I am meeting so many teenagers who speak of their week like many adults speak of theirs. Monday to Friday are a total grind and weekends are wonderful.
Ten year olds are talking of Sunday night blues, thirteens are sharing their dislike for Monday, fifteens smile on Wednesday because it’s half way day, sixteens are waking up happier on Thursday knowing they’re nearly there and Friday, well we know how that goes.. many teenagers emerge from a heavy self-created cloud of below-the-line thinking and transform their outlook on life to one of wonder, joy, fun and laughter. The relief and the big exhale as the human population skips into the weekend.
However, I’ve been thinking about this business of teenagers sounding like adults and to be honest, I think it’s a crying shame. I don’t recall feeling like this when I was in upper primary school or high school for that matter. Yes, I absolutely had my moments, chunks of time, days and even weeks where life was a little more challenging, boring or stressful even, but I don’t recall being trapped with an attitude of ‘love the weekend and hate the week’, but mostly hating MONDAYS.
So I ask the question… why is this becoming such a trend with young people and what can we do help them shake it up? With the possibility of living 100 years or more, that’s 5200 Mondays to be lived. My mind wonders.. how are teenagers choosing how they experience each of these days? My mind replies. We must lead the way – teach, model and guide. Mindset choice is the core foundation of every chapter in ROC and RISE, the book written especially for teenagers which is turning teen mental health upside down around the world.
How we choose to think and feel towards Monday is not a fairytale chance beyond our control. A miserable Monday mindset, one of angst, doom and negativity is not delivered to our front door in black box ever Sunday night or Monday morning, giving us no choice but to accept it and claim it as our own. I truly believe if we can train ourselves to build habits around pretty much anything, we can build our own MONDAY MORNING MINDSET.
Teenagers and young adults who learn, step by step, HOW to set and reset their mindset from moment to moment, are SO ahead of the game and better placed to make the most of all their days. (Mindset doesn’t just happen, it’s made from the inside out, day in and day out.) Their mindset, whether it’s below or above-the-line, has enormous consequences. Impacting maths, science, sport, recess, food choices, exercise habits, lunch, the bus ride, what they see in the mirror, conversations and interactions with friends, family, teachers and school leaders to name a few. Their mindset drives their internal talk, perceptions and perspectives, feelings and emotions and it makes sense that actions and behaviours will flow on from the mindset held within (cause and effect is always at play. It’s clever and here to stay.)
Monday mindset has the power to impact Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and beyond. (The mind goes where energy flows and the rest follows) Monday mindset has mighty power to help our teenagers rise or fall. But this won’t happen simply through osmosis. Action is required, it’s an essential mindset component.
How do you speak of Monday on Sunday night and Monday morning, and even Monday night when the day is done and dusted?
What are you modelling and teaching the spongy children, tweens and teens in your life?
Is there room for change in your Monday mindset?
Can you help your teenagers thinking differently about Monday? Its not too late. It’s never too late
Each and every below-the-line thought has a consequence. Thoughts have the power to trigger our nervous system into action, reacting to thoughts of doom, gloom and down, our body will seek to protect us by releasing chemical cortisol synonymous with our natural flight, flee or freeze system. We know the connection between cortisol and our mental and emotional health. It makes sense that teenagers do Monday with less cortisol swirling about and more serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin working their magic. I hold the belief that Monday morning mindset is set by me, you, we and us. It’s an intentional choice. We own it.
Mindset strategies and maintenance can be taught, understood, learnt and practiced. Yes they can. Burst a belief, burst a habit. Build a belief, build a habit. It’s possible. It’s powerful. It takes time, but it’s worth it. Do it now, and our teenagers are creating a life skill for later, when life ramps up even higher and faster. The gift that keeps on giving.
This is a vital part of a teenager’s solid and healthy transition in adulthood. It’s not instant or easy, but it paves the way to living a ROC solid life.
Have fun experimenting
R🌟resilience O🌟optimism C🌟confidence
This idea is shared with teens in Claire’s book ROC and RISE. Endorsed by Maggie Dent and loved by teenagers and their families worldwide.