There’s tired. There’s ‘just so tired’. And then there is limb-achingly, head-swimmingly, deliriously tired; the kind of tired you only experience after spending all night on homework/revision/text to a potential bae. It’s a tiredness that knows no end; that refuses to be beaten by tea or coffee even if they were being fed via IV into your bloodstream. 

So how do you cope when you feel this way? Here are a few theories, none of which involve caffeine. Obviously if you love your morning flat white, be our guest, but tread carefully with coffee, Coke or rocket fuel energy drinks like Red Bull – too much caffeine can have unpredictable effects on people, and too much caffeine is as likely to make you queasy as psyched.

Instead, look at your day. Break it down into the most bitesize of chunks, and consume accordingly, with scheduled breaks and something sweet to look forward to. Because tiredness is a state of body – but it’s also a state of mind.

1. Splash your face with cold water

And no, I don’t just mean in the morning. I mean whenever you feel the weight of sleep slowly, gently crushing your eyelids into submission. I mean every hour, if you have to – and if you want an extra boost, moisturise and mascara yourself too, or get a hydrating facial mist like this one from Superdrug. The cold will wake you; the stimulation of drying your face on a towel will get your blood going; and the mascara will both stop you from rubbing your eyes (the telltale sign of the sleep deprived) and make you feel more normal. Because whatever ‘normal’ is, it’s not face-planting your desk.

2. Eat a banana

I once met a women who ran marathons, two businesses and a family of four children. Her secret weapon? Bananas. “They are the ultimate energy boost,” she explained. They come ready packaged. They pack a punch full of sugar – fruit sugar, that is – and plenty of other nutritional good guys too, like potassium, riboflavin and vitamins B6 and C. We’re not entirely sure what they do exactly, but science tells us it’s beneficial, and my body agrees.

3. Go for a run

Failing that, go for a walk. Failing THAT, jump up and down outside for a few minutes. I know it’s cold, but that’s one incentive to move. The second incentive – if I may be so bold – is to increase your blood flow, which gets the blood into your brain and your thoughts into action. The third incentive is that it boosts your mood, your appetite, and gives you that gentle pull-yourself-together slap that only bitter, damp February air really can.

4. Get changed

Say what you like, there is something about a fresh pair of pants that makes even the weariest of days feel less weary. Even the starchy, white-whites smell of washing powder has an uplifting effect. Just as getting ready to go out can put you in the mood even when you least feel like leaving the house, so going through the motions of getting ready can perk you up. Even if it’s just changing your hoodie so you can sit back down at your desk and carry on revising.

5. Dress smart

The old saying ‘dress smart, think smart’ isn’t just a cunning ploy by adults to get you our of your trackies; it’s true, at least for many of us. Studies have suggested that for people who have to wear a uniform to work, putting it on has a positive effect on their concentration levels. You don’t have to wear your lab coat to write that biology essay (though it can’t hurt, if you feel like it) but a changing out of that jumper you spilled ketchup down yesterday might just help.

6. Let there be light

The brighter it is, the more alert you’ll feel too. Sure we might all look better in low lighting – that’s why candles are so popular – but if this essay/revision sheet/workbook is ever going to get finished, you’re going to need the lights a-blazing. And if it’s still daylight, work by an (open, preferably) window.

7. Sniff something

Not that we’re suggesting you become an amateur aromatherapist, but a quick whiff of citrus, vanilla or mint can be pretty effective at stimulating your senses – and your brain with them. No need to buy the oils (although they’re not too spendy in Holland and Barrett) – a nice fat grapefruit, vanilla stick or a handful of fresh mint leaves will suffice! Or failing that, body spray. But stop before you get a headache, you should know that by now.

8. Have a nap

Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just the only thing to be done. Sweet dreams.

@finney_clare 

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Sure, some people LOVE exercising at school. Whether it’s team games, athletics, gymnastics, absolutely bossing the bleep test – a little sporting activity during the school day can be a lot of fun.

But, whether it’s because you don’t get on with other people in your class (but now have to shower with them, hello), you’re made to do really long cross country runs in the dead of winter like something out of an Enid Blyton book, or you get all hot and sweaty before maths class when you have that crush sat right behind you… sometimes PE can suck.

Really suck.

The thing is, moving about is (breaking news!) really good for you. Working out gets your heart pumping, can improve your skin and does wonders for your mood. This means it’s important for your health – inside and out – to exercise, but not that it has to be boring or happen in school hours to make a difference.

Here are seven ways to work out that are about eleventy times more fun than anything that happens in PE lessons.

(NB: must also pay attention in maths)

Rihanna work work gif

1. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk

We know, it sounds obvious. It sounds boring. It sounds like something you do every day anyway, doesn’t it? But adding just a few more steps here and there can actually make you feel a lot better – and there’s nothing nicer than getting fresh air after double physics. Luckily what last year we called ‘walking’, this year we call ‘playing Pokemon Go’. Have you caught them all yet?

Liz Lemon dancing gif

2. Dancing queeeeen

Whether you’re at a party with a big group of friends or just rocking out in front of your mirror, dancing is scientifically-proven to be the most fun form of exercise, ever. (Well, if science is based on us asking all of our friends and them agreeing with us.) The best thing about dancing is: the more you do it and the more of your body you move, the better it is for you.

