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Newsletter #57 - Surviving the holidays; protecting yourself online; how to overcome procrastination

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Posted December 20th 2014 at 05:42 PM by TeenHelp
Updated December 22nd 2014 at 01:21 PM by Rob

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #57 - December 20th 2014 - 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!


The Newsletter team would like to wish everyone on TeenHelp and their loved ones a happy holiday.


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 articles (December 3rd 2014)

Our team of talented writers bring our users a constant stream of fresh articles to read each month. Articles are being published regularly, so be sure to check regularly to see what we're doing. Some of our latest additions include:

Depression and Suicide: Fact vs. Myth

Although depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, there are still many misconceptions surrounding it. This article tackles some widespread myths, such as 'Depression isn't serious' and 'Depression will go away on its own', and explains the truth behind such statements.

Living with a mental illness

While at first there may be no apparent difference between 'suffering from a mental illness' and 'living with a mental illness', there are different connotations between the two. This article takes a look at the perceptions of having a mental illness, and gives some advice on how to adjust your mindset to reduce the suffering and increase the actual living.

Staying safe online

In an increasingly digital age, it can be difficult to know where the lines are and what exactly can pose a risk online. This article discusses some of the most commonly encountered issues online, such as cyberbullying and phishing, and explains what they are as well as how to avoid them.

Online schooling

As well as traditional in-person education, there are other methods of schooling, such as doing it online. This article explains the basic process of online schooling, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of this method.




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.




BullyTag is an application that empowers victims and bystanders to anonymously report real-time information regarding bullying incidents that could be occurring right in front of them. The BullyTag application allows a person to capture pictures, video, audio, and much more, in order to have and report evidence of bullying. Once you have the necessary information to anonymously report bullying, you are then able to send that evidence to a specific person who is in a position to take action against the behaviour. BullyTag is considered suitable for people aged 12 and over, and is very user friendly.

Available for free on Apple and Android devices through their application stores.


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.


How to survive the holidays if you aren't a festive person

The holidays can be a fun and exciting time for many, but for people who don't share the 'holiday spirit' or who may just not be feeling it this year, it can also be challenging and even make them feel lonely. Here are some tips on how to get through the holiday season if you're not a holiday person.
  • If those around you are getting into the festive spirit, you might like to join in the festivities anyway. Doing so can melt your reservations and remind you of all the good things about the holidays, and you can enjoy spending time with friends and family. Alternatively, you can spend time with your loved ones without doing holiday activities - that way you still get to enjoy their company, without being reminded of the holidays.
  • If there is something specific about the holiday season that you dislike, see what you can do about fixing it. For example, there might be a particular holiday tradition you don't enjoy, and this year you might be able to skip it; or there might be a family gathering you would rather not go to, and this year you could leave earlier than usual. If you can't avoid the activities altogether, find ways to make them more bearable.
  • You could also try to rethink what the holidays mean to you. Many people enjoy giving gifts, spending time with loved ones, and even decorating, among other things, but this can all get lost in the 'Christmas rush'. It might be helpful to take a few minutes and make a list of all the things you do like about the holiday season, and think about how you can incorporate those into your life.
  • Overall, remember that the holiday season is relatively brief, and it will be over very soon. Be nice to yourself (and to others, which is part of the festive season in itself) and remind yourself that it won't last forever. Also keep an open mind - maybe this year won't be as bad as you're expecting, and you might even enjoy it!


Overcoming procrastination

Procrastination is a habit that can be detrimental to your studies, career and personal life. Like all habits, procrastination will take time to overcome, but here are some strategies to help you get started.
  • To overcome procrastination, you first need to understand why you procrastinate. Is it fear of failure? Do you lack the energy or the resources needed to complete the task? Is the task so big that you feel overwhelmed? Do you lack the motivation? Depending on your reason for procrastinating, you may need to have a different strategy.
    • Fearing failure - Think positive. Even the smallest amount of progress is a success.
    • Lacking energy - Exercise to increase your energy levels. (Think of it like this: On the race track, fit people will have more endurance than unfit people.) Eat energising foods, such as pineapple and almonds.
    • Inadequate resources - Don't be afraid to ask for help, and learn a new skill if you need to.
    • Task too big - Break the bigger task into smaller, more manageable, tasks.
    • Lacking motivation - Think about the value the task will add to your life, and devise a reward system.
  • Eliminate distractions from your environment, such as switching off the TV, deactivating social networking sites, and turning your phone onto Airplane Mode.
  • Change your way of thinking. Don't think, "I have to do something," say to yourself, "I will do something," as that is more empowering. Having to do something seems more tedious, and like you don't have a choice in the matter.
  • Try not to think about the end result (although know what you are aiming for) and focus on starting. Set an alarm to remind yourself to start (and stop!). You might wish to try the 'Pomodoro Technique' to manage your time: tackle your to-do-list 25 minutes at a time - take a short break - then get back to your work. Give yourself a deadline, and work towards that.
  • Tell your family and friends what you pledge to do. Sharing your commitments with others will hold you accountable, but also, they will be there to encourage 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.


