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Newsletter #63 - The benefits of taking a gap year; how to cope with anxiety; how to deal with stress in the workplace

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Posted June 27th 2015 at 09:33 PM by TeenHelp

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #63 - June 27th 2015 - 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, new resources, 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 articles (June 2nd 2015)

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:

Worry stones

Worry stones are stones that help relieve stress and worry when they are held. Worry stones can help to ground you or alleviate tension. This article explains what worry stones are and how to use them.

Debunking the myths of alcoholism

Alcoholism is an addiction that causes people to depend on alcohol to cope with daily life. There are many misconceptions and stereotypes about alcoholism that can lead people to be in denial about their problem or be afraid to seek support. This article debunks the common misconceptions about alcoholism.

Being an alcoholic

It is sometimes difficult to know what to expect when you begin drinking in order to cope. This article describes one user's experiences with alcoholism and explains what it takes to begin overcoming and beating the addiction.

What is consent?

When engaging in a sexual activity, all parties involved must give their clear consent. In order to make sure of this, all parties must know what is, and is not, consent. Read this article to learn what is considered consent and what is not.




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.



Mental Health Matters

Mental Health Matters is a website that provides information on a range of mental health issues such as anxiety and ADHD. It also includes treatment options and gives advice on accessing different types of treatments. For example, it gives help on opening up and talking at group therapy. Mental Health Matters also has a comprehensive collection of articles, which are very informative and gives advice on a range of mental health issues.



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.


Leaving school - taking a gap year

Before you leave school, you will need to explore all the options available to make an informed decision on what to do next. Some choose to find a job straight away, while others decide to go to university, start an apprenticeship, volunteer, or take a gap year. Here are some benefits for taking a gap year first.
  • Challenge yourself. You will have the freedom to pursue something that will give you a sense of achievement, as doing little with your time off defeats the purpose of a gap year. Whether you decide to climb a mountain or learn important life skills, it will give you a chance to step outside of your comfort zone as well as increase your confidence and independence.
  • Learn new skills. If they relate to your chosen field, it can lead to better career prospects. You may also have the opportunity to find work experience, which will be great for your CV or resume. However, doing something completely different will also enrich your life and may also be equally rewarding.
  • Meet new people. Whatever you decide to do, you are bound to meet new people, be it as a volunteer where you can meet like-minded people, or travelling the world. It's a great chance to network and you never know what opportunities will come your way.
  • Gain new experiences. Once in a lifetime experiences will have a profound impact on your life and can also be character building. It also gives you so much more to share, relate with and talk about with others.
  • Take a break. You will have the chance to take a break and rejuvenate after the demands and stresses of school, as well as have the time to plan and reflect on what you want to do next.


Methods of coping with anxiety

Anxiety can cause physical symptoms in addition to the psychological ones because the body is very much influenced by the mind. Heart palpitations or shortness of breath can make people afraid of feeling anxiety again, and that makes it worse. Here are a few ways to cope with anxiety when it comes knocking at your door.
  • Breathe deeply. Inhale through your nose, hold your breath for a few seconds, and then exhale through your mouth. Exhaling through your mouth can help to ease any nausea that you may be experiencing. Do this a few times to help slow your breathing. If you're able to, lie down on your back to watch your stomach rise and fall.
  • Breathe into a brown paper bag. This is something that is commonly seen in movies and TV shows like The Big Bang Theory. Breathing into a brown paper bag can help regulate your breathing. The movement of the bag while breathing into it causes you to become conscious of your breathing, and works in the same way that watching your stomach rise and fall does.
  • Take note of what's around you. What do you see, hear, smell, feel, or taste? Maybe you're wearing your favourite perfume, or you have the TV on for background noise. Perhaps you can smell freshly baked cookies, or feel the soft fur of your cat. Paying attention to your surroundings helps to keep you grounded.
  • Distract yourself. Do you have a to-do list looming over your head? Work on a few things from that list, or use your coping techniques. Shake a calming jar, listen to music, work on a poem, or take a walk.
  • Talk to someone. Keeping your feelings in is unhealthy. It can be compared to a pot of boiling water in that the water eventually spills over the edge of the pot. You don't even have to talk to someone about how you're feeling; just holding a conversation and being around others can help you.


