Teen Talk with Renée: let it out!

Check out this letter from your Teen Services Librarian Renée! This week she is writing about the importance of letting your feelings out to help overcome the start-of-school-year stress.

Less then a week to go before the 2020-2021 school year begins….I know you can do this! Sure, it may not be the start you were hoping for and undoubtedly there will be twists and turns and bumps along they way, but every good story has a plot twist or two and this is just one small detour on your amazing journey. Just think of the stories you will be able to tell. And tell them you should! Letting your stories out will help generations and it may even help you. My final tip for dealing with start-of-school-year-stress: letting it out!

I have a confession; this strategy is probably the hardest for me. I’ve become pretty comfortable with the whole mindfulness thing (Teen Talk 8/8) and for the most part I make good distraction choices when needed (Teen Talk 8/15), but letting my feelings out for the world to see, yeah, not so much. I am a “bottle it up until it explodes” kind of person. Just ask my family (sorry family!). The problem with being a bottle-it-up kind of person is that when I finally erupt, it’s too hard to control–my family has to run for cover so they don’t get burned. I am slowly learning that if I just let out a little steam here and there, I feel better and no one has to duck and cover. Talking with friends and family or sometimes just having a good cry lightens my load. There are many ways to let those feelings out so that you don’t end up looking like Mt. Vesuvius!

Letting it out can mean something different to everyone. Maybe you are someone who expresses themselves better with the written word. If you haven’t tried already, give journalling a go! This can be as simple as just writing a few thoughts down or documenting your whole day. If writing about yourself seems weird, write a short story and incorporate some of your personal struggles. Write whatever is right for you. Sometimes I like to jot down a thought or feeling I have and come back to it later, sort of like a grocery list. Looking at my list later helps me to clarify if a thought or feeling is persistent and needs more attention.

Maybe writing isn’t your speed but you love to draw, paint, or take pictures. Art comes in many forms and many artists express their feelings through their art. How can you capture how you are feeling through your art? If you are a musician, compose a piece of music or create a playlist that reflects your feelings. If paint is your medium, paint what you can’t say. There are no rules, just paths for you to explore.

Letting your feelings out does NOT mean you are weak. Sharing how you are feeling will make you feel better and it may help those around you feel better, it will definitely help your family to better understand where you are coming from. Sharing with a friend may help them to open up as well and you might be surprised to find your friends are feeling the same way. Shared experiences and feelings brings us together and together we are stronger! I know you have some strong feelings about life right now. Let it out!!

Now friends, I think you are ready for my final quiz.

Which of the following is NOT a good way to let your feelings out? Answer below.

B – If you feel like you need to punch someone, it’s time to find a more productive way of letting your feelings out! And the answers to last weeks distraction quiz: D, When you don’t need to focus on other things, distractions can be good, and A, B, and C are all healthy distractions.

The world wants to hear from you! Check out this cool project: the We Were Here project wants to hear and record your 2020 experience for generations to come. Find a way to let your feelings out, we are listening!

All the best,


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