Whether you’ve already started your period or you’re waiting to come on for the first time, it’s a different experience for everyone – and one we love talking about. So we caught up with the brightest babes on Instagram, Confetti Crowd, who told us all about their first periods…

Because finding a swimsuit that loves your bazoomas can be a bit of a costume drama…

You will put it off for as long as humanly possible

And then you will put it off some more

When you finally decide to go, there are actually loads of things you like!

“Hey,” you think to yourself, “Maybe this won’t be so bad.”

You try the first one on. Oh, no wait, that must be backwards. You turn it around. Oh, wait, that’s worse.

You try and wrestle your boobs into place, but they put up a good fight.

They. Are. Everywhere.

Who even invented string bikinis? They are so weak a tiny dog could overpower them.

And my boobs are the size and weight of a tiny dog. Each.

You keep thinking about that film where Kate Upton ran along the beach with, like, *NO* support…

So that must have hurt like a b***h.

Remember five minutes ago, when you were all excited and optimistic? Ha.


Now, here you are trying to keep control of your boobs as they spill out over this piece of dental floss in every direction known to man.

You decide to try on a plunging neckline. You are almost certain it will look awful, but there’s that thought in the back of your head:

“What if I actually look smoking hot?”

Where is… where is all the material?

DID THEY FORGET TO SEW ENTIRE BITS OF THIS TOGETHER?

Wait, maybe this is ‘the look’? Maybe everyone is meant to be able to see your nipples?

Maybe it’s a feminist statement!

This is not the look. You are not meant to be able to see your nipples. This is not a feminist statement.

The shop assistant yells, “How’s it going in there?”

It’s probably best not to tell her you’re having an existential crisis in the change rooms.

You start giving yourself a pep talk. You will not be defeated by a swimming costume.

You try on another one and look at yourself in the mirror.

Why don’t people understand that your boobs need support?

They need to be taken care of. They need a buddy to lift them up and help them out.

Right, this one has underwire. Underwire is key. Underwire is your friend. Underwire is life.

Ok it literally looks like I’m just wearing a bra.

Why can’t I just wear one of those cute triangle bikinis like other girls? Why must every bikini that fits me be designed to look like a 1950s pin up girl? I do. Not. Want. Polka. Dots.

And it is so uncomfortable. I want to be able to relax, I don’t want bits of wire sticking into my ribcage while I’m lying by the pool!

You wiggle out of the cozzies and heap them into a pile to give back to the shop assistant.

You are Julia Roberts, except you have nothing but anxiety and mild neck strain to show for your efforts.

Screw this. Go and take your knockers out for cake.

This is what ASOS was invented for.

@LilyPesch

Image: Amber Griffin

Here are some things that count as ‘showing off’: loudly telling everyone your mock results when they didn’t ask. Doing perfect cartwheels during hockey practice. Instagrams from your beach holiday when you know it’s raining back home.

Here’s something that doesn’t count as ‘showing off’: lifting up your arm when there is some entirely natural hair underneath it. Nope. Not even a little bit. That’s called, well, lifting your arm up when there’s some perfectly natural hair underneath it. Ipso facto, Lourdes Leon isn’t ‘showing off’ her underarm hair any more than I’m showing off my elbows by wearing a t-shirt. Or showing off my nose by… having a nose.

But we’re all agreed on that, aren’t we? Because we’re all cool with the fact that bodies have hair in all kinds of places, and that it’s 100% up to us whether we choose to get rid of it or embrace it tenderly. Shave it, wax it, trim it, grow it, plait it, glitter it, or just let it do its sweet thing.

Sadly though, certain corners of the British media are still playing catch up as far as being chill about women’s bodies goes. And so when Madonna’s daughter went on a lovely beach holiday this week, she made headlines in loads of tabloid papers for ‘flaunting’, ‘parading’ and yep, ‘showing off’ her unshaven pits on the beach. Boring, guys. We are bored.

