finds!  

Having the ability to regain control of how my day, week and weekends are structured and not feeling selfish for taking the time I need to feel whole has been a hard journey. I have not fully mastered it yet but I have come a long way over the last year. I am thankful for my co- workers, families and friends who often remind me to take time I need, encourage and celebrate with me my new found hobbies.  This has made the world of difference for me in maintaining a FUN outlook on wellness which makes is so much easier to maintain.

Brie 

RockStar Award Nominations Now Open for 2015

ROCK STAR AWARDS CELEBRATES CHAMPIONS FOR YOUTH

Decorah– (September 16, 2015) – It’s that time of year again; Youth Motivating Other through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National is celebrating the 5th Annual RockStar Awards! This prestigious award honors individuals and organizations who make an outstanding contribution to the improvement of youth, services and systems that support positive growth and development of young people who have lived experience in various child-serving systems including, but not limited to, mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. On your mark, get set go! NOMINATIONS are OPEN until October 15th!!!  National RockStars will be announced during the 26th Annual National Federation of Families Conference in Washington, DC. Submit your nomination today by visiting 2015 RockStar Nomination Form. For more information visit our website at www.YouthMOVENational.org/Pages/rock-stars.html

My Jelly Bean Journey

By Hannah Raiche

I think that everyone, whether they’d like to admit it or not, has gone through a time in their lives where the choices that they were making hindered their ability to be “well.” It is true that wellness can be defined in many different ways and can look different in practice from one person to the next, but it is that fluidity which allows each person to discover and create their own individualized wellness strategies and plans. I strongly believe that my own wellness journey is uniquely suited to promote “wellness” in the way that I define it, meaning that what works for me in maintaining wellness and a healthy lifestyle may not work for others. But, I have found that embarking on the adventure of defining what “wellness” means to you and incorporating wellness strategies that help you to meet your wellness goals is probably the most important (and fun) part of the your entire wellness journey! With that being said, I do want to share a bit about my own personal wellness journey in hopes that it will #InspireWellness in others.

 

Admittedly, I am still quite new to grasping the concept of individual/personal wellness. Growing up, I always understood wellness in terms of not eating a bunch of cookies or cake all the time and playing at least one sport per season for purpose of planned physical activity a few times a week. It is only in the last two years that I have begun to truly understand and appreciate the various dimensions of wellness and the intricacies that such an open-ended term, like “wellness,” can encompass. While I still find a great deal of value in being physically active and making healthy food choices that nourish and energize my mind and body, I now have a very different take on what personal wellness means to me both theory and in practice.

My most recent wellness journey was kick started about three years ago at a family holiday party when I presented a four year old with a box of jelly beans that I was simply regifting because I didn’t want to eat them but also didn’t want to be wasteful by throwing them away. When she opened the box to find that it was filled with jelly beans you would’ve thought that I had just given her a multi-million dollar winning lottery ticket. Honestly, to this day I still have never seen a happier glow in someone’s eyes or the type of genuine excitement and gratitude that this little girl showed over a relatively thoughtless gesture on my part. It was then and there that I realized that I had lost that spark of genuine happiness, excitement, and gratitude in my own life. I began wondering why I no longer felt that kind of spark about anything in my life and when that had happened. Although I never did find satisfactory answers to the ‘why’ and ‘when’ questions that filled my head, I realized that for years I had been going through the motions of life without truly feeling alive. From that silly jelly bean epiphany on, I promised myself that I was going to spend my life rediscovering and pursuing the things that make me feel passionately and genuinely happy, excited, and grateful.     

That little four year old jelly bean lover is now an amazingly thoughtful, intelligent, witty (and devious) second grader and I can’t wait until she’s a old enough to fully comprehend the extent of the impact that she has had (and continues to have) on my personal wellness journey. Her authentic enthusiasm and energy inspired me to completely rethink the way that I was choosing to live my life.  I could go on for pages and pages about the multitude of wellness benefits that come from staying active, well-hydrated, well-nourished, and well-rested, and all of those things do have an enormous influence on my day to day wellness, but, for me, rediscovering wellness was about shifting my frame of mind and adopting an attitude of gratitude. It’s not always easy to be grateful for everything that life throws at you (because it’s usually not a big box of jelly beans) and I certainly still have days when I struggle to see things as challenges and life experiences instead of barriers and obstacles; but actively choosing to prioritize my own wellness every day by pursuing the things that make me feel alive has made me feel more happiness and fulfillment then I could have ever imagined possible.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read about my wellness journey and I hope that is has helped to #InspireWellness in all of you the way that your energy and enthusiasm continues to inspire me!

And a little more about today’s bloggers favorite…

Food: Cucumbers

Place: White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire

Exercise: Yoga

Book: The Giver

Movie: Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone (on a cool Sunday in October with hot cider)

Vacation Place: Cocoa Beach, Florida

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