Tips & Activities For Professionals

What are Your Intentions?

Reflect on what it is to be a teacher, counselor, doctor, therapist, or professional who works with teens.

  • How does your being present or not effect your interactions?
  • What are your own experiences with mindfulness and where you have gotten stuck? Discovering these for yourself can help guide the students as it unfolds during the class discussions
  • Consider that you are the planter of seeds and the vital role you play —or dual roles you play if you are also their therapist or teacher

When Working with Teens

  • Reassure confidentiality, privacy, and the limits of confidentiality
  • Empathize with the teen and demonstrate your support
  • Ask questions about their life
  • Bring up relevant teen topics and examples
  • Set appropriate boundaries
  • Facilitate the “relationship” –mindful, therapeutic, adult/youth

Participate!

  • When teaching mindfulness to teens, you should also participate
  • Your participation provides teens with an increased sense of control over their problems
  • Your participation offers social support
  • If you want a way to integrate mindfulness concepts you and the teen(s) have learned, do so throughout the check-in
    • Highs for some could be lows for others
    • Some highs are low for others
    • Sometimes something can be a high and a low
    • Explore these complexities

Take Time for Yourself

  • In between class, clients, or any time during the day, take a break for yourself. Take a coffee or tea break. Remain mindful as you make and drink your beverage. 
  • Another way you can practice mindfulness throughout the day is to do mindful stretching for 5 minutes. If not stretching, try any mindful movement you want or are potentially skilled in doing. After your mindful movement, consider:
    • How do you feel now?
    • What are you thinking?

More Examples of Mindfulness Practices

  • Feel your stomach rise and fall with each breath 
  • Feel the various physical sensations of an emotion
    • If you are feeling happy, what sensations are happening to your body; if you are feeling sad, where do you feel it most; if you are anxious, is your body tense
  • Notice thoughts as they pass through you mind
  • Pay attention to all the sounds in the room
  • Notice what happens in the body when you are under stress
  • Watch the thoughts that arise when there is boredom
  • Notice sensations involved with eating and the flavors of the food