Lourdes

Instead let’s take a moment to salute Madonna Junior for following in her mum’s iconic footsteps – by not giving a s**t, doing her own thing, and being fantastically hirsute while she does it. Besides, Lourdes, you’re just saving yourself a load of painful shaving cuts. And nobody has time for this kind of hassle.

Images: Instagram.com/lourdesmariacicconeleon

It’s here! The best holiday of the year. Seriously, Easter is the ideal holiday, there’s none of the pressure of Christmas, none of the outfit stress of Halloween and none of the pressure of New Year’s Eve. It’s the Chris Pratt of holidays, but with delicious snacks.

Here’s everything we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

Could we *be* more excited?

Pretty much as soon as the final episode of Friends aired and we watched the six of them (plus a few babies) wander down to Central Perk for the last time, people were clamouring for a reunion. And now they’ve got it. Sort of. According to The Independent, there’s an off-Broadway musical coming to New York later this year called Friends! The Musical, written by Bob and Tobly McSmith who have written similar musicals for 90210 and Full House. The show will feature songs such as ‘The One Where We Make A Million Dollars An Episode,’ ‘The Only Coffee Shop in New York,’ ‘Oh. My God. It’s Janice!’. We’ll be there for you…if we can get free flights and accommodation in New York.

This idea has legs

Yoga teacher, Shea penned a love letter on her Instagram account, @shastavibes. But it’s not to a her partner or her crush, she’s written a love letter to her thighs. Turns out, poking them and wishing they miraculously become smaller is stupid and also, might lead to bruising. Instead, why not join Shea and the body positivity movement that seems to be growing more and more brilliant everyday. Kudos Shea, and kudos to your thighs too.

Dear Thighs, "I’m in love with you, every inch, every lump all the way up from my knees to my rump" You may not be slender, or tanned, or smooth, but you’re up for the challenge when I start to move you power through squats, lunges, and stairs, and you don’t seem to mind when some people glare" ..✏️📓 ____________________________________________________ This whole journey to body acceptance and self-love is kind of a roller coaster, but an exciting one that I’m gonna keep riding. Each day I am learning that my self-worth is based less on what others think and more on how I feel. And lately, I feel really good. I was realizing today that my body is becoming less of an object of comparison in my mind, and more of a tool. My body is a method of accomplishing day to day things and that’s it. So far it’s doing a damn good job. In fact, it rarely lets me down. So for that reason alone, I should be completely in love with it. So to my thighs and all my other perfectly strong and functional body parts, thank you for getting shit done. <3 #postpartumfitness #postpartumbody #thickfit #thunderthighs #plussize #thickwomen #thickyogi #melanin #blackyogasuperstars

A post shared by Shea (@shastavibes) on

We Read Too

Kaya Thomas, a university student in the State was tired of not seeing enough people of colour or women in tech in books. So, like a boss, she decided to do something about it. She’s created an app called We Read Too which features over 600 books with main characters who are people of colour or women in tech. The idea, design and coding are all her own, NBD. When you spoke to Teen Vogue about why she thinks this project is so important she explained, “It’s for those of who want young people of color to be exposed to books where they seem themselves reflected in the characters and the authors. But it’s also for people who want to be exposed to different cultures than their own…I think fiction especially helps you get a better understanding of another person’s story, and that helps you build empathy.” Aaaaaand download.

Orange is the New Black Season Five Trailer

The trailer for Season 5 of Orange is the New Black has dropped and urgh, now it’s just left us with more questions. It picks off where season four ended, with Daya pointing a gun at CO Humphrey’s head with the rest of the inmates screaming at her to shoot him. Then, because the people who make trailers are evil geniuses, the screen goes black and you hear a gunshot and everyone screams. So. Much. Intrigue. Season Five will be released on Friday June 9th, and apparently will take place “in real-time over the course of three days”. Urgh, only 56 days to wait.

Baby, put your hands up. Literally.

Look, this isn’t really news. But it’s adorable and it’s Easter and so we’re going to throw it in anyway.

Have a lovely Easter x

When the results of this years Girls’ Attitudes survey by Girlguiding revealed that girls as young as 7 feel pressured to look ‘perfect’, we were upset. But not surprised.