Dealing with stress in the workplace

For many, going to work can be a draining time of the day. Whether you work full-time or just part-time, your workplace can feel like a big part of your life. This is why it is important to be able to reduce stress that working can create. There are simple steps you can take in order to feel more on-top of your day.
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to get ready. If you are setting your alarm for a half an hour before you have to be at work and are rushing to get ready, you'll likely feel more dread towards going. While getting a good night's sleep is important, make sure you are able to get up early enough where you can have a steady morning routine. Having that extra ten minutes to make some coffee or make a hearty breakfast can do wonders for your mood while heading off to your job.
  • Get organised. Make a check list of any tasks you need to get done while at work. It is also a good idea to, along with a morning routine, have a routine when at work. Try and leave your house around the same time, take breaks around the same time if you can, and head home around the same time. Knowing what to expect and what needs to get done can be a great stress reducer.
  • Try to not spend your shift staring at the clock. For many, the clock is a place eyes commonly wander to, however this may cause time to go by even slower. Instead, try and really focus on your task at hand.
  • Keep your thoughts at work positive. If you spend your shift complaining, either to yourself or out loud, you're more likely to increase your negative feelings towards your job. Instead, find reasons why you like your job and try and keep a smile on your face. Happiness can be infectious and may improve your co-workers' day as well! Time does fly when you are having fun, so even if the task is tough or monotonous, try and make a game out of it or consider how it is impacting your customers or clients.
  • Prevent burnout. Bring some healthy snacks and/or lunch with you to work, and make sure you are fully utilising your breaks to relax. During break time, it may be tempting to think about work and what tasks you have to do when you clock back on, however instead try and disconnect by listening to music, reading a book, or conversing with co-workers. Break time is your time to rest, and doing so will help you feel more refreshed and better able to finish your day.


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.



Senior Skip Day
Senior Skip Day is a common day among American and Canadian high schools when most or all of the senior class skips school and spends the day somewhere else. Do you think schools should provide a day in their calendar for seniors to skip classes? Share your thoughts here.

What's your favourite Disney movie?
Disney showed its first film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937 and has a total of 54 feature movies as of 2014. They also sold 1.27 billion tickets during 2014. With so many movies, choosing your favourite could be nearly impossible! What's your favourite Disney movie? Read the posts of others and share your favourite here.

TeenHelp has been around for nearly 17 years! When did you join TeenHelp? Share your TeenHelp anniversary here!

What decade or century would you like to grow up in?
If you could pick a decade of century to grow up in, which would it be and why? Share your thoughts with others here, and see which option others have chosen.


Social Groups

Celibacy is the act of voluntarily abstaining from sexual activity. People choose to be celibate for a variety of reasons. Join this group if you would like to meet others who are celibate or get advice on how to become or remain celibate.

TeenHelp has a large amount of people in the LGBT+ community. This group is a safe space for anyone who identifies as LGBT/Queer or as an ally to come together to make friends and get support.


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 Publications Team Leader (Halcyon) on the website.

Picture by 2hot4u


Upcoming events

Discussion: Combating anxiety (Saturday June 27th 2015)

Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways, from acute phobias to complicated patterns of debilitating fear. This discussion will help you to share and develop coping mechanisms, combat your fears and learn to help others living with anxiety.

Discussion: Living with mental illness (Saturday July 4th 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: Self harm (Saturday July 11th 2015)

Self harm is a significant problem for many young people today. This discussion will explore alternatives, solutions and ways to seek advice in the face of this widespread and often misunderstood issue.

Discussion: Achieving positive body image (Saturday July 18th 2015)

Our body image is how we feel about our bodies, and does not depend on our size or shape. Achieving a positive body image can be difficult, but you are not alone. Join this discussion to learn how to resist the social pressures and the media, and to feel comfortable and good about your body.

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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Our social networking 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

Publications Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Newsletter Editor: Cassie (Calico.)
Newsletter Editor: Dez (*~Sparkly Queer~* )
Newsletter Editor: Jenny (coolkid98)
Newsletter Editor: Nicole (eumoirous)
Newsletter Editor: Rishy (Saiyouri)

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