‘Being You’ is a girl’s guide to mindfulness. Written by Catharine Hannay, this book is targeted at young/teenage girls.
It has a clear understanding of its target audience, with the writing a perfect mix of education and entertainment.
The activities are a combination of things you can do at home and outdoor activities, and a few encourage healthy eating and exercising. Each chapter focuses on different topics, such as ‘empathy and compassion’, ‘savouring pleasant moments’ amongst many others.
It’s laid out in a very easy to read manner, with large headings and not so much information that it gets cluttered. The book itself is easy to read as well, because of the balance of information and personal stories.
The book includes input and quotes from girls in the targeted age range, and I thought it was helpful to see what other girls my age were going through and how I related.
“I thought it was helpful to see what other girls my age were going through and how I related.”
One of my favourite activities was the ‘Rainbow Walk.’
It was interesting looking at my surroundings more closely than I did before on walks, and it helped keep my mind off other things, such as people looking at me when I walk with my headphones and the noises of the construction that goes on beside my usual walk.
Even though finding something for every colour of the rainbow sounds easy, it can get harder when you get to more vibrant colours, which makes for an entertaining walk.
Another thing it did was make me walk for longer as I was preoccupied with looking for the rainbow objects and not so focused on how far I was walking.
Another of my favourite activities was called ‘what kind of conversation do I want?’. This focuses on planning out difficult conversations before they take place, in the form of a script. This simple exercise helped immensely with knowing what to say during the conversation, even if the other person didn’t ‘follow the script’. During difficult conversations, people tend to freeze up and blank on what to say, but with planning your conversations out beforehand, you at least have a basic grasp on what you need to get across. See below for how to do this activity.
‘This simple exercise helped immensely with knowing what to say’
The exercises in Chapter Five focused on breathing. It was interesting to go through all of them and see which one worked best for me. None of them needed any preparation beforehand, they were all easy to remember and the instructions were clear and easy to comprehend. Examples are ‘One Minute Mindful Breathing’, ‘Counting the Breath, and ‘Flower and Bubble Breathing’. I would definitely use them in the future if needed. See below for instructions.
Overall, this book was very good, especially for teenage girls going through stressful situations. It includes plenty of activities for anyone to do. I found it very helpful and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a mindfulness book of this type.
(originally from Letting go, a girl’s guide to breaking free of stress and anxiety by C. Fonseca)
See also: Mindfulness for Students
Page image by Image by Daria Nepriakhina
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