How do you cheer yourself up? Is there something you do that just helps to wash away the stresses of the day?
It was from a conversation around those questions that a young women’s group from Arklow put together a small journal called ‘An Easy Guide To An Easy Mind’.
During the year we worked with the girls group from The Vault youth centre in Arklow. The result of that work was a 42 page well-being journal filled with ideas from the young people about things they do to relax, distress and generally cheer themselves up, and now we make it available for free download.
The journal doesn’t aim to tell young people ‘how to be happy’, but shares some of the groups favourite things to do, while leaving space for users of the journal to create their own lists or activities that fit with the different sections. Some of them are simple and easy to do, like a playlist of feel good songs or think about the simple pleasures that we do day to day, while other section help us to think about how to get a good night’s sleep.
The design of the book tries to bring a personal scrapbook type look to it. Hours were spent cutting out letters from magazines to create page headings, and old typewriter was found to try give it an old look. The girls worked with an artist who helped them with the design, but also by bringing to life the girl’s ideas for a little cartoon figure (called Alan) who would pop up from time to time (including to the cover) to offer some tips. So if the journal isn’t always the most slick professional looking book of all time, this is (mostly) done on purpose.
If you like mindfullness colouring books, then we have a drawing especially done for the journal by Deirdre Burke, a local artist from Arklow who worked with the girls.
We aim to distribute the book among all of the secondary schools in Co Wicklow, as well as Youthreach centres and youth centres in the county. We currently have a very limited amount of hard copies available from YouthSpin office in either Bray or Arklow.
You can also download the journal from this page. We would encourage you to share the journal, or links to this page if you think it might be of use to people.