2020 Visions

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happynewyearsWe are 2 weeks into 2020, seems a bit crazy to me! 2019 went by in what seemed like a blink of an eye! With the beginning of the new year it is a time for a blank slate! This is a time to reflect and set any intentions one might have for the upcoming year. It is a also a time if you choose to set an obtainable goal for the upcoming year, these can be anything from saving money, being on time, going to the gym, taking a class, quit smoking, getting homework in, spending more time with friends and family. Whatever it is you choose to do make sure it is a realistic goal. If you set your mind to it, you will stick to your resolution! Here are a few tips to help with goal setting:

  1. Keep the goal simple. Instead of setting a bunch of goals pick one or two to start and once those are met, then set a new one. Don’t think that because you set a high goal that everything is going to change over night, remember it will take time.
  2. Be realistic. Choose a goal that is within your comfort zone and that you are capable of achieving. If you do choose a big goal, try and set little goals along the way to track your progress.
  3. Make notes.  Write down what your goal is and the plan you have to achieve it. This was if you get off course throughout the year you will be able to look back at the initial goal. After you write your initial goal, keep track of your progress that way you can write down anything that is working and not working to help you obtain your goal.
  4. Have a time frame. Having a time frame will help with motivation. By having a time frame you can set daily, weekly or monthly goals and be able to track when those are met.
  5. Be open to support. When you talk with friends and family about your goals they will be able to offer support when you are feeling like giving up on the goals.
  6. Remember it is ok to slip up. Not everyone is going to follow their plan perfectly, remember life happens. when this happens reevaluate your goal and try again, just don’t give up!
  7. It is up to you! Remember no one else is in charge but you!

Good luck and Happy 2020!

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The Power of Mindfulness

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Have you heard of mindfulness? Or just wondered what mindfulness is? Mindfulness is about becoming more aware of yourself, being present and non judgmental. Being mindful has many benefits; it leads to better self control, helps lower anxiety and stress, is a mood elevator, leads to better decision making, higher self esteem, promotes social and communication skills.

Here are some quick tips on how to be mindful:

  • Be aware of ALL YOUR activities for the day (eating, working, cleaning, driving, texting)
  • Pay attention to how your Body Moves (grabbing something, bending down, reaching out)mind
  • Be aware of the way you Walk (posture) and Talk
  • Pay Attention to the Thoughts you are having, rid yourself of the Negative ones but be gentle with Yourself
  • Express Gratitude (for people, nature, and your blessings)
  • Slow Down when reading, take in the information on a deeper level
  •  Accept ALL the Emotions you have but do not define yourself to them
  • Do one Thing at a Time
  • Understanding that nothing is Permanent, everything comes and goes
  • Express Curiosity for new things and your new Mental Development of Mindfulness
  • Be Fully Open Minded with what is going on around you, and inside of you

Here is a list from Gabriela Green’s blog about when it is a good time to practice mindfulness:

  • When you wake up
  • While you are walking to work
  • In the shower
  • When are getting dressed
  • While preparing breakfast
  • At work when you feel overwhelmed
  • Ideally, you can practice one of these every hour, to keep you grounded
  • After a meeting
  • Before planning your day
  • Before enjoying your meal

The number one goal of being mindful is to SLOW DOWN!

Do you have any tips on how to be mindful? Come down to Youth Outreach and share your ideas! We are open noon to 9pm!

 

National Mental Health Day

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Did you know October 10th is National Mental Health Day? What does that mean you might ask. It is a day that raises awareness of mental health issues.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness, one in 25 experiences serious mental illness, and one in six U.S. youths ages 6 through 17 experiences mental illness.

This years mental health day focused on suicide prevention,  and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it. According to The World Health Organization every 40 seconds someone looses their life to suicide, that is roughly 800,000 people a year.

mental health blogMental health and suicide are such important issues to focus on because it affects everyone young, old, men and women. It is important to start conversations with family and friends to take away the shame and guilt people often feel, which can lead to people not reaching out when help is needed most.

