A mentor is a trusted friend or guide who teaches and models positive behavior, either formally or informally. You can use the steps below to lead someone you mentor through a process that will help her or him be healthier, happier and more resilient. You may learn some things too!
We know that every mentoring relationship is unique and that the amount of time together and focus of that time can vary. Trust and mutual respect are also important. So while we’ve provided some ideas and a structure, follow your mentee’s lead as to what’s important and helpful. The most important thing is to introduce Change to Chill so they know it is a resource they can turn to for ideas and information anywhere and anytime they have access to the Internet.
Watch the Change to Chill intro video together.
Encourage your mentee to take the Stress Factors Quiz. Better yet, both of you take the quiz at the same time on separate devices. There are five questions and no right or wrong answers. Be sure to respect your mentee’s PRIVACY, but be there to talk if they want to. By taking the quiz your mentee will learn about where their own stress is coming from and what stress does to them.
After the 5th and final question is answered and you click “next,” a results page will appear. Take time for reviewing the customized results and exploring the recommended resources on the website. (Note that answers are not saved on the website and will disappear once you leave the site.) Again, don’t pressure your mentee to share their answers or results if they don’t want to. If your mentee really doesn’t want to take the quiz, do it together and give answers you think are true for most young people her or his age.
Watch the Stress Test video together. Then read through the Causes of Stress. Talk about the different sources of stress you each experience. Are they similar? Different? Have the things that cause you stress changed over time? Do the same things that caused you stress when you were younger bother you now? How about your mentee? What do you both think might be some sources of stress in the future? Explain again that Change to Chill is all about learning to deal with stress and changing your ways of thinking and acting to help you thrive in spite of whatever life throws your way.
Stretching is good for the body and the mind. It is known to reduce the negative impacts of stress. On mats or a dry, soft, flat area in the grass or on carpet, try the following stretches. Note the parts of the body that deserve special attention in each pose.
Toe Touch—A toe touch stretch is one of the most basic. It primarily targets the muscles of the legs, especially the calves and hamstrings. From a standing position, bend over at the waist and reach for your toes with feet together. If you can’t quite reach your toes, stretch just as far as is comfortable. Alternately, from a sitting position, sit with legs outstretched and together. Then bend forward. Reach for your toes or as far as is comfortable. In both versions, hold for 15 seconds and then release.
Neck Half Circles—Start by stretching right ear to right shoulder. Then roll your head around, chin to chest, in a half circle to the left shoulder, and then back again, chin to chest. Slow movements are important to protect the neck muscles from injury.
Shoulder Circles—Shrug your shoulders and rotate them forward and down in a circle. Switch directions after five or six turns by shrugging the shoulders and then moving backwards in a circle.
Arm Circles—Arm circles can be used to stretch the muscles supporting the elbow and shoulder joint where the arm attaches to the shoulder. Hold your arms out to the side, creating a horizontal line. Then draw circles with your hands, starting with small circles and slowly growing to large circles, then back to smaller circles. Start first by drawing circles clockwise, and then reverse to counter-clockwise. Keep the movements slow, and avoid just flailing your arms around.
Side Bends—Stand up straight with arms to the outside of each thigh. Slowly move your fingers down toward the outside of one knee, while bending at the waist. Alternate sides; do 10 side bends on each side.
Reach for the Stars—Just like the title of this one, reach up as high as you can while standing on your tiptoes. This stretch can even be done while lying down on a mat; the goal is to reach hands and feet away from each other.
Child’s Pose—Child’s pose can be used as part of a regular stretching routine for more of a full body stretch. To perform the child’s pose, get on your knees with feet together. Then sit on your heels and bend your body forward until your forehead touches the ground. Bring your arms around to each side of your body, resting with palms facing towards the sky. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, and then return back to an upright kneeling position. Repeat several times.
Meditation is one of the healthiest and most effective stress-busting strategies. It is the practice of turning your attention to a single point of focus. It can take many different forms.
Change to Chill has a number of options for trying meditation with the help of videos and guided audio recordings. Learning some easy relaxation and meditation techniques can help you think more clearly, make better decisions, and manage whatever comes your way. Take a few minutes to explore the different meditations and then click on the five-minute video to have a first-hand meditation experience.
Get in a comfortable position. Either watch the full video quietly together or close your eyes and just listen…whichever you prefer. At the end take a few minutes to discuss what you both thought of the experience. Let your mentee know that the video is on the Change to Chill website and can be watched at anytime from any device. The more often they watch it the more comfortable they should be become with the technique.
Watch the Guided Imagery videos together and try one of the processes, either to de-stress or to focus on a future goal. At the end talk about how you think you could use this strategy in different situations.
Changing to Chill is what’s known as a practice. It’s something you do regularly and learn about over time. No one ever just learns to chill once and then is done. Fortunately the Change to Chill resources are available any time and anywhere young people have Internet access. To encourage your mentee to continue the practice you’ve started, choose one activity or suggestion from the website that you are each committed to trying between now and when you meet again. Agree to talk the next time you are together about what you tried and how it went.
Curious about more ways to build resiliency in teens? Check out our Mental Remix video to learn about this simple but powerful strategy.