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Newsletter #94 - How to maintain healthy friendships; keeping New Year's Resolutions; self-care activities.

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Posted January 20th 2018 at 10:49 PM by TeenHelp

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #94 - January 20th 2018 - 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.


Volunteer Of The Year Award (December 27th 2017)

TeenHelp is pleased to announce that this year's Volunteer Of The Year Award goes to Chess (Narrative.).

Chess has volunteered for TeenHelp for over seven years in loads of different roles - From HelpLINK, Live Help and Community Mentors, to Articles and Newsletter Editors, there aren't many areas Chess hasn't been part of!

"Chess is very kind and caring and goes the extra mile to make people feel supported and cared for." is one comment that stands out - And it's so true! So many people have been touched by Chess' thoughtful compassion over the years. "If someone needs Chess, Chess will always make time for them."

More recently Chess has been heavily involved in our publications, leading our Newsletter team and being part of our Articles team too, where their hard work has ensured we have kept publishing pieces regularly for everybody to benefit from.

"Chess is a great leader and is so good at bringing the team together"

Chess is also excellent at supporting, motivating and inspiring her fellow volunteers, and I'm sure most Staff eagerly await the annual "Staff Compliment Day".

Through it all, Chess remains "kind, upbeat, and funny". Chess is truly a remarkable individual and an asset to the TeenHelp team!

Congratulations Chess!



TeenHelp Winter Awards (December 27th 2017)

TeenHelp is pleased to announce that this year's Winter Awards go to:

Emma (Golfing girl) - Although a fairly recent addition to our volunteer team, Emma has already made a huge impact. As one of our most active HelpLINK Mentors she has helped dozens of people already. She has shown great empathy and validation for members when helping them, a great first step on Staff that we hope will continue into next year!

Jenna (~Abibliophobe~) - Jenna continues to be a hard working and reliable volunteer, contributing across the site, from providing advice, moderating and supporting fellow Staff members. She is warm and friendly to everybody and the nominations show how appreciated she is.

Paige (xxpaigiexx)- Paige is one of TeenHelp's longest standing volunteers, having been a HelpLINK Mentor for around nine years. Her focus has always been on HelpLINK during that time and it has been great to see a regular, reliable face here for members when they need somebody.

Congratulations to everyone who has received a received an award!

Thank you to everyone for the huge number of nominations we received this year, it was great reading them all. Please continue submitting feedback and if you're ready to start your own volunteering story have a look at our Volunteer page to find out more.



Latest articles (January 1st 2018 and December 30th 2017)

New Year's Resolutions
Are you someone who tends to decide on a New Year's Resolution but then have a difficult time following it? This article gives suggestions on how you may be able to stick to your New Year's Resolution.

Exploring your gender identity
Questioning your gender identity can feel scary, and it can sometimes be hard to access the resources you need. Read this article to learn ways to make the process of exploring your gender identity a bit easier.

Coping with stress while in school
Attending school can cause anyone stress, but it is important to find ways to manage these emotions. This article talks about ways to reduce or eliminate some of your school-related stress.

Discussing boundaries with your partner
Communicating boundaries with your partner is very important for maintaining a healthy relationship, but it can still be scary. Read this to learn how to make this discussion easier to have.

Free Contraception: The Answer To Overpopulation Or The Cause Of Promiscuity?
The Affordable Care Act of 2012 has made contraceptives free and accessible in the United States. While those in favor of this say that this allows women to prevent unwanted pregnancies and have the right to choose when to get pregnant, opponents say that this allows people to be promiscuous. This article talks about both sides of the argument.




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 Change4Life

Change4Life is a campaign run by the NHS in England and Wales to encourage everyone to lead healthier lives by eating the right foods and exercising regularly. The website contains educational videos and food facts, healthy recipe ideas, healthier alternatives to snacks with high fat and sugar content, ways to keep active, and links to other resources.

Download the Change4Life apps on Apple and Android devices, available through their application stores, for more recipe ideas and a food scanner to find out what's inside your food.



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.


Maintaining healthy friendships

While we often talk about how important it is to maintain healthy boundaries in romantic relationships, we have a tendency to forget that it is equally important to take steps to ensure that our friendships are healthy as well. Read on to learn about different things you can do to make sure your friendships are having a positive influence, both in your life and in your friend's life.
  • Make sure it is a two-way street. One of the best parts about having close friends is being able to confide in them when things get difficult. However, it's important to check yourselves every once in a while to make sure one person isn't giving more than the other. Keep in mind that this rule doesn't necessarily apply when one person is going through a particularly difficult season of life. But, as a whole, both of you should feel like you're getting the support and positivity that you need out of the friendship.
  • Explore your own interests. When you spend a majority of your time with your friends, you may notice that you suddenly all seem to have the same interests. Although most friendships are based on some sort of common ground, such as a shared hobby, it's important that you hold on to your individuality as well. If you want to learn a new instrument or take an art class, don't hesitate to do so, even if it isn't something that anyone else in your circle is interested in. Encourage your friends to do the same with their individual interests. Taking the time to do things for yourself will not only help you in creating your own identity within your group, but will give you all new experiences to talk about.
  • Speak your mind. Contradicting a friend can feel strange, but there are times where it is absolutely necessary. If your friend says something that bothers you, it's perfectly acceptable (and should be encouraged) that you speak up, whether it's standing up for yourself, a belief, or someone else. When situations that require this arise, try saying things such as "When you say _____, I feel _______." Using "I statements" will get your point across in a way that won't make your friend feel defensive, making them more likely to consider what you have to say.
  • Remain true to yourself. Wanting to impress your friends is a natural feeling. However, feeling the need to change who you are in order to make them like you more isn't a sign of a healthy friendship. It may sound cliche, but the best friends really will like you for the wonderful person you already are. So, while a little bit of change is part of life, make sure that you're staying true to who you are in your friendships. There are elements that only you can add to the group, after all.


