Helping Youth Develop Healthy Coping Skills: Families Connected Mindfulness Workshop Series, by Kim Digilio

South Bay Families Connected and Fit On Studios are excited to partner a third time in providing mindfulness workshops to teens. Mindfulness can be a critical addition to a teen's tool box as the evidence shows that it can help them take down their stress levels during a test or performance, or to just re-connect with their own voice and a sense of calm amidst a world where social media and screen time can whip them up into heightened levels of anxiety and depression. In order to find and nurture self-love and acceptance, teens today need to “tune out” the noise from the outside world so that they can “tune in” and listen mindfully to their thoughts and feelings. 


The workshop instructor, Kimberly Digilio can relate to the pressure that today's youth experience. She shares that, “Growing up, I was never very kind to myself. I worked incredibly hard and achieved many successes but never took the time to celebrate them." For Kim, meditation was the key. "Meditation changed the way I saw myself in the world around me, and it taught me to accept the highs and lows in my life with more compassion and less judgment." Our hope in partnering with Fit On to provide this workshop is to help South Bay youth find that self-compassion, perspective, and calm.

If she had one wish, Kim says, "I would go back and feed my teenage self the strength, empowerment and encouragement that I have cultivated through a meditation and wellness practice.” Her experience and knowledges fuels her passion to help youth learn healthy coping skills that will serve them during the difficult teen years and beyond. 

Our workshop co-sponsor and owner of Fit On Studios, Franca Stadvec, has this to share about her experience with mindfulness: 

Over the past few years I have tried meditation numerous times I wanted it to become a part of my daily routine. Check! I have heard and seen the benefits and I was all in. I was going to love it.
Ha! Was I so wrong.
I despised it. I was so incredibly bad at it, in fact it made me feel worse about myself and horrible in my skin. To sit for 3 minutes let alone 20-30 minutes was torture for me. My mind wander obsessively about all the productive things I could, should be doing. I didn’t get it at all. Until a year ago when I first started in Kim’s classes at our studio (Fit On) she made me understand that meditation, mindful, gratitude filled moments are a practice. something you can get good at. It’s not something you learn over night. She also taught me not to judge myself so hard. Our mind wanders, embrace it and forgive yourself and then come back to focus.
I started to incorporate Kim’s techniques into my daily routine.
Gradually I started to notice some of the benefits you hear and read about. Honestly, I can feel it change the chemistry in my brain. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true
I was hooked.
Today I mediate everyday, sometimes 3 minutes sometimes 30. On days that I find myself off centered, angry, short fused I quickly smile and say “ah... no gratitude or mindfulness yet today” it so easy you have to wonder why we are not taught this at s very young age.
Now how do I get my family hooked?!
How do I get my stressed out technology obsessed teenagers kids to listen to me? To let them know they have the ability to find peace within themselves on a daily basis?!?!
Like everything in our parent teen relationship I bugged them! Daily. I changed my narrative.
I started using words like mindful, gratitude, grace, quite moments.
Gradually they started buying into it.
They get it. As much as I would love to say they practice it all the time, that is not the case. But what they do do is when I see them
Stressed out, unhappy I remind them there is a place in the back yard where they can find some peace from all the teen angst that runs through them.
I ask them how was your day? “Any mindful moments?
My hope is that when they home and go off l

We have a place in our back yard that I have set up. I call it the gratitude corner. When My kids are stressed out, upset, angry... I suggest maybe a few minutes in the gratitude corner.
— Franca Stadvec

Please share this with your teens and encourage them to take advantage of this free workshop series which aims to help them build strength, resilience, and empathy. #unplug #recharge #connect.