If Instagram were a mindfulness exercise, most tweens and teens I know would be completely grounded and centered. If yours isn’t, convince her or him to put down the screen for 10 minutes and have the new book “Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self,” by Burbank-based adolescent psychotherapist Jennie Marie Battistin, at the ready. The book features 60 brief, guided mindfulness exercises with names such as “Show Me the Love” and “Procrastination Pit” to help your kids focus and regulate daily stress. Here’s a sample adapted from the book:
Eat the Frog
“Eat the frog first,” shorthand for advice attributed to Mark Twain, is another way of saying that if you have an important or undesirable task, it’s best to tackle it first. What are the frogs in your life? This exercise will help you address them immediately during your day or when you get home from school.
1. Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit and set your timer for eight minutes. Imagine a light streaming down from the sky, providing you with energy and clarity. Consider the tasks you need to complete today and notice any sensations in your body as you consider each task.
2. Imagine the light illuminating what you have been avoiding. Imagine the light providing the energy needed to take care of this task.
3. Notice the feeling of satisfaction you have from taking care of the task you have been avoiding.
Go deeper: Were you able to think of the task you are avoiding? Could you feel the sense of energy the light provided? Next time you use this exercise, listen to some energetic music and continue to listen to the music as you complete the task.