Almost every woman and girl alive knows how it feels to be judged on our appearance – by friends and family, by boys in the street, by strangers, by the world – and how it feels to be so conscious of our appearance that it holds us back in life. From getting down and dirty on a sports field to seizing the most exciting opportunities, so much is sacrificed because of the pressure to be pretty.

But it turns out those 7-10 year old girls also have the answers sussed, saying loud and clear that the most important thing to improve their lives right now would be to stop judging girls and women on the way they look.

Got that, society? Stop. It. Now.

Newsflash: that means thinking twice about the nice comments, as well as the nasty. The ‘compliments’. Because obviously, being told you have great hair or a beautiful smile can make you feel great – but while we’re only praised on our appearance, it’s so much easier to believe that’s all we’re worth.

So inspired by Girl Guiding’s #YouAreAmazing campaign, we had a go at coming up with a whole list of lovely compliments you can give girls (or anyone really) that have nothing at all to do with their appearance.

And you know what? It wasn’t hard.

1. You are so clever.

2. You are so creative.

3. You are so brave. 

4. You know the lyrics to so many songs off by heart.

5. You’re perceptive.

6. You’re a brilliant listener.

7. You give really good advice.

8. You give quite bad advice, but always with the best of intentions.

9. You have the fiercest moves on the dancefloor.

10. You’re completely hilarious.

11. You’re a fantastic problem-solver.

12. You’re kind.

13. You’re generous.

14. You’re amazing at whistling.

15. You are very good at seeing the best in people, even when everyone else sees the worst.

16. You are very good at seeing the worst in people, even when they’re not as great as everyone thinks.

17. You have the wisdom of a very old oak tree.

18. You always pick the best place to eat lunch.

19. You have an excellent sense of smell.

20. You can always pronounce the non-English words on a menu correctly.

21. You’re tough, resilient and not afraid to take risks.

22. You’re the person everyone wants on their team.

23. You can probably hang pictures perfectly straight, first time.

24. If I threw something at you with no warning, I bet you’d catch it.

25. You’re such a quick learner.

26. You have the best taste in books.

27. You always have the perfect reaction gif for every occasion.

28. You’re the kind of person who can sing the harmonies in Happy Birthday.

29. You make the perfect cup of tea.

30. You have an adventurous spirit.

31. You have the brightest future ahead of you.

32. If I ever went on Pointless, I would want you for my teammate.

33. You have the best sense of direction.

34. You embody all the best qualities of each Hogwarts house, rolled into one.

35. You inspire me.

Share the love! Tweet us your best compliments @bettycollective, and join the Girl Guiding campaign with #YouAreAmazing.

You might know Polycystic Ovary Syndrome as PCOS. Although it might sound scary and complicated – and not just when you try to say it fast five times in a row – it’s actually quite common with 1 in 10 women in the UK having it.

PCOS affects how your ovaries work. They’re often larger than usual and contain tiny non-dangerous cysts, making it harder to release eggs. PCOS can show up in each person differently. Some people might not have any obvious symptoms at all, but PCOS will often affect your periods, fertility, appearance, and weight.

Ugh, why me?

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Super unhelpful, sorry. But it DOES often run in families, so if your mum, nan, or cousin’s dog’s sister has PCOS then it’s probably sensible to keep an eye out for any symptoms.

We do know that PCOS is related to certain hormones wanting the spotlight a little too much and overproducing in your body, including insulin and the male hormone testosterone.

Hold on, are you saying PCOS will turn me into a boy?!

No. No, no, no. #No.

It’s true that a common symptom of PCOS is hair growth on your face, chest, back and bum, but that does not make you any less of a girl.

Everyone has testosterone in their body, whichever gender you are. We all just have different levels. Those who are born male have high levels of the stuff, but being female and having a lot of testosterone absolutely does not make you a boy.

Oh. Ok. So what other symptoms do I have to look out for?

