Erm, doesn’t it seem like only yesterday when you were happily whizzing around on your scooter in the park or playing hopscotch with your pals and your deepest thoughts consisted mainly of what Santa was going to bring you for crimbo? Sorry to break it to you, but those were the glory days. Now? Well, everything feels kinda different doesn’t it? Suddenly there’s big-deal stuff going on and you’re feeling all the emotions on the regular.

Mood swings are a legit part of going through puberty, starting your period, and dealing with the hefty package of hormones that come your way. There are changes going on in your body rn that are beyond your control, so if you’re questioning “AM I EVEN NORMAL?” as you slam your bedroom door so hard it almost comes off the hinges, cut yourself some slack. This is normal behaviour. And it won’t last forever.

Tbf, it’s pretty inconvenient to be permanently on the edge of a tantrum or teary moment though. So before you contemplate hibernating from the world and emerging when you’re 25, here are some of the major moods you might be feeling at the mo, and what you can do to help handle them.

You’re angry

Oh. The. Rage. We’ve all felt the anger-monster a million times over – when your blood is literally boiling and you feel like you’ve got a fire-breathing dragon living inside of you.

And here’s the kicker. Such dramatic feelings are probably the result of some teeny-weeny, innocent crime such as your bro nicking the TV remote or your mate blanking you on Whatsapp. Irrational? Yep. Controllable? Nope.

What to do?

Breathe. That’s all. You just need to breathe through your anger until you’ve calmed down. This can prevent an outburst that you might regret later when the trigger moment has passed. Close your eyes and inhale slowly for five seconds and exhale slowly for five seconds – with each breath you should feel the red mist start to lift. Another way you can deal is to harness those fierce emotions and direct them into exercise, or channel them into a creative project – some of the greatest artists, musicians and writers have made their best work when being in an angry place.

You’re reckless

If you’re often impulsive or have a habit of blurting stuff out without thinking, there’s actually a reason for it. Here’s a nugget to quote to your parents when you’ve been grounded (again) for doing something stupid. Studies have shown that the front part of the brain, called the prefrontal cortex, isn’t fully developed until around the age of 20.

Because this area of the brain is responsible for sensible stuff like planning, anticipation, controlling and understanding emotions, it explains why teenagers are likely to do crazy, careless stuff sometimes.

What to do?

You’ve probably realised that just saying soz after doing something silly or potentially dangerous unfortunately doesn’t cut it as you’re getting older, so being able to asses a situ for its risk factor is an essential skill to learn. Take five seconds to ask yourself these simple questions before saying or doing something bonkers; “Is this *really* a good idea?”, “is it worth getting into trouble for?” and “will I look back on this as a major fail moment?”. Getting into this habit will help you to make better life decisions. The bonus is that the more you can show your ‘rents you’re considering your actions and can be responsible, the more they’ll trust you and not treat you like a kid. And the more you won’t get angry (see above).

You’re sad

Sometimes everything seems a bit bleak doesn’t it? And that’s ok. It would be weird if we were super-happy and smiley 24/7, that’s just not real life.

Feeling totes emosh – whether it’s experiencing hurt, disappointment, grief, overwhelm, or just a general low mood – is totally normal, even more so around the time when your period is due. Yep, there’s those pesky hormones at play again.

What to do?

There’s no need to deny your feelings or be ashamed of your sadness. Meaning, if you want to bawl your eyes out while you torture your soul watching sad movie after sad movie, do it. Having a big ugly cry is a natural, healthy way to relieve pent up, heavy emotions and it’s likely you’ll feel soooo much better for it afterwards. Here’s an idea though, why not try challenging your grey mood with a change of scenery and belly-laughter – being cooped up alone in your bedroom sure doesn’t help when you’re low. Hanging out and having mega-lolz with your mates, especially when you least feel like it, can be the best medicine for blasting sadness.

You’re anxious

So it’s standard to get stressed when you run into your crush and your hair is a disaster, or feel worried before taking an exam, but sometimes anxious feelings can strike when you’re doing totally normal, everyday stuff. And that sucks.

The right kind of anxiety can be a useful way of telling you that things are not quite what they should be, or that you need to get out of a situation you’re clearly not comfortable with, but if you regularly find yourself suffering with major stress, you’re massively worrying about the future and your jangly feelings are stopping you enjoying life and having fun, it might be time to go ninja on this sneaky emotion.

What to do?

Anxiety is often fuelled by a bunch of negative thoughts, so the key is to recognise your internal neggy voice and shut it down before it can run rampage – resulting in you feeling stressed, on edge, and all kinds of urgh. By over-analysing situations or worrying about the potential outcomes of something before it has *even* happened (we hear ya), it’s easy to feed the untruths going on in your brain ­– but they are just that, untruths. Working out the reality of a situ vs what your head is telling you is tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it you can push those negative thoughts to one side and not let them side-track your life.

