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Newsletter #21 - Changing priorities; living with body dysmorphic disorder, being productive during the holiday season.

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Posted December 17th 2011 at 04:30 PM by TeenHelp
Updated January 15th 2012 at 05:32 PM by TeenHelp

Source: Newsletter | Issue 21 | If you would like to receive the full quality HTML version via email please sign up.

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #21 - December 17th 2011 - http://www.teenhelp.org

Welcome to the TeenHelp Newsletter! Our Newsletter contains a lot of useful information about our current work, including updates to our site and services, work with our partners and affiliates, details of upcoming events, short bits of advice, interesting links and more!


TeenHelp News

TeenHelp regularly makes changes to its site and services. Some of these are large and noticeable, and others are small and much less so, but each one contributes to the positive development of TeenHelp and how our users experience our community. Below are some of the most recent developments.


Latest videos (December 3rd 2011)

Due to the hard work of our Videos Team, over the last several months we have seen many great additions to our Videos section. More videos are being added all the time, so check regularly to see all our favourite picks! Some of our latest additions include:

Body Dysmorphic Disorder As A Teenager

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a common mental health problem for teenagers. In this video Chris - who is recovering from BDD - shares his first-hand experience of the disorder and offers advice to others suffering from BDD.

How To Calculate Percentages

Being able to calculate percentages can help you to balance your budget, calculate restaurant tips, or determine the price of a discounted item. This video explains how to calculate percentages in those situations and more!

How To Care For Dogs

Pets are a huge responsibility and commitment. For new dog owners or those wishing to ensure the best care for their furry friends, this video explains the basics of dog care including feeding, exercise, grooming, and health needs.

How To Make Fruit Cake

The holiday season is upon us, and there are lots of delicious treats that we can partake in. If you enjoy baking and would like to try making your own cake this year, this video will give you step-by-step instructions for baking and storing a homemade fruit cake.



Operations and Procedures Committee closure (November 27th 2011)

The Operations and Procedures Committee previously ensured that all information on the site was appropriate and up-to-date. However, in an effort to focus our attention on what is most important for us and our users, the committee has been closed so we can concentrate our limited resources on other projects instead. By restructuring how we manage information, the valuable function the committee fulfilled will continue through other roles. TeenHelp would like to thank all previous members of the Operations and Procedures Committee for their work to date.




TeenHelp works with a range of different organisations and websites in order to help and educate young people. Below is a selection of some of them. For a full list of the organisations we work with, please visit our Resources page.



NHS Choices

NHS Choices is the information portal of the United Kingdom's National Health Service. The website contains a vast "Health encyclopaedia" with comprehensive information on over 800 conditions and treatments, as well as a medication guide that includes ingredients, dosage and possible side effects. There are also a variety of other interesting resources, including articles, videos and links that are sure to answer most common health questions. In case that isn't enough, they also provide a series of symptom checkers that help you to pinpoint possible areas for concern and to consider whether you need to see a doctor about a potential health issue. Overall, NHS Choices is a great resource with loads of useful information and tools to answer health related questions.



Anxiety Disorders Association of America

The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) is a leading organisation that works to combat anxiety disorders through advocacy and awareness raising. Their website contains information about the main anxiety disorders - such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Social Anxiety Disorder - to help you understand each of them and how they differ. The information is very well laid out and organised in a way that helps you find just what you're looking for. There is also a useful list of widely spread myths about anxiety and the reality behind them. Not to mention a lovely selection of detailed case studies from people who live with anxiety themselves to show you exactly what it's like. For those who live in the United States they provide a service to find local support groups and professionals who can help you or someone you know experiencing anxiety. For those who want to learn more, there's a good list of reputable publications, as well as news stories and research posted on their website regularly to keep you in the know about current developments in anxiety.



Tips Of The Month

Each month we share small bits of practical advice that you can implement to improve your life or that of others.


Managing family relationships during the holidays

Keeping the peace with family can be difficult at any time of year, but the holidays can prove particularly stressful, when pressure to avoid conflict and keep everyone cheerful is especially high. Here are some tips to help you get through the holiday season.
  • Discuss plans ahead of time with family who will be at the gathering. Be sure to include activities that everyone will enjoy.
  • Play family games that involve everyone, as it can be a fun way to pass the time and it may help to relieve any stress or tension.
  • Avoid talking about sensitive topics to prevent arguments. If someone brings up the subject, try to distract them and steer the conversation to a more pleasant one.
  • Try to keep alcohol consumption to a minimum, as reduced inhibitions could contribute to an argument.
  • Keep your expectations realistic to avoid disappointment, and appreciate that everyone may be stressed for different reasons. Try to be as understanding as possible about everyone's circumstances.