Like we said, PCOS will affect people differently, but these are some common symptoms:

Hair growth (Hirsutism, if you want to sound fancy)

Loads of women sprout facial hair, it’s totally normal, but those with PCOS tend to experience it more obviously and excessively. DON’T PANIC. It might feel embarrassing but there are plenty of removal treatments out there if you want them.

Irregular periods

Having PCOS will likely mean that you don’t ovulate as regularly as others so you might not have periods as regularly either. Some people don’t have periods at all. It might sound awesome – no cramps, no being caught without tampons or pads, no bloating… right?  Well, hormones still might do their thing and pretend you’re having a period anyway, just without the blood. So don’t throw away your hot water bottle just yet.

Weight gain

Abnormal insulin levels in the body could mean you put on weight more easily. This might not be a problem at all, but it’s still something to be aware of. If you find you’re having to buy new jeans every six months and don’t understand why, you could blame your insulin. Bloody insulin.

Acne and oily skin

Ugh, sorry.

Thinning head hair

Yes, PCOS can make you grow hair where you really don’t want hair, and make your wanted hair fall out. Life is a bitch sometimes.

Tell me there’s a but?

There is! These symptoms of PCOS aren’t great and can be frustratingly noticeable, but remember that the severity of them will differ for everyone. Some people with polycystic ovaries won’t get the symptoms at all, and anyway, there are plenty of treatments out there to chill them out.

TL;DR? Here’s the important stuff:
  • 1 in 5 women in the UK have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).Abnormal hormone levels can affect how your ovaries work.Symptoms can include irregular periods, facial hair, weight gain, and acne.PCOS isn’t curable but there are many treatments to control the symptoms.

So PCOS is treatable?

Yep! PCOS can’t be cured but it can certainly be managed to help you feel in control.

Diet and exercise

Adapting your diet and exercise routines can level out your weight gain, help your skin, and keep you feeling energetic and healthy. Figuring out the best lifestyle changes should always be done with your GP though. Don’t just ask Google.

Medication and creams

If you have irregular periods, the contraceptive pill could help whip them into shape. The Pill could also help with weight control and acne – triple whammy. You can also get medication and creams which help suppress testosterone, to control any unruly hair probs.

Surgery

Later down the line, PCOS sufferers might be able to have a minor procedure to help with any fertility problems. You don’t have to think about this now, but it might soothe you if you’re panicking about a lack of sprogs in your future.

Right… what do I do now?

If you think you might have PCOS, get an appointment to see your GP. If you can’t do this alone, or don’t want to, then have a chat with a nice adult in your life first. As having PCOS is likely genetic, it could be good to grab your mum, auntie, nan, etc, for support… and then poke them in the eyes for giving it to you. (No. don’t do that.)

PCOS might sound complex and horrible, but it’s a really common condition. If you have it, you’re not dealing with it alone and can live a totally happy and normal life with the best treatment for you.

Repeat after us: I am a strong woman and bloody awesome. Did you repeat it? Good.

@louisejonesetc

Image: Getty

I am about to break a silence that has lasted some eighteen years. I am about to tell you something I have never told my best friends. I have never told my mother. I have never told a doctor.

Are we all ready?

When I was a teenager, for a while I had a bad thing happening in my nipular area. I don’t know how long it lasted, all I remember is that it felt like years.

Here are the basic details:

I have had eczema all my life. When I was a kid, it only ever showed up in my elbows and behind my knees and the doctor told me I’d probably grow out of it. Oh, doctor. You sweet, naive fool, if only you had been right. I think of that alternate-universe Janina, from time to time. The Janina who can buy moisturiser freely and without fear, experimenting with joy instead of sticking with that one brand that seems to work consistently most of the time (Aveeno, by the way). She must be so happy.

While the rashy patches on my legs and arms did fade, they were replaced by weirder, more painful, less predictable rashes literally everywhere else. When the weather is hot, for example, I get pompholyx on my hands and the soles of my feet. This particular brand of eczema consists of tiny, itchy blisters that recently saw me tear my shoes off mid-exercise and clutch my feet in agony. My shoulders, neck and back are popular sites also, which can make wearing a bra downright painful.

