Teen well-being

Township library sessions will help youth stay healthy

Courtesy of Foursquare

The Mullica Hill library is hosting an eight-session program designed to help local teenagers maintain good health.

The teen wellness program takes place on Wednesdays in two-week intervals during the first four months of the year.

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“The Community Teen Wellness Project is geared towards improving teens’ overall health and well-being by focusing on the six dimensions of health: diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, addictions and social relationships,” said Teen Librarian Crysta Miller.

The program’s instructor will be a local teen already involved with the library who will help teach kids yoga there.

“The teen wellness program was an idea presented to me by Mahi Mopal,” noted Miller. “She is very involved with the library, and she brings a wealth of information when it comes to wellness … Mahi approached me about wanting to set up a teen wellness program that she organized to be an eight-session series.

“Mahi consulted the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (“Teen Lifestyle Medicine Book”) for all the information and discussion topics.”

Each Wednesday session will focus on a different aspect and activity related to teen wellness. The first two sessions last month focused on techniques for forming healthy habits, setting up smart goals and formulating a healthy diet. The third session is at 5 p.m. on Feb. 14. It will focus on fitness and movement as participants play the movement-based video game “Just Dance.”

Session four is scheduled for Feb. 28, and will highlight the importance of good sleep as participants make lavender candles. The fifth class on March 13 will focus on stress management as participants practice mindfulness meditation (namely loving kindness, gratitude and forgiveness) and make Valentine Day cards for nursing homes.

Session six on March 27 will teach the importance of avoiding drug toxins and excessive technology use through an electronics detox and group discussion. The seventh session on April 10 will focus on building social relationships while playing games like Jenga and cornhole. The final session on April 24 will reflect on the program, with journaling and discussion over snacks.

“By being educated and engaged with these dimensions throughout this eight-week program,” Miller explained, “teens will be empowered to be accountable for their own health, thus benefitting their overall physical, mental and emotional well-being, including their performance in school, habit formation, vitality and balance in life.”

Register for the sessions by going to the GCLS website and providing name, email and phone number.

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