I’ve been worried a lot recently. Even adults find the news a bit too much to deal with sometimes, it can feel a bit overwhelming.

One of the main things I’ve been thinking about, though? How much harder this would be if I was younger. Being a teenager is hard enough without feeling like the world is ending. I should know: over a decade ago, I spent a lot of my time watching the news and being scared of what it was teaching me about the world.

I still remember the feelings of fear I felt back then, feelings that continued over the weeks (and years) that followed. Everything was suddenly terrifying. I learnt all sorts of words I hadn’t known before – words like ‘terrorism’ – and realised that wars weren’t just things that happened in history books. 

So, here’s some advice from me to you: a few tips and tricks I wish someone told me when I wasn’t sure exactly what to do:

1) Learn as much as you want to…

When there’s a lot happening in the news it’s easy to feel like there’s too much to get to grips with, especially if it all feels really bad. But knowledge is power and learning as much as possible can help you feel more in control. The news is a good place to start, as is the internet. Remember that your generation is the first to grow up with all the knowledge you can think of at your fingertips, so be sure to make the most of it. But likewise don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know everything, and talk to your friends, siblings, parents and teachers when you think like they might be able to help you make sense of what’s going on in your head.

 2) …but don’t be afraid to switch off

Even though it’s a great thing to have access to so much knowledge on the web, don’t be scared to just switch it all off. Ignore as much as you want or need to. It’s good to educate ourselves, but sometimes learning more about things doesn’t do much beyond just making you feel more frightened. And don’t feel guilty about who you are or the good things in your life, even if you do think the world is unfair.

3) Try not to feel scared…

If you feel scared or anxious, don’t be afraid to ask questions to help you know more about what’s going on in the world. Even when it feels like things are out of control, it’s good to remind yourself that there are a lot of people in the world keeping things going. It’s hard to convince ourselves that ‘things will be fine’, but I still like to tell myself that sometimes, even if I don’t quite believe it.

4) …but don’t feel bad if you are

Try and always remember that it’s totally normal to be overwhelmed by everything happening, and that you’re not alone. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how much or how little you know, feeling uncertain when times are tough is completely normal.

5) Get involved in making positive change

Look up the issues you’re passionate about and try to make the changes you can, big or small. There are so many ways of getting involved with charities or fundraisers that do good work, and lots of ways you can do more good in your own communities. Have a chat with that person at school who might need a friend, and do simple things like share a few sweets with someone having a bad day. These things are tiny, but on the right day they can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Maybe commit yourself to educating your friends, and raising awareness about global issues. Or perhaps save a small bit of money, and donate it somewhere. Don’t shy away from asking other people to help if you think they can, too.

Remember: your voice matters as much as anyone else’s, and using it is key to making you feel like someone is listening – and that sooner or later, things will get better. 

@bridgetminamore

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for the betty weekly round-up! You’ve been waiting for it, right?

Here’s what we’ve been reading, loving and doing this week.

Waxing and waning: Brangelina is over.

In the news that shook the world, Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from her husband of two years, Brad Pitt earlier this week. The pair have been together for 10 years since meeting on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith, and have six kids between them. Posh and Becks, the fate of love rests on your shoulders now.

There are many parts of the story to process, but one of the most heartbreaking is seeing Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s wax forms being separated at Madame Tussauds. It’s like the wax equivalent of blocking your ex on social media. Plus, it’s mega awks for Robert Pattinson who is stuck between them.

Tampons! Get your free tampons!

That’s right, to kick off the new school year with a sani-terrific bang, state schools around New York City will now have free pads and tampons available for students. It’s part of new legislation that ensures free menstrual products will be available in all public schools, shelters and correctional facilities. Plus, just for kicks, they’ve also eliminated taxes on menstrual products!

House of Commons, your move.

Donald Trump Jnr has ruined Skittles

Right, where to start? Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jnr (he named his kid after himself, obvs), posted this particularly heinous photo on Twitter earlier this week.

It’s offensive on a number of levels. Firstly, refugees are obviously not Skittles (there’s a sentence we never thought I’d have to write). They are human beings, whose lives matter.

Secondly, on a purely mathematical level, it’s incredibly inaccurate. In fact, the US National Safety Council released this stat in its wake. You have a 1 in 3,408 chance of choking to death on food and a 1 in 3,640,000,000 chance of being killed by a refugee in a terror attack (round of applause to anyone who can even work out how to translate that number into words). So let’s stop the weird, racist fearmongering, and chew carefully.

Expecto-Patronum!

Pottermore has released a new test that tells you your Patronus! When the betty team took the test, Lauren got a Brown Hare, Amy got Fox Terrier and Lily got a Siberian Cat. So basically, just things you can pick up at the pet store. We wouldn’t stand a chance against the Dementors.

Take the test here to find out what your patronus is, and hope it’s cooler than ours.

patronus

Mayim Bialik is making a Big Bang in the publishing world

Big Bang fans, get out your reading glasses and keep your bookmarks poised, because Mayim Bialik is releasing a book. If you’ve ever wondered why Amy is so convincing as a scientist on the show, it turns out it’s because she actually is one.

Bialik, in addition to being a ridiculously talented actress, also has a PhD in Neuroscience. Her book, Girling Up is set to be released in March 2017 and will cover her experiences growing up; from periods to body image, to working out your place in the world. Let the countdown begin.

We’re obsessed with this uterus pin

As Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope once said: nothing is as cuterus as your uterus. Let’s wear that fact with pride.

cuteruspin

Cuterus enamel pin, Punky Pins, £6

Ella Purnell hung out with the betty team

We met the hilarious Ella Purnell, bringer of good vibes and star of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. You can watch our interview with her next week, but in the meantime check out the film’s trailer here. And don’t worry, we totally asked about the shoes.

ella purnell

Have a good week, pals.