But nothing has ever been so bad as the Year of the Nip.

It started slowly. A weeping crack here, a weeping crack there. First the left nipple, then the right. Eventually, the peaks atop my boobs were more weeping crack than nipple. Literally a pair of open sores on my chest.

It was unpleasant.

They would dry onto the fabric of my clothes and I’d rip them open every time I got changed. So I put plasters on them, obviously. But friends, my nipples were too much for your common-or-garden plaster. I had to find an upgrade.

It is at this point that a doctor might have been able to help me. Doctors are good at helping with this kind of thing. But I was young and embarrassed and I couldn’t figure out how I would tell anyone what was happening in the secret confines of my underwire.

So I MacGyvered a solution. I chopped a sanitary pad in half, and put a half in each cup. I slathered them in emollient cream and prayed for salvation. It wasn’t perfect. They would slide around sometimes. I would find one making an escape towards my cleavage, and be flooded with fear that someone had seen it poking out from my t-shirt.

The thing here is, that it was happening elsewhere as well. Specifically, to my lips. I’d had to take a full two weeks off school, because my face had basically exploded – I had conjunctivitis, a cold sore that made my jaw swell to three times its size, and lip-eczema that had left my lips so raw they had – brace yourselves – scabbed themselves shut.

You would think that, given all the highly visible grossness that was happening one floor up, it wouldn’t have been too difficult to say, ‘oh, hey, also my boobs are revolting right now!’ But sometimes it’s difficult to talk about boobs, in that kind of way.

We can talk about cleavage and cup size, of course, we can talk about plunge and balcony and lace and underwire, and how few people wear the right size bra. We can talk about how to feel for lumps – in theory, at least. But talking about things being really wrong in that area is scary. Or if it’s not scary it’s shameful.

There is one thing every teenage girl knows to be true: boobs are important. Apparently. They mean you’re growing up, they are the most obvious thing that might make you desirable – if something goes wrong with them, does that mean you no longer are?

Added to that is the fact that we only hear about things going wrong with boobs if it’s really serious, so when you think about boob health, the first, terrifying, thing you think of is cancer. But little things can go wrong too. No one talks about the infected ingrown hair they once had on their left breast, or all the other small problems that might seem huge at the time.

The happy ending here is that, eventually, my disgusting nipples healed. I am still scared they’ll come back, of course, but if they do I think I might just be brave enough to go to the doctor about it.

And for a silver lining, after all that, periodically plucking out long black nipple hairs doesn’t seem like that big a deal at all.

@j9andlf

We caught up with Alexandra Heminsley aka @Hemmo, the author of Running Like A Girl and Leap In, to talk about the benefits of exercise and why you should force yourself to go for a run on your period.

This week a betty girl has written in because she’s worried about her discharge. Dr Yaz is on hand to talk about what you should and shouldn’t be worried about, and what you should do if your discharge changes.
Got a question for Dr Yaz? Email dryaz@betty.me

We’ve all been there. The good intentions, the 12 minutes of exercise and then… the sweat.

Whether it’s the telltale drip-drip-drip down the small of your back that you know is about to go full touch-and-reveal on your new t-shirt, or whether it’s just getting up from some equipment in the gym and seeing your own butt imprint left in sweat, the wet stuff can really be a buzzkill.

Kat Jennings sweat patches

Whether you’re trying to exercise, dancing like a maniac at the weekend or simply… enjoying a sunny day, sweat can feel like a sneaky shaming pal, dobbing you in just when you thought you were going to have a good time. Except it isn’t a false friend. It’s actually clever, useful and kind of amazing – it’s just that we have convinced ourselves it’s the stuff of evil.

Ok, so no one wants to be wandering around looking like they’ve just been hosed down by a fireman, and no one wants to stink all afternoon just because they took their bike to the shops, but to know sweat is – if not to love it – then at least to fear it a little bit less.

So what’s the (g)lowdown on sweat?

