Tonight, we began a series called "Among Us," all about practical ways to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We began by talking about a big challenge for teens in loving themselves: STRESS.
Despite the popular phrase "too blessed to be stressed," we know that faith doesn't eliminate stress and struggles. But Jesus does offer us deep peace, even in the midst of challenges!
A Few Key Concepts We Shared:
- The list of tasks we have to complete is long and can be overwhelming.
- We are living in surreal situations. It’s OK to feel stressed and permit yourself to feel stressed. It is important to recognize that we need to ask for help when feelings become too overwhelming.
- The Saints also struggled, and give us encouragement for moving forward in stressful and uncertain times.
- Jesus is always close to us in our stress and overwhelming feelings. He wants to give us peace.
Prompts for Journaling Time:
Parents, please share this reflection & the journaling questions with your child(ren) (also available on our Facebook & Instagram accounts, @stbsevernym) and encourage them to reflect on them this week through drawing or writing in a journal:
- What tasks do you need to to make a higher or lower priority in order to use your gift of time well?
- What stresses do you need to hand over to Jesus in order to accept the peace that Jesus offers to you?
- What makes it difficult to talk to someone when you are struggling, stressed, or experiencing overwhelming feelings?
- When you are stressed or overwhelmed, what are some unhelpful things people say or do? What are some helpful things?
- How can we learn from both the unhelpful and helpful things so we can be a better support to the people in our lives?
Some Suggested Followup for Parents:
- Sometimes unhealthy stress can worsen or trigger mental health concerns. Here are some resources for navigating that reality as a parent:
Not sure how to manage mental health challenges in yourself, your children, or your family? Licensed counselor, speaker, and faithful Catholic Roy Petifils is a leader in this field, and his free podcast and other resources are a great starting place in collaboration with your own medical professionals.
If you need help with how to support a loved one in the area of mental health, many hotlines and other resources are available here.
Explore this list of some of the many Saints who struggled with mental illness.
- Sometimes stress can become more manageable when teens are taught and practice good time management skills:
- We used the metaphor of the "Jar of Life" to describe how to prioritize the "big things" over the "little things" in life.
- Watch the video below and ask you child(ren) which "jar" their lives resembles more lately, and why. Share your answer, too!