November 2022 Newsletter

Dear Teens Finding Hope Friends,

As we move into the holiday season, we want you to know that we are grateful for you. You showed up on our website even though it wasn’t easy. You are role models through your successes and struggles. We need you, and we need each other. The pandemic reminds us that connections are important and taking time to celebrate even small victories with those we are connected to is well worth it. We have compiled a number of designed to support you in your journey. 


Have a wonderful holiday season.

Teens Finding Hope

Under Pressure

By Kristi Barth, co-founder of Teens Finding Hope and book author

Feeling are inevitable, but not all of them are comfortable. Feelings resulting from anxiety and stress can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Many of us feel like we are under pressure from our workplace, our family or life in general. The following ideas may help us feel more in control and may offer some relief.

As an illustration; I was recently at the beach with my husband. We were sitting on a deck watching the whales. I would point out a whale but because of the tree in his view point, (see attached picture) he could not see what I was seeing--even though it was right in front of both of us. Our perspective or view point has a lot to do with how we perceive things and how we respond. 

When we are under pressure, we often turn to coping mechanisms to ease our pain and/or gain control over our circumstances. Many of the ways we try make things worse.

If you are struggling with something, identify it by name, for example: 'I am struggling with family coming for dinner.' Do you have a clear perspective on what is happening or do you need to view it from a different point of view? Take another look at the issue you are struggling with.

Above: Same Rock, Different View

Perspective on life is the way people see life. For example, A farmer complains about the lack of rain for his crops/produce. But a construction worker is happy due to the lack of rain to complete project. Let’s put our opportunities over our obstacles.

So how can we change our perspective?

1. Live in the present

2. Think of the overarching picture

3. Smile more often

4. Look at the other point of view

5. Start working out            

6. Help people around you

7. Sleep Well

8. Indulge in self-care prioritize you

9. Meditate

10.Pen down your thoughts

How to Manage Your Time and Stay Positive

By Haylee Modrell (8th Grader)

At the beginning of school I felt overwhelmed. The teachers gave me so many assignments, I would break down. I felt like I’d never be able to catch up. I would take a break, hide under my hoodie and cry. It was hard going to class because I felt like I was falling further and further behind. It was hard to listen too, because all I could think about was how much I had to do.


My family tried to help me, but they would get upset when nothing improved. They’d say things like, “Gosh, Haylee, this is so frustrating! We’ve told you what to do.” Whenever I heard their tone of voice, it made me want to give up even more.  


Then I turned things around. I wrote down the days of the week and planned when to do each of my assignments. So far, I have kept to my schedule. For some reason, when I made my own schedule it worked better for me. I don’t know why. Now when I feel overwhelmed with work, I look at my calendar for the week and remind myself that I have enough time to get my assignments done.


Something else I’ve tried that has worked is planning breaks into my schedule for self-care. I eat snacks, drink water, breathe in and out, and plan my time for after school. I’ve also been using some shortcuts for taking notes. I have been taking pictures on my phone, which is quicker. Then if I have free time, I write them down.


My best advice for kids who are struggling to keep up in school right now is to make a plan and include fun in that plan. Think of ways to save time. And most importantly, tell yourself that you can do it. It’s no big deal. It’s just school.

The Most Powerful Words for Our Healing

By Sherry Krueger, co-founder of Teens Finding Hope and book author

It’s November, which means it’s the season of holidays and family. I sigh as I write this. I love the holidays. I love my family. I don’t love the way some of my family members make me feel.

Sometimes I walk into their homes and head straight into shame. Thinking about it starts a recording in my mind of all the things they’ve spoken over me, things that make me feel like I’m not enough. Can you relate? I bet many of you can. Shame seems to be at an all-time high in our culture right now. Belittling, name-calling, and criticizing others is rampant throughout our social media. 

Studies have shown that shame is correlated with depression, addiction, suicide, eating disorders, bullying, violence and aggression. If you are dealing with some of these issues, there is a high possibility it’s based in shame.