Basically, sweating is our body’s way of regulating temperature. We each have 2-5 million sweat glands dotted around our bodies, and they release the damp mixture of proteins, salt and water onto our skin. The process of this liquid evaporating is what cools us down – as you’ll know if you’ve ever got off a crowded bus and felt your top clinging to you like an ice sheath as you hit the cold outdoors.

Despite what we think, there aren’t more sweat glands in, um, ‘moist’ places like our armpits or our groin – it’s just that those areas are harder to get air circulating around to evaporate the liquid. And not all sweat glands are the same, either. Most are ‘eccrine’ sweat glands, which are kicked into action by excess heat, but some are ‘apocrine’ ones, which are stimulated by emotional responses like stress or excitement. Weirdly, that sweat actually smells a little different from the stuff prompted by eccrine glands.

sweating yoga

But the weirdest fact is that sweat itself doesn’t actually smell at all. Ok maybe if you had 10 garlic cloves in your dinner you might smell a bit like a French bistro in the morning, but the smell we associate with sweat is actually the bacteria on our skin breaking down the acids in our sweat. Its medical term is bromhidrosis and it’s totally normal. But if you want to get rid of the sweaty pong, the simplest way is to get in the shower: if you’ve got the post-sport sweat off your skin within an hour or so of exercising, that bromhidrosis isn’t going to be wafting around after you all day. If you wait till bedtime to get clean, it just might.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

What else can we do to master this soggy mistress? Well, not that much, but perhaps that is because we need sweat.

And we really do. Why else do we feel so great after a good run, a dance-off in our bedroom or even a chance to sit in the sauna at the gym? Because sweating flushes out loads of the crud on our skin’s surface, cools us down so we don’t pass out at the gym or on the bus, as well as letting us know if something serious is up in terms of illness.

So while we needn’t commit to a lifetime of honking up every small room we enter, we shouldn’t be ashamed of the odd bit of sweat either. After all, look at how many advertising images have artfully sprayed ‘sexy’ sweat onto both men and women, how proud athletes look at their sweat as they finish an event – or even how nice it feels to know that our body, without even being asked, is doing exactly what it needs to.

Now if only we could do the same for our feelings, we’d be sorted.

@Hemmo


Are you feeling a little clumsier than usual? Finding yourself tripping over cracks in the pavement, doormats, your own stupid feet? Don’t worry, you haven’t just woken up one day with the coordination of a baby deer. It’s probably just because you’ve grown a few inches instead.

During adolescence, girls can grow at a rate of up to 8cm per year. That’s the length of an iPhone 6. Or a £20 note. Or Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix stacked on top of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Am I going to be a towering giantess?

It’s hard to say definitively how tall you’ll grow to be, but your height is largely decided by your parents. Your parents’ heights, that is – they didn’t get to fill out a request form. If you have tall parents, you might want to take up basketball. If your parents are on the shorter side, a glowing career as a gymnast or jockey might await you. Or not. Point is, there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ height – they all have their pros and cons.

If you’re on the smaller size of things, you will always have more legroom on planes, you will never hit your head on doorframes and you can shop in Topshop’s Petite section. If you’re on the taller side of things, you will always be able to reach the top shelf in the supermarket, you might be effortlessly good at the high jump in PE, and you can shop in Topshop’s Tall section. And medium height? Well, Topshop might sell out of 32″ jeans quicker, but at least you’ll never have to grit your teeth while aunties comment on your remarkable stature over Sunday dinner.

How does it work?

Your hands and feet are the first things to grow, so next time you feel your shoes pinching, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re going to have a growth spurt in the not-too-distant future.

Next come your arms and legs, and then your spine. Finally, your hips and pelvis widen, making you less likely to blow over in the wind.

TLDR? Here’s the important stuff:
  • Your height is closely linked to your parents' heights. But tall, short and everything in between is beautiful – so embrace it.
  • Often during your teenage years, growth spurts happen so quickly that your brain struggles to keep up. Hence the tripping over.
  • Growth spurts are often triggered during puberty as the levels of testosterone rise in both boys and girls.
  • Girls generally grow their fastest at 12-13 and tend to finish growing around 18, while boys grow their fastest between 14 and 15 and finish growing around 20.