One final thought. If you’re really struggling with your moods, or the lows don’t seem to lift, you should chat to someone about how you’re feeling – having a healthy mind is equally as important as having a healthy body and your parents, teachers and GP are there to help you navigate these difficult emotions.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Sponsored by Candy Kittens

Halloween, what a beauty. It’s the one time of year that your parents allow you to gorge on as many sweets as physically possible with absolutely no consequences, no limits and no nagging about sugar and teeth – just indulgent candy. ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Mmmmm.

Heck, you’re basically Augustus Gloop, Bruce Bogtrotter and Joey Tribbiani all rolled into one. But does anyone else feel like Hallows Eve is a full-blown emotional eating rollercoaster? All the treats bring all the feels, after all.

Here are the seven stages we experience on loop, every single year…

1. Happy

Yaaaaaaaas. SO. MANY. SWEETS. I’m probably, actually in heaven. Which one first? Does it matter? They can all get in my mouth.

2. Disgust

Okay, OMG, did I actually just eat *all* of that? My veins are literally running with chocolate. Is a candy coma a thing because I think I might be about to slip int…Zzzzzz.

3. Regret

I mean, I’m impressed with myself because that was basically a professional eating standard but I knew this wasn’t going to end well. Why can’t I just pace myself like a normal human? My jeans won’t do up (I should have put my eating pants on, tbf) and I have the beginnings of some mean old stomach cramps. Yay.

4. Pain

OUCH. I honestly think I am about to give birth to a tiny chocolate monster who loves kicking the inside of my stomach like a football. Mmmm I haven’t eaten my chocolate footballs yet. NO. Remember this pain. No more chocolate. I need to lie down.

5. Sugar high

Where’s my brother? I feel like annoying him. Hey, his bed is pretty bouncy. Why isn’t he paying me enough attention? I mean, I know he’s asleep but GOD. Why’s he not laughing? This story I’m telling is hilarious. The song on the radio is sooo good, too. Isn’t my dancing great? HELLO?!

6. Come down

Why are my limbs so tired? Like I actually think they’re made of lead right now. I have never needed a nap so much. Yep, even when I was a baby. Ask my mum. The sweet struggle is real.

7. Longing

Okay wow, that was amazing. I smashed my way through 9 chocolate bars, 6 packets of sweets, some sherbert straws and a litre of pop. I am the candy champion of the world. Only 364 days until I can do the whole thing all over again. BEST DAY EVER.

Candy Kittens Pop Bags are available in October’ bettybox and instore at Sainsburys and Waitrose. Other sizes of packets are available on the Candy Kittens website.

 

So here’s a thing: I never had a Valentine’s card until I was 24.

No flowers, no chocolates, no cross-eyed teddies or poem mugs or any of the other ‘romantic’ gubbins that filled Clinton Cards from the first week of January onwards, like a red velvet blizzard – not even an ‘i fancy u’ note or a furtive snog or somebody giving me the other half of their two-finger Twix. The whole of my teen years passed completely un-Valentined.

I’d love to say I was always totally cool with this, but that would be a bigger lie than “oh how lovely, a teddy from Clinton Cards!”. I was not at all cool with it, for many years. At primary school I turned up every year on the big V-Day hoping that a pink envelope would have found its way into my drawer or desk, and even at an all-girls high school where literally the only boy I ever even had contact with was the caretaker’s son, who I glimpsed through a gate, I still got a little giddy every year imagining the Valentine’s booty that might turn up in my locker.

“Dear Lauren, I saw you through a gate that one time and now my heart is yours forever!” the card might say. But no. Nada. Year after year, Cupid screwed up his sat-nav.

One especially mopey February 14th my Dad even, very sweetly, bought me flowers (we were categorically not a Dad-gives-everyone-a-Valentine kind of family, thank God), but made sure it was a smaller bunch than the one he gave my mum. “Lovely wife; pathetic spinster daughter” – I was convinced I could see the thought process. The year after I got a date (A DATE!) on Valentine’s Day itself, which turned out not to be a date at all when we ended up eating marmalade sandwiches and playing Monopoly with his younger sister.

Several years after that I managed to snare an actual boyfriend (A BOYFRIEND!) in late January, only to find out he was staunchly anti-Valentine’s Day. A signed-up, snarling member of the “it’s all commercialised sh*te!” brigade. Undeterred, I made a huge chocolate cake and invited him over. He fell asleep, never turned up, and I ended up eating half the cake myself, alone, reading my Chaucer textbook. I’d like to imagine Jennifer Lawrence playing me in the rom-com adaptation of this story.

It’s ok though, there’s a happy ending. Not me eventually getting a Valentine’s Day card, although that was nice – but learning to be my own Valentine instead.

