The youth-written stories in YCteen give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Stressed Out? Try This!
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Don’t Let It Balloon

Stress is like a balloon: If it keeps building up, it will sooner or later make you explode. Here are some things I’ve learned to do to relieve bad feelings:

1. I take a jog to clear my head and relieve all the frustration or other difficult emotions.

2. I find a corner that’s isolated from everyone and everything, and read quietly. That helps me get to another world that has nothing to do with me.

3. I listen to music and try to find some inspiration by walking in someone else’s shoes.

4. I talk things out with friends and try to get a different perspective on the situation.

5. I practice some of the teachings of Buddhism. One of the techniques I find very useful is meditation and mind-cleanse. Just sit and meditate and free the mind. It really helps because it involves a lot of breathing and self-evaluation. Try it!

—Samantha Flowers


Have Fun—or Cry

Try not to spend too much time with people who bring you down. Hang out with people who are cheerful and optimistic.

Try to spend at least an hour every day doing something that you enjoy.

Write down your problems. They’ll seem less threatening, and you’ll be able to tackle them more easily.

Don’t be afraid to cry. Crying makes you feel rested, calmer, and happier.

—Erica Harrigan


Good Company

When you talk to someone who cares, it tends to help because they know you. Talking with a pet helps too, because the pet is always there. Writing out things on a piece of paper also helps you remember things. Walking around the park enjoying the earth helps with your feelings.

—Christopher Guzman


Laugh

When I get stressed, which is not too often, I hang around people who make me laugh. I watch comedy movies (my favorite comedian is Chris Rock). When I get mad I yell and eat and sleep and usually forget about it the next day.

—Danielle Chambers


Coping Skills

I help myself with stress by using my coping skills such as painting, drawing, and writing. When I feel really stressed I call people for support, such as my crisis intervention counselor or my therapist. They guide me through my rough time by listening to me and telling me ways to self-soothe and calm myself down.

—Virgen Nuñez


Deal

I don’t know!
I don’t know!
Eat.
Deal with it.

—La’Quesha Barner


Decompress

Listen to music: It relaxes your soul
Watch TV: Nothing like SpongeBob acting stupid
Sleep: You need it!
Video games: Unless you get mad when you lose
Write: Expression
Talk with friends: Let it out
Computer: MySpace pisses me off so I avoid it

—Otis Hampton


Write

The way I beat stress and help myself feel better is writing poetry or raps in my notebook. When I’m having emotional struggles, I also talk to somebody close to me who’s willing to listen.

—Desmin Braxton


Release
Learn to love yourself because this will keep you motivated. It’s important to have funny friends who can make you laugh because with a smile your mood will change and this might change your outlook on a situation. Also, listening to rock music helps me relax and scream the stress out. I like jogging, too—it produces endorphins.

—Teyu Shu

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(FCYU-2009-07-24)

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