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Newsletter #87 - Being more present; how to cope with unhealthy people; beginner hand sewing tips.

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Posted June 16th 2017 at 05:25 AM by TeenHelp

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #87 - June 16th 2017 - 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 3rd 2017)

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:

Safety during Pride
In June, countries around the world host Pride events where members of the LGBTQ+ community are able to celebrate who they are. While Pride is an enjoyable time, it is important that everyone participating makes sure they stay safe during the celebrations. This article discusses ways to stay safe during Pride.

Finding an internship
An internship is a program where a student is able to work in their field while still going to school to get work experience in their chosen field. Although internships are an important way to learn about possible future careers, sometimes it can feel difficult to find one. Read this article to discover tips on how to find an internship.

A Monster Calls: a book and movie comparison
In December 2016, a movie titled A Monster Calls was released in theatres, which was based on the book by Patrick Ness. The story is about a boy named Connor who encounters a monster. He is also trying to come to terms with his mother's sickness and the bullying he faces in school. This article talks about the differences between the book and the movie.

The fear of becoming your abuser
Many people who experience abuse worry that they will become like their abusers someday, partially because of the misconception that many survivors of abuse also become abusers. Read this article to learn more about the fear of becoming your abuser and what can be done to cope with it.




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.



The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project was founded in 1998, with the intent to deter teenage suicide among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community. The website provides several services, such as a 24/7/365 crisis intervention lifeline; online instant messaging with a TrevorChat counsellor; TrevorText, an alternative way to get help; TrevorSpace, an LGBTQ social networking site; and other advocacy/educational programs. This is a useful resource for anyone questioning their identity, or those who wish to help their friends with their own identities.



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.


Being more present

Often, life can start to feel very routine. When that happens, it's easy to start going through the motions without really focusing on the ins and outs of day to day life. While this doesn't always seem like a bad thing, making an active effort to be more present and take in the world around you can have a huge impact on your relationships, attitude, and overall happiness. Read on to see some different things you can try to help you get started.
  • Unplug for a while. Technology definitely has its perks, but constantly being on your phone or laptop can detract from your ability to take in the things that are going on around you. Take some time daily to put your phone on silent, close your laptop, and absorb your surroundings. Have genuine conversations with the people that you're with, rather than sitting side by side scrolling through social media. Go for a walk without headphones in and listen to the sounds around you. You'd be surprised what a difference even an hour a day can make.
  • Listen to what people are saying. Don't just hear them, really listen. Regardless of how mundane the topic might seem, do your best to make the person talking to you feel like you genuinely care about what they have to say, rather than simply taking it in one ear and out the other. Ask questions, make comments beyond the standard responses, and show a genuine interest in their responses. It may seem like something small, but it can help to create a more authentic conversation and will make the other person feel more valued.
  • Take time to appreciate the little things. The smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of a bird chirping, the sight of the first star at night. Over time, the things that you once were drawn to can start to become so familiar that you stop recognizing them for what they are. While going through your daily routine, try to get back to those roots. If something strikes one of your senses and brings you a positive feeling, such as joy or peace, take a minute to revel in it. It might slow the flow of your day down by a moment or two, but allowing yourself that small window to see the beauty in small things will make any difficult things that pop up in your day a bit more bearable.
  • Look for inspiration daily. One of the biggest hindrances to being present in day to day life is feeling like there isn't a reason to be, as you know the patterns by heart. Break that mold by looking for things to be inspired by in everything that you do. You could look to another person for a boost of motivation, read blogs or watch videos that give you that can-do attitude, or look for little things that give you the positive vibes needed to finish what you set out to do. Being inspired just might give you the little push that you need to want to really be a part of what's going on around you, rather than simply following the routine to get it all done on time.


