It's been a while, but the stress of my teen years is still a dark slash across my memories of that time. I felt out of control of everything: my body, my environment, my thoughts. I truly wish something I had a tool like this available to me!

The Stress Reduction Card Deck for Teens is a collection of 52 cards that are meant to be carried with you in used "in the moment". The core of the cards is the belief that it is important to identify when you are stressed so that you can manage it. The way yo manage it is mindfulness, a practice of bringing your awareness out of the past, or the future and into the here and right now, without judgment. This mindfulness practice offers a way to reframe your focus to the present moment, and sidestep the trap of worrying about what _might_ happen and focus instead on what's happening in the here and now.

The cards are divided into three types:

  1. Stress Awareness, describes different types, help you understand how you experience stress, and how to reduce it.
  2. Mindfulness on the Go, practices that help reduce stress and increase mindfulness. These cards address difficult thoughts and feelings, promote awareness, and bring you more fully into the present.
  3. Take in the Good, skills to change your brain to be more aware of the good parts of life and away from the unpleasant areas.

I don't have kids, but I know several and took advantage of that. I gave this workbook to a group of teens in my life (age 13, 14 and 17) and asked them to give it a whirl. They had mixed feelings, but eventually tried one or two exercises to get started. To my mind, the world is extra super stress-inducing right now, and the exercises on the cards helped.

The cards build upon one another to some degree. Choosing one at random was fun for my testers, but they felt like they got more out of it when they when through the cards in each group more carefully. (Self care (#46) was fine, said one, but pulling weeds (#42) when I hadn't planted seeds (#41) didn't work.)

Overall, I think this is an excellent tool for any parent to have and use. Adults can benefit from it as well!

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Gina M. Biegel
Instant Help Books, 2020
60 cards, $16.95

Note that this workbook was used in conjunction with the previously released Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens.