Lifting Teens Spirits During the Holidays

The holiday season can be a very stressful time for teens and their families. Some families may be facing financial issues, which can heighten teens' anxiety during the holiday shopping season. Other teens have divorced parents, which can mean complicated holiday plans.

candy canes

Bringing awareness to these challenges can help teens navigate through the holidays a little more easily. Recent research has proven that doing Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) around the holidays can actually help teens to deal with holiday stress. Stage of Life, a site dedicated to helping teens, asked 344 teens to complete a national survey about RAKs. The survey data showed that teens who participated in RAKs reduced their stress levels and boosted their self-esteem.

To help your teens, I've compiled a list of holiday-themed RAKs that can all be excellent for young adult programs. If you try these with your teens, let me know how it goes.

Candy Canes from the Heart: Candy canes for everyone! A candy cane and a card that reads, "You've been RAK'd!" is an awesome way to get teens' spirits up for the holidays.

Popcorn Love: Here's another "You've been RAK'd" project. This one would be fun to have teens do for the DVD section in a library.  

Pet Blankets for Animal Shelters: The holiday season can be such a cold time of year. These blankets are so easy to make and would be perfect for our furry friends at the shelter.

RAK Ornament Advent Calendar: Make this creative and festive holiday calendar that can be used year after year.

Snowflake Ornaments: What a beautiful way to say thank you to those that do so much for everyone all year long.

Be a Book Fairy: Have teens follow in the footsteps of "Harry Potter" actress Emma Watson. Give teens paperback books that they can leave in random places for strangers to find with a note wishing them a "Happy Holiday."

Positivity Sticky Notes: Give teens pads of sticky notes and let them doodle, draw and write positive notes. Have them cover a bulletin board at the library, post them in the teen area or even stick them somewhere outside. What an inspiring way to spread positivity!

Joy to the World: Organize a visit to your local senior center and have teens sing holiday carols or play board games with the folks there. This is an amazing way to make someone's day bright and to bring the spirit of the holidays alive.

Tune in next month for more tips and tricks on crafts and programming for teens from Mrs. Librarian Lady!