By Julie Educate, MS, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor, Christian Family Solutions
Thank you so much for your question. When I was in high school, I remember hearing a few teens say that they feel like they have nothing to live for. Now that I’m a therapist, I hear more and more teens making that same statement, that they have nothing to live for.
Is hopelessness increasing? Let’s break it down and discuss how we can find hope again.
First, recognize that today, temptations to engage in unhealthy comparisons are all around us, 24-7. In the modern era, almost every student has had access to some sort of media. Up until the early 2000s, that media included mostly radio, television, and magazines. If they played the comparison game, students compared themselves with the actors, actresses, and models in these media outlets.
Now, with the advent of social media, students have so much additional peer pressure. The comparison games just increased exponentially. You see a peer making a huge achievement, and what are your thoughts? Are you excited for that peer? Do you have negative thoughts towards them or maybe yourself?
Second, recognize that everyone is trying to find their new “normal” after COVID. Depending on what grade you are in, you spent some of your junior high or high school career in a pandemic. High school is a time to discover oneself. Students cannot do that if the world has so many restrictions, even if they are designed to keep you and others safe.
Now, what can you do to give your life more purpose? Let’s start with working on self-esteem. Positive self-esteem will help you move forward. A tool I have often used in the past is bullet journals. These are micro-journals that contain thoughts and images of things that fascinate you or make you happy. Things for which you are grateful. Things that make you, YOU.
Start by writing one thing you love about yourself a day. Or one thing you are grateful for. Or something that fascinates you or makes you curious.
Print some photos of friends, favorite things, family, pets, etc. Then, tape them to your journal. Look at them often.
Do not be afraid to challenge yourself. Maybe challenge yourself to read one fun book a month. Track it in your bullet journal. Reward yourself when you accomplish your goal!
YouTube has a bunch of bullet journal ideas. Or here is another example.
I know you said the only answer shouldn’t be “pray.” Remember that there are many things to discover in this big, beautiful world. Hopefully the above suggestions help you discover some of those things. Sin gets in the way and clouds our view of blessings, including the love God has for you. The place where we find reminders of that love is in the Bible, God’s love letter to us. When you need to hear that you are loved, go to Bible passages that have the power to comfort you like nothing else in this world can. This is God speaking directly to you. Passages like
Thank you so much for your question. I hope some of this advice helps you find a little hope in each day.
Please note that you are not alone. If you are still feeling stuck. Please reach out for more support.
These answers aren’t comprehensive … They are a start. If you or someone you know needs counseling please call Christian Family Solutions Counseling Care & Services at 800-438-1772.
If you are experiencing a health emergency of any kind, please dial 911.
If you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.