When do you decorate for Christmas?
Some people get into the Christmas spirit in November, others wait until the week before the holiday to decorate. Where do your traditions fall in the spectrum?

Holiday recipes!
The holidays can be an enormously fun time, and many people have certain 'holiday recipes' that they bring out once or twice a year. Use this thread to share yours and get some ideas from other users.

Is it unreasonable to think you'll never get along with someone in your family?
Do you have a family member that you have never really gotten along with? You're not alone. Find out what other users are saying about the issue, and add your own opinion, in this thread.

To everyone who's currently having a tough day, read this thread
Are you having a bad day or do you just need a quick pick-me-up? Check out this thread for an inspirational message written by a TeenHelp user.



Does it have to mean a fight?
If you are in a philosophical mood, this entry raises some interesting questions to ponder, and leaves you with an important message to take away from it.

Let's have an adventure
This entry asks a seemingly simple but profound question: what do you want to be remembered by? See this user's thoughts on the subject, and allow it to encourage you to think about your own answer.

I'm glad I didn't give up
It can be easy to let other people's opinions get you down and stop you from following your dreams, but here is one user who didn't let that happen. Read their story about overcoming odds and achieving their goals, and let it inspire you to do the same!


Social Groups

Feline fanciers
Cat lovers are invited to come together in this social group. Show your love of felines by posting photographs, sharing stories, and being around those who love cats just as much as you do.

Self harm and LGBTQP help and support
This group is to support those struggling with self harm as well as those questioning their sexuality. Join this group to receive support, offer help, and be surrounded by those who believe in acceptance.


Picture Of The Month

Each month we feature a picture by one of our users. If you would like to see your picture here please contact us by replying to this Newsletter, emailing us at contact@teenhelp.org, or messaging our Newsletter Officer (Halcyon) on the website.

Picture by Azure.


Upcoming events

Discussion: Maximising your productivity (Saturday December 27th 2014)

Whether you are in school, university or the world of work, maintaining your productivity is an essential part of life. Join this discussion to learn how to stay focused, plan your workload effectively and fight off the temptation of procrastination.

Discussion: Dealing with loneliness/isolation (Saturday January 3rd 2015)

Everybody gets lonely from time to time, but if you become isolated from others over an extended time it can be harmful for your mental wellbeing. Join this discussion to learn how to cope with feelings of loneliness, as well as reduce your isolation in ways that you're comfortable with.

Discussion: Living with mental illness (Saturday January 10th 2015)

Although one in four people experience mental health problems, there is regrettably still a stigma attached to it, which prevents people from seeking help. Consequently, living with a mental illness can be a particularly isolating time. If you are concerned about your mental health, join this discussion to discuss day-to-day coping techniques, how to reach out to professionals and other aspects of living with mental illness.

Discussion: Seeking employment (Saturday January 17th 2015)

We all dream of the perfect job, but when it comes down to reality, we may be faced with tough competition. How do we find the most suitable job for us? With all the opportunities that are available, how can we narrow down what we want and what we are qualified for? This discussion will help you to consider the options, seek advice from those who have been through a similar process, and get answers to any questions that you may have.

Discussion: Facing the challenges of growing up (Saturday January 24th 2015)

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.

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.



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Editorial team

Newsletter Officer/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Senior Newsletter Editor: Chris (Chris)
Newsletter Editor: Jenna (Lucent.)
Newsletter Editor: Chess (*~Skittles Martinski~* )
Newsletter Editor: Rishy (Saiyouri)

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