It might have been easier to rage against the romance machine and join the “it’s all commercialised sh*te!” brigade myself, but in all those years of waiting round for a pink envelope or a fugly teddy, I never really did. I still wanted to take part. Because there’s nothing wrong with loving love, or with using February 14th as an excuse to go a bit heart-eyed and see the world through rose-tinted glasses. But what is a total waste of time is thinking that you need someone else to put those glasses on for you.

If February 13th is (inspired by Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope) officially ‘Galentine’s Day’, a day to show all your most treasured female pals some love, then I say we reclaim the 15th as a day to show yourself some love.

Give yourself treats. Buy that thing you want. Play your guilty pleasures out loud, without feeling even the tiniest bit guilty. Eat that sandwich filling you adore that everyone else finds disgusting. Run up a nearby hill and shout “I AM AMAZING” off the top of it. Have a bath until you prune, or don’t have one at all and sleep for an extra hour instead. Make a chocolate cake for yourself, and ice it with your own damn name. Tell everyone you love that you love them, in the most lavish ways you can frankly be arsed to. Borrow a puppy. Tell your crush you think they’re hot, but also that you’re quite busy right now. Make the whole entire week an extravagant, delightful love-fest in every way you can think of.

Because here’s the thing: whoever gives you Valentines in the future, and however huge/glittery/expensive/fluffy/romantic they are, those people will never get it as spot-on perfect as you can get it yourself. Cupid can be stupid, but you’re smart. And you are so much better than a teddy from Clinton Cards.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Manjit Thapp

Did you watch Meryl Streep’s award speech at the Golden Globes earlier this month? It was everything; tear-inducing, funny, smart, sassy, graceful and seriously important.

Meryl’s choice to take a moment that was meant to be about her, in a very public way, and turn it into a speech about important global issues (including race, equality and love) was awe-inspiring, and now we all want to go round hers for tea even more than we did before. Which was a lot. You just know she’d give you seconds.

To celebrate the speech, which will go down in awards season history, we’ve made a playlist of the coolest, funniest, smartest awards speeches from women we love. They’ll do you the world of good on a rainy day when you’ve got a test and three new spots to deal with.

Hattie McDaniel, Oscars 1940

Gone With the Wind actress Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Oscar, ever. Her speech was beautiful and joy-filled. “I sincerely hope that I will always be a credit to my race… my heart is too full”.

Merritt Weaver, Emmy Awards 2013

The funniest and possibly shortest speech we’ve ever seen – Merritt Weaver’s Emmy acceptance for her role as the kooky and totally adorable Zoey in US TV show Nurse Jackie. Watch, laugh and watch again.

Adele, Golden Globes 2013

One of the many, many (many) things we love about Adele, is her ability to always be Adele. She doesn’t try to be slick, or get high on her own supply. Also, any speech that begins with shrieks of “OH MA GOD! OH MA GOD!” is a winner in our book.

Katherine Bigalow, Oscars 2010

Not only was Katherine incredibly gracious in her acceptance speech (she dedicated it to women and men in the military), she was also the first woman to ever win an Oscar for Best Director, making Hollywood history, for her action-packed war film The Hurt Locker. Inspiring.

Patricia Arquette, Oscars 2015

Like Meryl, Patricia took her opportunity at the speech podium to raise awareness about an important issue – in this case, the gender pay gap. She begins by thanking her “beautiful, powerful” fellow actress nominees, and ends with Meryl heckling a supportive “Yaaas!” from the crowd. We want her poise in bucketloads.

Emma Thompson, Golden Globes 1996

Emma’s speeches are always amazing (she presented a Golden Globe in 2014 barefoot and holding a cocktail) but our favourite is when she won a Golden Globe for writing Sense and Sensibility in 1996. Basically, she reads out a letter pretending to be from Jane Austen and everyone agrees it’s hilarious. Legend.

Jennifer Lawrence, Oscars 2013

We couldn’t not include this one – Jen tripping on her dress at the Oscars then immediately laughing it off before remembering to thank about 67 people, because she’s cool and grateful with the good manners of an angel. Because of her, falling over on the way to the bus stop is way less painful. What a babe.

Gina Rodriguez, Golden Globes 2015

Gina’s empowering speech encouraging young Latina girls to pursue their dreams is shiver-down-the-spine stuff. Our favourite quote; “This award is so much more than myself – it represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes”.

Anna Paquin, Oscars 1994

Anna was the second youngest actress ever to win an Oscar – she was just 11 when she was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Piano. She totally bosses her speech, which is made up entirely of thank-yous. Also, she’s wearing a fabulous sparkly beret. You go Paquin.

What are you waiting for? Grab a shampoo bottle and get practising.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Images: Getty