By Joan Marlow

To be fully transparent, I must admit that I’ve had writer’s block as relates to writing this ‘Mindfulness’ blog.  As I reflect upon it, this ‘block’ is just one more impact of our current time living in a Pandemic.  Maybe you can relate:  There are moments when I experience glimmers of ‘normalness’ and then the reality kicks in with the realization that every day we are creating our ‘new normal.’ the stuff we knew to be true is no longer true; our sense of control is totally ‘out of control.’  Our brains are on overload and we’re experiencing ‘Pandemic Fatigue,’ (yes, that’s a ‘real’ thing) which shows up as ‘loneliness, anxiety, fear and hopelessness.’  Sensing any of those feelings?

Once I gave myself permission to ‘feel’ these sensations and accept them as part of this current state of life, I could then tackle them.  Guess what came up as a game plan to help to create ‘normalcy?’  Self-care and Mindfulness practices.  Getting back to basics is always the best way to gain footing, develop inner strength and bring calm and a sense of sanity into the picture in order to reclaim the life that you love, that includes joy and purpose.  The action plan is more than ‘wishing & hoping’ to make it so, it takes work.  For me, I go to my resources:  books, articles, Youtubes, TED talks, Googling topics for the latest perspectives; I commit to morning routines of exercise, meditation and evening routines of gratitude and journaling; I reach out to the people in my life who are positive and upbeat vs the Negative Ned’s and Nelli’s; I ask for support (which is not easy for me…vulnerability is a new skill the Pandemic has brought to light for me).  And guess what, it’s working…

To support you during these ‘roller coaster-like’ days, visit all of the topics on the I am Teen Strong website…the wealth of information is waiting for you.  Additionally here are a number resources that I thought might be beneficial.

  • The power of having a purpose is huge…without a purpose there’s no reason to get out of bed in the morning.  Without a purpose you flounder and seemingly get nothing done, which just adds to frustration, disappointment, low self-esteem and sensing even less control.  As you read this article, you might just see yourself and you might be inspired to think about what you ‘can do, vs. what you can’t.’


  • I love ‘toolbox kits’ that offer a variety of activities to address concerns and resolve issues that are currently blocking your being able to live your best life.  This Toolbox has things for teens, parents and others supporting everyone’s self-care.

COVID-19 Toolbox for Teens

  • A theme that has been front and center since the beginning of our current situation is ‘Supporting the Greater Good.’  From the beginning of our current situation, we’ve been asked to take action not only for our personal health and welfare, but for others like our medical teams.  Facebook and Instagram are proud to work with two non-profits that work to promote emotional wellbeing, to share potential warning signs that a friend might be in emotional distress and need your help.  This link can help you help others.

Helping a Friend in Need

  • And one of my personal faves:   Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment and accepting what you are sensing and feeling without interpretation or judgment.  Mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other techniques to relax the body and mind and reduce stress.  It can also help support your focus, reduce anxiety and regulate emotions.

Mindfulness Resources for Dealing with COVID-19

Guided meditation from

Free Audio Resources for Mindfulness Meditation

Downloadable mindfulness meditation MP3 files from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Medical

Body Scan (20:25)

Body Scan: Seated (6:54)*

Body Scan: Lying Down (39:32)*

Mindfulness of Breathing (16:09)

Sitting Meditation (33:38)*

Mindful Yoga (23:40)

Gentle Stretching/Yoga Meditation (38:20)*

Downloadable relaxation MP3 files from MIT Medical

Relax: Guided Meditation (6:26)

Music for Relaxation: Naive (2:06)

Music for Relaxation: Clouds (2:39)

Guided Visualization for Relaxation (9:01)

Have fun creating your personal practice to support your sanity as you look ahead to the new ways you attend school, go to work, relate to others, sort out what works for you and what doesn’t.  You’re not alone.  Reach out to others…use the tools included on this site.  Acknowledge, celebrate and express gratitude at the great things you do for yourself and others.  Thanks for the opportunity to share this information…that feeds my purpose, brings me joy and helps me to face each day with positivity.