When the Walls Are Closing In: A Game-Changing Workshop for Stressed Teens and Tweens
Prior to COVID-19’s emergence, teens and tweens were already articulating an increase in stress. Suicidal thoughts or other suicide-related outcomes increased by 47% from 2008 to 2017—three years before our current hybrid world of distance learning and increased dependence on technology. Almost 80% of American high school or college students reported “educational disruptions due to COVID-19.” A full 80% of these students admitted to suffering from increased stress due to these disruptions.
In the past decade of teaching English to adolescents, I feel and see the concerning statistics firsthand. I do not need to study statistics to know that our teenagers stress levels are increasing. In the past month alone, students have reached out to inform me that they are:
- lacking motivation
- “shutting down”
At least twice a week, I will receive emails late at night, apologizing for how they feel, asking if they could have an extension on an assignment, requesting to meet during Office Hours regarding a personal problem that’s weighing on them. A couple have reached out to share their thoughts of suicide with me.
The statistics, however, help to confirm what I’m witnessing firsthand:
- 70% of teens in the US have named depression or anxiety as a major problem among their peers
- 75% of high school students and 50% of middle school students described themselves as “often or always feeling stressed by schoolwork.”
- Teen stress is perceived as higher than their adult counterparts: On a ten-point scale, where normal values for adults are 3.8, American teens rated their stress rate at an average score of 5.8
Something must change. Our teens are hungry for a change. This Saturday, May 22nd, Gena Davis, a certified yoga and meditation teacher and I will be offering a 1-hour workshop for adolescents to experience a powerful opportunity to shift their perspective through writing, yoga, and meditation. The workshop is designed to empower and increase a sense of inner peace that students can take with them.
The title of the course is inspired by a 6th grader who recently expressed to me, “I just feel like the walls are closing in.” A heartfelt thank you to this brave student. Because of you, our workshop was born.
While the workshop is geared to teens and tweens, if you are looking for a shift in perspective, I encourage you to attend the event this Saturday, May 22nd. Click on the link below for details, and I hope to see you there!