If you suspect someone is suicidal simply listen, being there for someone can be life changing and is the first step in preventing people from feeling alone. Here are some conversation starters from the Each Mind Matters campaign in case you are like me and sometimes simply don’t know what to say.

“I care about you. How have you been feeling lately?”

“I’ve been worried about you, how are you doing?”

“You seem yo have a lot on your mind lately. I am here to listen.”

“I’m here for you, let me know if you need anything.”

“You’ve seemed stressed lately. What’s going on?”

If you or someone you know is suicidal do not hesitate to call The National Suicide Hotline at  1-800-273-8255, it is available 24 hours a day.

YOU MATTER!

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As you read those words, I’m sure you have seen these signs or other handouts in your neighborhood, social media, or online somewhere. If not and this is the first you have heard of it, Youth Outreach wants to let you know: YOU MATTER!

 

This saying along with many more sayings were created by a family in Newberg, OR. They couldn’t believe how much the suicide rates were just in their little community, let alone in the United States. In fact, as of today in the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. Every year, we lose about 45,000 people to suicide, which in a closer perspective is about 125 suicides per day. These suicide rates, statistics, and suicidal thoughts come from elderly, adults, youth, and even children as early of 10 years old.

 

With that much influence, suicide is definitely not a subject to be taken lightly. Although there are many great programs and suicide preventions out there, many people don’t receive the assistance they need. However, a small town family has proven that they don’t need all the nooks and crannies of a big organization, rather a simple sign with encouraging words will send a message of hope for people. Because of their efforts, the don’t give up signs helped hundreds of people around the world to not just prevent suicide, but also any negative thoughts they may be believing about themselves.

 

At Youth Outreach, we have our staff and youth participate in sign rallies. These rallies consist of us all going out into our Newberg community, sign waving, and sharing what were all about. All the drivers and people passing by are then refreshed with these words and reminded: they are worthy of love, they aren’t alone, their mistakes don’t define them, it’s never too late, don’t give up, and so much more! We hope to continue this tradition of ours, because we see the impact it’s bringing not only to our little Newberg community, but around the world.

 

If you are going through a hard time or just needing a little encouragement, Youth Outreach wants to let you know that You Matter! The life was given is good and bad at times. Sometimes it seems like the bad consistently overtakes the good. But, it’s always a blessing to hear that you never have to be alone in this life. There are people, organizations, and communities who actually do care and want the best for you. The dreams and goals you have in life are all going to fall in place, as long as you don’t give up! Stick with it even through the bad and ugly of times. There is a light amidst the darkness you may be struggling with. Be the fighter that you are and don’t let life knock you down.

 

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide and need someone to talk to, please call the suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255. Also, if you want to know more information on the don’t give up signs, check out their website: https://www.dontgiveupsigns.com/

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t!

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Throughout adolescent’s you will face many situations where there is a right and wrong choice, not all of these choices will be black and white and easy to make. Depending on who your circle of friends are, the groups you belong to and the situations you find yourself in you could feel pressured to make a choice that you would not normally make due to pressure from your peers.
If ever you are put in a situation where there is pressure from those around you, take a minute to evaluate your options. A good way to help determine and make a good decision is by these STEPS:peer pressure

S-stop what you are doing.
T-think it over.
E-evaluate the situation.
P-proceed with your decision.
S-stand firm.

It is often hard to just say no to something that doesn’t feel right and people often put pressure on each other as to why they are saying no. Here are some strategies that go beyond just saying no:
1) Delay. No, not today. Maybe tomorrow
2) Be a broken record. Keep saying no several times.
3) Have a plan B. Okay, but how about we do this _______ instead.
4) Be truthful. No, because ______.
5) Avoid. I can’t, because I forgot to do_____.
6) Leave the scene. Say no and leave.