Helpful Tips to Boost Your Mental Wellness
May is Mental Health Awareness Month! In an effort to raise awareness, fight the stigmas that come with mental health issues, and encourage building wellness skills, Girl Scouts of the USA has released Girl Scout Wellness Activities—and a special patch!
At Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, we are working to connect girls to the resources and skills they need to be resilient, ready, and strong when they experience big emotions or know someone who is struggling with mental health. On May 3, we hosted Mental Health Heroes, a virtual discussion with professional women who are advocating and impacting their communities’ mental health. Sponsored by Dayton Children’s Hospital, this workshop allowed girls to ask important questions and hear firsthand why this topic is so crucial to the health of every community.
While we could not record this event, we can share a few questions answered by guest speaker Jessica Warrick, MS, LPCC-S, Behavioral Health/Social Care, Staff Development Coordinator, from Dayton Children’s Hospital.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Why is this topic such a focus right now?
Since the pandemic started, so many people feel like their world is turned upside down. If mental health is like a rubber band that holds all our lives together, then a lot of our rubber bands are getting very snug. Some people’s rubber bands might have even snapped at some point. It’s super important that we are being mindful of everything that we are holding inside our rubber band and how close we are to snapping.
How is your work helping others with their mental wellness in your community?
I’m a professional counselor, so I have worked with lots of kids with mental health problems in my career. We talk about things and play games and practice different techniques with them and their families to help them feel better.
Right now, I help to train the mental health staff at the hospital, so they know how to take care of kids who are struggling with mental health problems.
Certain activities may lift your mood, calm you down when you’re stressed, and help you face challenges. What is your own favorite activity that you do to help build your inner strength (mental wellness)?
One of my personal favorite calming activities is to take a bubble bath and read a book. If I’m feeling sad or tired, I like to listen to music and exercise or clean or cook. I also make sure to spend time with my friends on a regular basis, so I have plenty of time laughing with people who make me feel loved.
What advice do you have for our girls about how they can make an impact in their local community?
I think the biggest thing we can do is to be a good role model and take good care of ourselves. That means being able to talk about our feelings and asking for help if we need it. It also means taking ownership of doing things that make us feel calm and making sure we have people in our lives who treat us with kindness and respect.
Where can we learn more about mental wellness and find resources to help this issue?
There are a lot of great resources out there. Here are a few that I recommend checking out.
For younger youths:
• 1-2-3 A Calmer Me by Brenda Miles and Colleen A. Patterson
• An A-Z Collection of Behavior Tales by Susan Perrow
• Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis
• The Black Cloud Blues by Christine A. Emery
• Cat’s Not So Perfect Sandcastle by Amy Novesky
• El Cabello Rebelde de Maddy by Sharon Callen
• Ellray Jakes Stands Tall by Sally Warner
• Find Your Calm by Gabi Garcia
• Finn Throws a Fit by David Elliot
• Get Unstuck from Disappointment by Gill Hasson
• Crazy Aaron’s Angry Putty
• Feeling Elf Cards & Games by Elizabeth Crary
For older youths:
• Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
• Getting to Good Riddance by Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt
• I Am Enough by Grace Byers
• I Am, I Can: 364 Affirmations for Kids by Wynne Kinder
• A Still Quiet Place for Teens by Amy Saltzman
• The Grieving Teen by Helen Fitzgerald
• 99 Things That Bring Me Joy (Guided Journal) by Abrams Noterie
• Journal Planning Magic by Andrea Gonzalez
Check out the Resilient. Ready. Strong. patch program to discover more fun and unique ways to boost your mental health!