Engaging Your Brain

Try Something New

Learning how to do something that sparks your curiosity and creativity is not only fun, it’s rewarding and strengthens your brain too. Doing anything that enables you to master a new skill, work together with other people, and “make something happen” requires your brain to form and shape neural pathways that help you to make things happen in other areas of your life too.

What interests you? Explore it, try it, get better at it! List of InterestsDeveloping Self-Confidence

Excerpted from Confidence: A Worksheet @TeensHealth.org

Do you believe in yourself? Or do you sometimes fall into thinking that you'll never be good at things? You can build confidence, just like you can build any other positive emotion. The best way to start is by working to get even better at something you're already good at.  Read more…

You Can Do It: Challenging Yourself   
Excerpted from 5 Ways to Beat Pre-Performance Nerves  at TeensHealth   

Lots of people stress out about talking in front of the class or getting laughed at if they make a mistake in front of an audience. Feeling nervous before a performance is natural — and part of your body's way of helping you do your best. The "stress hormones" (like adrenaline) that your body produces at times like these can actually help you focus. These tips can help you keep your stress hormones in check:

  • Be prepared. You're less likely to freeze up if you're well prepared. Rehearse as much as you can and practice.
  • Psych yourself up. Instead of dwelling on what could go wrong, rev up some positive energy. Have a friend give you a pep talk. Give yourself one too.
  • Learn ways to chill. At certain types of competitions, there's a wait before it's your turn to perform. Some people need to be active to relax, others need to be still and calm. Find out what works for you.
  • Don't be afraid of the nervous feeling. Just let it be there. Remind yourself it's natural, just your nervous system revving up to get you ready and set to go.
  • Look after yourself. Get enough sleep and eat healthy meals before your performance.

Get Curious, Be Creative

All Free at Your Local Library!

You can play computer games, have an after-school snacks, get homework help, watch videos, check out music, explore the web, meet people, find some great reads, get in some volunteer experience, build a resume, and explore all kinds of resources you didn’t know existed. Most public libraries have a teen space and events on regular days. Check out the library locators below and find out what your public library offers.

California Public Libraries 
Type in your city or county and get a list of all the public libraries in California, including state, county and college libraries, and go to the online site.

California Public Library Outlets 
Zoom in on the public libraries in your neighborhood and link to the website to find out what is happening near you.  

Let YouTube Channels Spark Your Interests
While you’re at the library, check out some of these YouTube channels to spark your curiosity and creativity.

YouTube: TEDEducation   
Animated educational shorts, brain challenges, and how-to videos for young minds. Check out some of these playlists:

60 YouTube Channels That Will Make You Smarter
Spark your curiosity, inspire your creativity, expand your mind, connect with technology, experiment with sciences, and get closer to nature…on these sixty channels.

Random Icons with Graphic Wording
Screenshot of linked article published on Biblio.org on The Graph, A Medium Corporation.

Need Help Now?


California Youth Crisis Line: 1-800-843-5200
Connecting youth to trained counselors and local services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Your Life Your Voice:  1-800-448-3000

Crisis Text Line: send text to 741 741 


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Foster Care Ombudsperson
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