Often during your teenage years growth spurts happen so quickly that your brain struggles to keep up. Hence the tripping. Your centre of gravity is changing so rapidly that your brain is having to calculate new rules for balancing, like, all the time.

Some people also experience growing pains, which can feel like an intense, cramp-like pain in your legs. Like owls, witches and vampires they generally only come out at night, and will have disappeared by the morning.  

Why now?

Growth spurts are often triggered during puberty as levels of the hormone testosterone rise in both boys and girls. This chemical also causes sexual organs (willies, vaginas, those guys) to develop, which is why these two things often happen at once. It’s kinda like a biological version of synchronised swimming. But not really.

When will it stop?

Girls generally grow at their fastest rate at 12-13 and tend to finish growing around 18. On average, boys grow their fastest between 14 and 15 and finish growing around 20.

So hold onto your hats ladies, we’ve got some growin’ (and tripping over inanimate objects) to do! But whatever height you end up, work it. Every inch of you is A++. 

We’ve finally seen the end of what was, for loads of people, a long and hard year. It was all just A Bit Much. And while lots of us couldn’t wait to shut the door on 2016 and jump into 2017’s arms, the pressure of January is big and real. We’re talking about… *whispers* New Year’s Resolutions.

Why are we whispering? Well, we’re *looks around* hiding from having to make New Year’s Resolutions, of course. They’re scary, right? They mean commitment and looking 365 days ahead and expectations and pressure and… and… and… OH GOD LET’S JUST STAY IN 2016 INSTEAD.

And breathe. No. New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be scary at all. They’re just a chance to make you and your life that little teensy bit better. New years are about possibilities, excitement, and opportunities. So, instead of trying to think of grand, expensive, mind-bogglingly extravagant resolutions, how about you try some of these more simple, healthy, and achievable resolutions instead?

1. Drink more water

There are so many ‘rules’ dictating how much water you should drink, but let’s just all agree to drink MORE of the stuff in 2017. It’s healthy, prevents headaches, keeps you awake and lively, can do wonders for your skin, and helps keep your body and mind nice and regulated. And it’s literally on tap, so no excuses.

2. Explore more

Exploring doesn’t have to mean travelling the world. It can mean day trips to the seaside, exploring your own town, trying new foods, dabbling in new hobbies, and exploring yourself. Explore your own body, and your wants, loves, and needs. You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to ‘find yourself’.

3. Keep yourself at number one

You can’t be a good friend without looking after yourself. In 2017, remember to stay at the top of your own priority list (here’s how). You’ll be a better friend, student, worker, and overall awesome human being if you’ve got yourself in tip top shape.

4. Not worry what others think

The most important opinion in your life is YOURS, as you are (newsflash) the one living it. It can be so easy to get caught up in what others think about you and your life choices, but does it affect them? Probably not. Can they be a better you than you can be? Nope. Do they know your life better than you? No. You do you, and let them do them.

5. Banish unhealthy friendships and throw yourself into GREAT friendships

You may not be able to make toxic friends disappear, but you can certainly learn to accept an unhealthy friendship. That doesn’t mean just getting on with it, but it means not letting them get to you anymore. 

Then have a think about what makes a good friend to you, and LOVE THOSE FRIENDS WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT AND DON’T LET THEM GO.

6. Have goals but enjoy the experience

Having goals is so great. They keep you determined, motivated, and bettering yourself. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Draining yourself to achieve a goal won’t make it enjoyable. You’ll end up a tick list and you’re way more than that.

7. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself, ‘kay?

And if you don’t achieve a goal, that’s ok! You’re not a failure! If you tried, that’s more than enough. Putting too much pressure on yourself takes all the fun out of resolutions – and of life, tbh. 

Anyway, you shouldn’t need a new year to want to do exciting, achievable, healthy, and self-bettering stuff. You should want to do it anyway, because you deserve to have nice things and be the best version of you that you can be.

So create your healthy resolutions with you in mind, not everybody else. You’re going to have the best year, alright? We say so.

@louisejonesetc