Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tip for Mentors: Help Someone Heal. Reach Out to Cure the Holiday Blues

We’ve been hearing from some of our mentors and mentees about the different issues that young people experience during the holidays when they see everyone else seemingly happy and in the holiday spirit while they’re experiencing negative emotions with their family or home situation. 
So, though you just heard from us, we thought this would be helpful!

Reach Out to Cure the Holiday Blues
During the holidays we tend to get busy and spend less time with our mentees as our focus turns to our immediate families and our holiday preparation and trips.  This, however, is also a time when many of our mentees feel a sense of longing for the kinds of family love that they see portrayed in the media but may not be getting at home.  Children often are reminded of the losses they have experienced and the difference between their life and Ozzy and Harriet type fantasies. 
“Holiday blues" range from mild sadness during the holidays to severe depression.  Real medicine for holiday blues is knowing that someone cares about you.  If you’re feeling holiday blues, you can give yourself some healing by reaching out to your mentee.  Even if they don’t respond the way you want, you can know that you did something
So, please try to stay in contact with your mentee during the time between now and the New Year. 
o   A simple phone call from their mentor is a big statement that someone cares. 
o   Doing something special with your mentee is even more powerful when you are able to make the time. 
o   Don’t forget to send your mentee a Holiday card. 
o   If you go somewhere special during the holidays, perhaps you can send a postcard to your mentee.
o   A caveat: Try to resist the temptation of giving expensive gifts to your mentee.

 Finally, all of us at Youth Mentoring Connection are privileged during the holidays to witness thousands of caring relationships.  You can’t beat that for holiday warmth and cheer.

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