Coping with unhealthy people

Coping with unhealthy people can seem like a daunting and unpleasant task, but it can be done. A few suggestions for helping yourself if you live with unhealthy people are listed below.
  • Create a safe place. Create a physical or mental space in which you can be alone and at peace with your thoughts. Examples of a physical safe place can include a bedroom, an attic, or a simple corner of a larger room. Decorate your safe place with items that are positive and calming. A mental safe place can be a place that you have fond memories of but can no longer visit, or a place that you create in your mind. Close your eyes to put yourself in your mental safe place. Learn more about creating a safe place here.
  • Avoid the person when you can. You can avoid an unhealthy person by making plans to stay out of the house. For instance, you could join extracurricular or community activities, volunteer, work, or make plans with friends. If you don't have the means to leave the house, consider keeping busy within your own home. You could clean, take a walk, sit outside, or spend time with healthy people to name a few. Keeping yourself busy will not only help you avoid an unhealthy person, but it can help lower your anxiety as well.
  • Lower your expectations of the person. Lowering your expectations of an unhealthy person can allow you to accept them as they are while decreasing your disappointment. If you do not expect much from this person, you may not be as disappointed when they become bothersome or unreliable.
  • Work on self-esteem exercises. Sometimes being around an unhealthy person can be damaging to your mental health. Consider working on your health and self-esteem. For instance, you could meditate, practice mindfulness or yoga, or use positive affirmations. Consider having a "go-to" coping skill for when you're struggling with someone. This could be any of the things listed above, or something that is an outlet or a hobby for you.
  • Consider going along with things. Sometimes it is easier to go with the flow in regards to an unhealthy person. While standing up for yourself is important, fighting with an unhealthy person can make them treat you worse. Consider going along with what the unhealthy person wants, but only if it's safe to do so. For instance, it may be easier to smile and nod in agreement if the person expresses something that upsets you. They may have said something negative, but bearing it could prevent additional remarks or arguing.


Hand sewing tips for a beginner

Learning to sew can be challenging if you don't know where to start. This is a guide to know which needle and thread to use, type of fabric and how to sew straight seams.
  • Choose the right needle, thread, and fabric. Firstly, the needle you use greatly determines what you will be using it for. A small needle is useful for thin thread and thin material such as cotton and linen, while a bigger and wider needle is used for thicker thread or a fabric type that needs a stronger needle, such as denim and corduroy. Each have their own purpose; thin thread is more fine and not as noticeable when running your hand along the seam, thicker thread is more visible and you can feel the seam.
  • For a beginner, it is recommended to choose a thicker needle with a wider hole for thicker thread. This will help guide you in sewing straight lines. A thicker needle is harder to push through fabric, but using a thin piece of fabric like cloth will make it go through easily. Once you get the hang of it, move to a smaller needle and thread.
  • Practice creating a seam. First, put the needle into the fabric and position your fingers away from where the needle would come out the other side. Gently pull on the needle to bring all the thread through and flip the fabric so you can see where the thread is at. Take the needle back through it again to create a line but leave some space for the thread to make a beginning seam. Repeat until you have completed the seam.
  • Sewing straight seams can be difficult. It takes practice to sew straight seams; you can use a ruler and trace lines on the fabric as a guide to follow until you have had enough practice.


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.



If you were a time traveller
This user explains the distinction between the different time travel timelines. If you were a time traveller, which type of time travel would you want to be in? Share your thoughts with others here.

Being prepared
Sometimes certain events can happen unexpectedly. Do you prepare for these kinds of situations, and if so, how? Are there particular events that you prepare for over others? Tell us about it in this thread!

Doggy daycare question
Do you take your dog to daycare? If so, do you give gift cards in addition to payment? Let others know here.

Caffeine addiction
This user is looking for ways to curb their caffeine intake. Have you ever had a caffeine addiction, and how did you beat it? Share your experiences with others here.

Spyro is a series of video games about a purple dragon that was first released in 1998. Have you ever played the game? Reminisce about the game here.

TeenHelp volunteering
Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience while also benefiting those in need. If you are considering joining the TeenHelp volunteering team, this thread answers some frequently asked questions.


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 publications@teenhelp.org, or messaging our Newsletter Officer (Psychomachia.) on the website.

Picture by Smultroställe.


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

Publications Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Newsletter Officer: Chess (Psychomachia.)
Senior Newsletter Editor: Cassie (Cassado)
Newsletter Editor: Chantal (WretatsyRemedial)
Newsletter Editor: Dez (~*Just Keep Swimming*~)
Newsletter Editor: Jenna (~Abibliophobe~)
Newsletter Editor: Sammi (Metanoia.)

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