Keeping New Year's Resolutions

Keeping resolutions can be difficult, and goals made with the New Year can easily be short-lived. Here are some things to consider when striving to keep your resolutions.
  • Shift your perspective. If thinking of goals for the New Year wasn't successful for you in years past, think of it as a New Year plan for yourself. This will encourage you to incorporate your goals into your lifestyle.
  • Break your goals down. If you have one large goal such as losing a certain amount of weight or saving a particular amount of money, break it down into smaller increments. Perhaps you could start with losing a smaller amount of weight or saving a smaller amount of money and then go from there.
  • Consider your motivation. If you're trying lose weight or quit smoking, ask yourself why you feel the need to smoke or why your relationship with food is the way it is. Doing this will allow you to work on any underlying issues.
  • Take your time and take breaks. Don't feel like you need to rush to achieve your goals or keep your resolutions. Do things in your own time, in your own healthy ways. Taking your time and doing things healthily may make the end result more satisfying. You don't have to be in the mindset of striving for your resolutions all of the time. Know that it is okay to take a break and indulge yourself when you need to. Have that piece of chocolate, or spend a little extra money on yourself.
  • Ask for help. Some people struggle with keeping resolutions on their own. Sometimes having a friend alongside you to achieve the same goal or act as a person to keep you accountable can do a world of good. Don't be afraid to ask for help throughout your journey.
  • Reward yourself. Do something to celebrate the end results or the effort you put into getting as far as you have! Though the journey and the results can be exciting in themselves, you may benefit from doing some extra celebrating.


Simple self-care activities

It is important to participate in self care activities as often as possible because it can be a great way to boost mental health. Figuring out and incorporating some simple self care activities into everyday life is something that can be helpful to many. This tip will discuss some different activities that might prove beneficial to you.
  • Become immersed in a fictional world. You can do things such as read, watch movies and television or play video games. Finding the time to do these things might be difficult for you but there are some ways to work around time constraints. For example, you can set aside a certain amount of time to focus on these activities. You can set aside as little as 15 minutes each day or you could dedicate a few hours during the weekends. Having a set amount of time to focus on these activities might give you something to look forward to when you are having a bad day or week.
  • Attend a social or spiritual gathering. If you are someone that benefits from being around others then doing something like this might help boost your mental health. There are plenty of ways to try and go about doing this such as trying to schedule time with friends, find an event to attend in your city, walk around town and people watch or attend church or place of worship.
  • Do some DIY or other creative activities. You could make something, draw, color, paint or join an art group. Art might be a good way for you to express your feelings and relax. Also, depending on what type of art or DIY activity you are focusing on you don't have to complete everything all at once which makes it possible to set aside a certain amount of time to focus on the activity.
  • Interact and look after a pet. If you have an animal it might help to do things such as cleaning up after them, going for a walk, feeding them or taking some time to cuddle with them. You might find caring for and spending time with your pet to be a rewarding experience. If you don't currently have a pet it might be possible to watch someone else's such as a neighbor, friend or family member. You might be able to look into volunteering with a local animal shelter as well.
  • Try and do some physical exercise. Exercise can be a great way for you to take care of your physical and mental health. If possible you could schedule in a few walks during the week or a few trips to the gym. If you are dealing with a schedule that doesn't allow a lot of free time it might still be possible to incorporate exercise. For example, if you have a busy work schedule you could take a walk when you have a break or you could try parking your car further away from your office so that you have a bit farther to walk.


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.



How long have you been sober?
Trying to be in recovery for drug or alcohol addiction can be difficult. This thread is a great place to share how long you have been sober and remind yourself of what you have accomplished so far.

Are tattoos life changing?
Do you have an opinion on whether or not tattoos are life changing? Come here to share your point of view and to see others' thoughts as well.

Fantastic Beasts
Are you a fan of the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? If so check out this thread and discuss your thoughts on the movie as well as your thoughts on the sequel that will be coming out later this year.

Do you know what your triggers are and what helped you figure it out?
People who self harm may have a variety of triggers, and knowing what they are can help a person learn to cope with them. This thread is a safe place to discuss what your triggers are, and how you came to recognise and understand them.


Social groups

Pity party
Are you someone who needs to vent about how you feel and allow yourself to express those emotions? Join pity party to express all your emotions and connect with others.


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 (Narrative.) on the website.

Picture by (MsNobleEleanor)


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, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter

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!

Facebook: http://www.teenhelp.org/facebook
Instagram: http://www.teenhelp.org/instagram
Tumblr: http://www.teenhelp.org/tumblr
Twitter: http://www.teenhelp.org/twitter


Editorial team

Publications Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Newsletter Officer: Chess (Narrative.)
Senior Newsletter Editor: Cassie (cynefin)
Newsletter Editor: Chantal (MsNobleEleanor)
Newsletter Editor: Dez (Onism.)
Newsletter Editor: Jenna (~Abibliophobe~)
Newsletter Editor: Sammi (Orenda.)

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