Knowing your “why” is good for you, but it’s not that simple for many young adults struggle to figure out which direction they want to take in life. Studies show that the biggest protective factors against stress are resilience and purpose. Despite stressful experiences, young adults who have a sense of purpose and try to make meaning out of their experiences report better overall well-being. They are less likely to experience negative emotions, more likely to report feeling calm and confident, and significantly less likely to report physical symptoms of stress. While having a sense of purpose doesn’t mean you can avoid moments of hopelessness, you are just better equipped to handle daily stress and regulate your emotions.
Searching for a Sense of Purpose
When girls and assigned female at birth come to Journey Home Young Adult, we help them identify their values, explore their passions, and set goals for their personal success. We believe that everyone’s sense of purpose is individualized and is shaped by things they believe in and value. Young adults work closely with therapists and mentors to create personalized treatment plans that work for them. Most of our students have begun to consider their long-term goals, but struggle to recognize what drives them or what they are passionate about doing for fun. They’ve relied on external validation or numbing using unhealthy coping mechanisms to slide through life without really considering what kind of life they envision for yourself.
A sense of purpose helps these girls:
- Prioritize their goals
- Make plans
- Find motivation
- Become more resilient
- Focus on short term goals
- Set longer-term goals
Exploring your Why
Our recreation programming is individualized to help girls and assigned female at birth discover their purpose. While other programs focus on adventure activities, we consider recreation to be anything girls and assigned female at birth pursue in their free time–from physical activity to creative expression or even community service. We talk about recreation as anything that helps them life a whole-hearted life. Our initial recreation assessment asks girls and assigned female at birth to consider what they believe are their core values and values that they want to work on before asking them to brainstorm possible activities that may help them find a sense of purpose consistent with these values.
Defining your Belief System
We ask them to consider values that give them meaning, security, and pleasure as well as qualities they respect in themselves. This is often the hardest part of the assessment, as girls and assigned female at birth either feel out of touch with their values or have recognized how they’ve changed over time. Some examples include: authenticity, balance, connection, freedom, kindness, responsibility, and trust.
Following your Bliss
After exploring their “why,” girls and assigned female at birth are encouraged to explore their “how.” For some, this means picking up old hobbies they lost interest in and getting in touch with their inner child. For others, this means continuing to engage in activities they began to explore in previous treatment programs. Some girls and assigned female at birth choose individual activities, while others benefit from learning from others or doing things in a group. Salt Lake City is the ideal location to try something new, with a vibrant arts and music scene, several state and national parks, and many colleges and universities.
Checking in with yourself
Throughout their time at Journey Home Young Adult, girls and assigned female at birth can choose to keep a log, titled “Am I leading a meaningful life” that is a useful journaling exercise. One column asks them to describe the activity, while the others ask them to categorize areas of their life that it gives meaning to, including mind, body, mood, and community. The purpose of this exercise is to encourage girls and assigned female at birth to live intentionally and to consider how they are following their why after they’ve figured out what it might be.
Journey Home Young Adult Can Help Find A Sense of Purpose
Journey Home Young Adult is a transitional living program for teens ages 18-23. This program addresses emotional, behavioral, and mental health disorders that teens may face. Common presenting problems include depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, body image issues, ADHD and other learning issues, academic struggles, and low self-esteem. Journey Home creates an environment conducive to healing where teens can learn healthy coping skills while becoming more well-equipped to launch into adulthood. Students leave this program feeling empowered, happy, and healthy. We can help your family today!
To learn more about how we encourage teens to explore their passions, contact us at 801-444-0794.