How to give back during the holiday season

This holiday make the season a little brighter for others. Giving back is an awesome thing to do during the holidays.
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen, as they are always looking for a helping hand.
  • Deliver food and/or presents to less fortunate families. You can do this by collecting canned goods, clothes you've grown out of, and toys you don't play with anymore.
  • Visit hospital patients, as they often have to spend the holidays alone, and could really use the company. Chat with them, play card games, read them a book, or bring them a gift.
  • Keep it simple. Simple gestures such as shovelling snow for neighbors, picking up trash at a local park, or making cookies for someone can make a huge difference.
  • Donate to a charitable organisation, even if it's just a little money. Donating to a charity can make you feel really good, no matter what the amount!


How to make a New Year's resolution

At the start of every year we consider how we would like to change for the future. Here are a few ways to help you make New Year's resolutions that are successful.
  • Be realistic in setting your goals and remember that less is sometimes more.
  • Break larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones and put them in the order you need to complete them.
  • Describe your resolutions in specific terms with a clear emphasis of what you want to achieve and when by.
  • Find alternatives to a behaviour that you want to change and make its adoption part of your resolution.
  • Aim for things that are important to you, not what you think you should do or what others expect of you.


Interesting Things (on TeenHelp)

A lot of content is posted to TeenHelp every single day, from threads to articles, social groups to albums. But it is difficult for even the most veteran user to keep on top of it all, so we have selected a few items from among the masses that we thought were interesting to draw your attention to.



Do dreams mean something?
There are many books on interpreting dreams, but do your dreams actually mean something, or are they just images that your brain conjures up as a result of your daily experiences?

Christmas music?
'Tis the season to be jolly! Have you started playing Christmas music yet? If there are particular tunes you like to hum along to, share them with us here, and be sure to also check out the songs other members like!


Social Groups

Exotic Pet Lovers
Exotic pets, known for their unusual beauty, fall into three main categories: invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles. If you love or own exotic pets yourself, join this group to discuss their amazing qualities, how you care for them, and even post a picture or two!

Twilight Lovers
Do you love all things Twilight? Then join this group to discuss your favourite characters and to meet other Twilight fans!


Upcoming events

Discussion: Coping with moving somewhere new (Saturday December 17th 2011)

Moving somewhere new, whether it be relocating with your parents or moving to university, can be a difficult experience. It may mean leaving friends and family behind, or readjusting to a new lifestyle. This discussion will enable you to cope better with the change, as well as discuss your concerns with others who have endured similar experiences.

Discussion: Facing the challenges of growing up (Saturday December 24th 2011)

The transition from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood can be very testing, as you seek to find greater independence and a balanced lifestyle, while also coping with the developmental, emotional and psychological changes to your mind and body. You are not alone, however. Join this discussion for advice on how to make the transition easier, and to learn from the experiences of others.

Discussion: Handling negative emotions (Saturday December 31st 2011)

Negative emotions include sadness, anger, jealousy and hate. These feelings are natural, but they can also be destructive if they are not dealt with appropriately. This discussion will help you to find ways to deal with these negative emotions so that they are not detrimental to your life.

Discussion: Building confidence and self esteem (Saturday January 7th 2012)

If you have low confidence or self-esteem you may find yourself unable to carry out certain tasks or feeling that you are disliked by others. These feelings might hold you back and stop you from enjoying life to its fullest. Join this discussion to learn techniques to give your self-esteem a boost, and how to work on building confidence for a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Discussion: Learning to make friends (Saturday January 14th 2012)

Friends can be a great source of comfort, warmth and support, and bring fun and enjoyment to our lives. Yet many of us find it difficult to make and keep friends. Join this discussion for advice building strong friendships and reinforcing the friendship that you may already have.

For more information about upcoming Facilitated Chat Room Discussions (FCRDs), and the times that these discussions will take place, please visit our FCRD page.



Donate to TeenHelp

In order to continue providing free services to young people around the world, TeenHelp requires a constant income of voluntary donations to support our regular costs. If you are able to, we ask that you please donate any money you can to us, even if it's only a few dollars.



Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Our Facebook and Twitter pages are a great place to get a lot of high-quality information. We aim to connect you to interesting organisations, volunteering opportunities, events, news stories, pictures, videos, and more!

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Editorial team

Editor-in-Chief: Rob
Deputy Editor: Haley (Halcyon)
Assistant Editor: Jessie (eunoia)
Assistant Editor: Rianna (Moonlight.)
Assistant Editor: Lyndsee (Willow.)

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