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All winter, the ferns wait. Then, in a riot of green, they burst through last fall’s leaf litter. The ones in my yard grow a foot in a day.
I feel a little like those ferns. I’ve been plugging away, writing articles I’m proud of but with nothing to show for it on the outside. Now, all of the sudden, I have a slew of links for you — all science-based articles with helpful advice (at least I’d like to think so) on mental health and emotional well-being.
I hope you’ll read and share.
New Writing From Me
ICYMI both the American Psychological Association and the U.S. Surgeon General recently released advisories on social media use and youth mental health. Each warns of serious potential harm for adolescents and calls for urgent action.
What do parents need to know about keeping kids and teens #SafeOnSocial? I covered the story for Everyday Health: Is Social Media Safe for Kids, Teens? 11 Things Parents and Other Caregivers Should Know.
P.S. This baby — which went live hours ago — is why the newsletter is a day late. I was tapped to cover the APA’s advisory as a quick turn story, then, three days ago, the Surgeon General released his. All week I’ve been interviewing experts, pouring over the reports, and nailing down the most important takeaways for parents and caregivers. It’s important stuff, and I hope you’ll take a look and share with the people in your life who love kids and teens.
Too many kids who need mental health care right now are stuck on waitlists. That’s why for Everyday Health, I asked experts what parents can do to support children and teens while they wait for therapy to start. Here’s what they said: 7 Ways to Support Your Kid While Waiting for Their First Therapy Appointment.
Are you an optimist? If you are, you’re lucky. It’s basically good for you in all the ways. But the rest of us aren’t doomed. Experts say with effort anyone can learn how to be more optimistic. I wrote all about it for Everyday Health: All About Optimism: Definition, Health Effects, and How to Boost Your Outlook.
Ok so there’s a caveat to what I just wrote — experts say that relentless positivity isn’t appropriate in all circumstances and, over time, can even harm your well-being.
For Everyday Health, I wrote about toxic positivity, how it impacts your mental and physical health, and how you can respond: All About Toxic Positivity: Definition, Health Effects, and How to Respond.
Books I Think You’ll Like
The name Estelle Erasmus may ring a bell for longtime readers of this newsletter/blog/whathaveyou. A quick refresher: Estelle is the NYU professor who helped me get into The New York Times, a huge break for a writer. Estelle is brilliant at translating her decades of publishing experience to what’s useful to writers looking to land a byline in a dream publication. I’m so happy for Estelle and writers everywhere that her book, Writing That Gets Noticed: Find Your Voice, Become a Better Storyteller, Get Published, comes out next month. Preorders really help authors out, so I hope you’ll join me in buying her book before it comes out June 13th. (I’m pretty sure I even make a cameo per the release I signed!).
I celebrated Independent Bookstore Day last month on April 29 with verve and restraint. One of the two books I came home with was this novel I purchased at SubText Books in Saint Paul, which I’d heard praised in Vulture by the writer Emily Gould and The New York Times book review. When I flipped it open, and began my typical scan of the first few pages, I let out a bark of a laugh, which a) Was embarrassing b) Convinced me to buy it. I have no regrets. A fun, funny, clever read: Big Swiss: A Novel by Jen Beagin.
The Renunciations: Poems by Donika Kelly are intense, compact bombs of trauma and healing. Like lots of great poetry collections, there were too many exquisite lines to write down them all, but here’s a portion of the poem Sanctuary (p. 33) that I read over and over:
This is a prayer like the sea
urchin is a prayer, like the sea
star is a prayer, like the otter and cucumber —
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