Brene Brown says shame cannot survive if it’s spoken about and then met with empathy. The most powerful words someone can hear when they are reeling from shame are: “What’s going on?” and some form of empathetic response, such as “Me, too.” For those of us wanting to rid ourselves of shame, here are some things we can do:


  1. Know what triggers it. Every time I make a mistake, I hear a recording of my father saying, “You’re an idiot. You never do anything right.”  
  2. Do a reality check and remind ourselves of the truth. “I may not have known how to fix the plumbing, but that doesn’t mean I’m stupid.”
  3. Change our self-talk to sound as if we are speaking to someone we love. “What would I say to someone else in this position? I’d probably tell them they are not defined by their mistakes. I’d remind them to think of all the things they are good at.”
  4. Reach out to a person we trust and tell our story.
  5. Let them know whether we want to vent or if we want to receive some ideas and advice.
  6. Set boundaries with the people who try to shame us and hold them accountable. “What you’ve said is untrue and it’s hurtful. If you’re going to continue to speak to me this way, I’m going to leave."

Don't Lose Your Why Even Though Your Sprint Turned Into a Marathon

During the last year or so, some of us have lost sight of our why. When I lose my “Why” it not only impacts me, it also impacts the people around me. Asking a simple question, for example, “Why did you choose your line of work?” might help you gain clarity.


It feels like the last few years we have been riding a roller coaster or running a marathon. We forget that the best parts of life and most beautiful experiences are on the other side of the hard parts after we commit and follow through.


Life can go smoothly or it can throw you off from time to time. Sometimes the issue is a speedbump, sometimes the issue feels like a cliff. We may fall down, but it is important to have the courage and support needed to get up and finish.


At running races there are people with encouraging signs and words of support all along the route. Finishing the race is the accomplishment.  


Every one, every single person reading this, can win.

What matters is finishing, not how long it takes.  


So, what will be your next challenge? And when you choose YOUR next challenge, what will be the sign that encourages you?  


You can and you have unlimited potential.


Here are a couple of inspirational quotes:


“I'd made it this far and refused to give up because all my life I had always finished the race.”

Louis Zamperini

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing.” 

Teddy Roosevelt 

Thanks for all you do. You Inspire me. Yes, You!

Ideas for Holiday Gift Giving

By Kristi Barth, co-founder of Teens Finding Hope and book author

The tradition of exchanging gifts during the holidays is just that, a tradition—one that for some has become stressful and has lost much of its true meaning. Many families are downscaling their gift-giving and using that extra time and money to enjoy each other, offer others our service and taking time for self-care or the opportunity to learn something new. Experiences and spending quality time with others are memorable and enjoyable and can last a lifetime.


Service is a great way to help others and give yourself an intrinsic reward. Some fun ideas of service can include: babysitting for a family, making dinner for someone, helping clean up a yard, picking up groceries, helping someone with their laundry, or other household chores. Running errands or helping get kids to their activities can be a huge service. Create gift certificates and pick some dates that work for you and the one you are offering this gift to. 


The Gift of Learning

Online learning courses are widely available. Classes that capture any interest can be found! A gift like this is at your finger tips and can take the stress out of shopping by going on line.

Some stores offer free cooking classes and many libraries sponsor free events. Some libraries have things you can check out in kits that can help you explore a special interest. Memberships at art or science museums, the zoo or aquarium would also be a fun way to learn and explore. 

Offering the Gift of Experiences

Mystery Picnic is a fun idea for that special someone who loves food, exploring, and puzzles. The organizer packs the group a gourmet picnic and then sends the recipient on a scavenger hunt looking for clues and answers to riddles leading them to the prepared picnic basket.

Take the family for a day of indoor fun at a local trampoline park, bowling alley, rock climbing gym, indoor skydiving facility, pickleball court, escape room, mini-golf course, or laser tag center. Set up a tent in your living room to make a fun staycation with popcorn and a movie.

Self Care

It feels good to be pampered and this is fun to share with family and friends. Plan a time for at-home facials, manicures and maybe even massages. Watching movies or reading together for a part of the day might be fun. You can create a wonderful experience without the use of technology. 

Gifts should be tailored to the recipients. Have fun changing up your holiday plans and reducing some of the financial and emotional stresses by trying some of these fun ideas.



Visit our website for more helpful information: 


Donate to Teens Finding Hope by visiting our donor page. 

Thank you!

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