Hello Brain Changers!
I hope this newsletter finds you well and looking forward to fun, adventures, and good summer reads!
Speaking of which, my second book Are You a Bird Like Me? is set to release on Thursday, June 23rd, just in time for summer reading! More on this in a minute.
You’ve likely noticed “mental health” making consistent headlines throughout May (Mental Health Awareness Month).
So, I wanted to check in.
How’s your mental health literacy? Are you paying attention to the warning signs of stress, anxiety, and burnout?
As the window of stress tolerance has grown smaller for many folks, anxiety has continued to climb among kids and adolescents to over 30%. This increase in anxiety has caused the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) to call it a national emergency.
When you take into account the increase in stressors and lack of training in mental health literacy, it’s no surprise many kids and adults are having difficulty coping.
Stress and anxiety impact learning, relationships, behavior, mood, sleep, health, school/job success, and overall life enjoyment.
At an earlier point in my life, I didn’t have the language or tools to understand the impact of stress/anxiety or how to respond to it productively.
Equipping myself with these skills has been a game-changer, and it can be for you, too!
By empowering yourself with accurate information, practical language, and productive responses to anxiety/stress, you can learn better, feel better, and work more efficiently. This is the core of my work.
I’ve been thrilled to provide keynotes and workshops to schools, organizations, and businesses that are making mental health a priority, including Boston College Professional and Continuing Education, North Attleboro Schools, Lego Education, The Women’s Business League, HubSpot, and Tweens and Tech.
Everyone gains by being more informed about anxiety/stress, and it would be an honor to support you in this area.
I hope you add Are You a Bird Like Me? to your summer reading list (available on Amazon on June 23rd). Keep reading to meet our illustrator. Be sure to take advantage of the tips and resources below!
To less stress and more joy!
Meet Colleen Sgroi
Meet Colleen Sgroi, illustrator of Are You a Bird Like Me? by Noel Foy and Nicholas Roberto
After almost a year of calls, texts and emails, I finally had the pleasure of meeting Colleen in person. It was a thrill to enter her workspace and get a glimpse of where the magic happens!
Colleen’s engaging watercolor illustrations bring to life the story of Sky, a young hatchling who falls out of her nest and learns about the power of friendship, teamwork and perseverance. Sky’s experiences help her embrace the idea that differences aren’t dividers but contributors to a common goal.
Children’s books are a great way to learn about the world and complex topics, and Colleen’s illustrations play a pivotal role in doing just that!
If you think constant reassurance, avoidance and removal of uncertainty decrease anxiety, think again!
Instead, we need to remind folks it’s completely normal to periodically find yourself in situations that feel new, uncomfortable, or unsure of how the situation is going to play out.
To manage these situations, it takes practice to tolerate some discomfort and not knowing.
That doesn’t mean you don’t provide information or support to those with anxiety. It means you have to make space for the idea that sometimes they won’t know exactly how something is going to go, whether it’s getting on the school bus, going to a party, making a presentation, or driving a car.
Providing opportunities to tolerate a bit of discomfort, manage emotions, and problem solve will empower kids and adults to face challenges throughout life.