3. Walk, sprint, jog (then do it all over again)

Walking can be boring. Sprinting can be tiring. What’s the answer? Do a bit of everything! Mixing some walking with a bit of sprinting, then switching back to walking again, then finishing off with jogging gets your body really moving. It adds variety to your workout and it’s a tried-and-tested way to keep very fit. You can make it even more fun by taking a friend with you – or get good pet karma and take your dog.

Foxes on trampoline

4. Trampolining, bouncy castle-ing and general jumping

Trampolining is so much fun, because it makes you feel like a little kid again. Bounce around, do some tricks and make sure you do lots of laughing when anyone falls over – it’s kinda the rules. NB: this tip also works just as well on a bouncy castle.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ice skating

5. It’s time to get your skates on

Roller skating is a great way to have fun with your friends, move about a lot and keep your body working – it actually takes a lot of muscle strength to keep your body balanced. Feeling frosty? Try ice skating instead.

Swimming baby underwater

6. Splash around

If you love to swim and doing length after length doesn’t bore you, go for it you athlete! But for most of us, it’s much more fun to dunk each other’s heads in the water and see if we can totally nail a handstand on the bottom of the pool. If you’re feeling ambitious, get your mates together and dream up your very own synchronised swimming routine. With a little bit of practice you’ll have everyone around you super impressed by your seamless moves – or it’ll just be a great thing to have a giggle about on the way home.

Dog on a bike

7. Get on your bike

That’s right, it’s time to dig your old bike out from your shed and take it for a spin. As long as you have a helmet you can explore your local area on two wheels rather than just two feet. It might be easier than walking (and it’s definitely easier than running), but it gives your legs a good workout.

Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, try a unicycle. You’ll find growing numbers of acrobatic skills classes in most areas – so if the thought of double hockey in the rain really gets too much, you can always run off and join the circus.

@BeccaCaddy

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Image: Hailey Hamilton

There are many things the world needs more of – love, peace, peanut butter Magnums, tights that actually stay up – but one thing we have no shortage of whatsoever is motivational quotes. They’re everywhere. On our walls, on our fridges, decorating our notebooks and cluttering up our Instagram feeds. They are the hot air that powers Pinterest like a jet engine.

But of course, they’re not always helpful. There are only so many times you can be told to ‘be a unicorn!’ before you want to smash your phone screen with your non-existent horn – and of all the genuinely cool and inspiring things Audrey Hepburn did in her time on earth, that quote about believing in pink ain’t one of them.

So as your antidote to all the whimsical sunsets, we’ve dug up 13 truly awesome quotes from some truly awesome women. Go kick some ass today – like yourself, not a unicorn.

(The hooves would just be impractical.)

“Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”

Marie M. Daly, the first African-American woman to to earn a PhD in Chemistry

 

“However many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there.”

Nora Ephron, first lady of American screenwriting

 

“If I stop to kick every barking dog, I am not going to get where I’m going.”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who won three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals at four different Olympic Games.

 

“We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f***ing feminist and wear a f***ing Peter Pan collar. So f***ing what?”

Zooey Deschanel, your fringe icon and all-round comedy babe

 

“Everyone’s got some greatness in them. You do. The girl over there does. That guy on the left has some. But in order to really mine it, you have to own it. You have to grab hold of it. You have to believe it.”

Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, from her book Year of Yes

 

“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

JK Rowling, everyone’s favourite dream auntie

 

“She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.”

Zelda Fitzgerald, Jazz Age legend, from her Collected Writings

 

“Be brave and fearless [enough] to know that even if you do make a wrong decision, you’re making it for a good reason.”

Adele. You know Adele.

 

“Because you don’t live near a bakery, doesn’t mean you have to go without cheesecake.”

Hedy Lamarr, 1940s movie star and inventor, who developed the radio wave system that led to the modern creation of wi-fi (thanks Hedy!)

 

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

Maya Angelou, author, poet and civil rights activist

 

“I say they should enjoy it while they can. You’ll be happy later to have taken pictures of yourself when you looked good. It’s human nature.”

Margaret Atwood, the Booker Prize-winning novellist, on (you guessed it) selfies

 

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.”

Malala Yousafzai, female education activist and the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner.

What better motivation could you have before double Geography?

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Image: Getty

Today marks the 65th year that the Queen has been the Queen. And to think, we thought committing to all six seasons of Game of Thrones was a big ask.

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch, and therefore the first ever to reach her Sapphire Jubilee (apparently sapphires beat diamonds in this equation, which is confusing but we’ll go with it). And for all the pearls and the tiaras and the castles and the being-90, the Queen seems like someone we wouldn’t mind being mates with.

So in honour of this day, we thought we’d take a moment out of our day to reflect on some of the moments Her Majesty was not just the Queen, but a total queeeeeen.

The time she got excited… by cows

The time she was a badass in white gloves

queen-with-gun

The time she served up pure old Hollywood

The time she met the Spice Girls and loved it

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 01: The Queen At The Royal Command Performance At The Victoria Palace Theatre On 1st December 1997 Shaking Hands With Pop Star Geri Halliwell (ginger Spice) From The Pop Band The Spice Girls (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)

The time she was everyone’s strict Granny

The time she casually changed a tyre on an ambulance in WW2

queen-in-war

The time she trolled the Obamas

One of the many times her outfit was #goals

Literally everything about this photo

queen-on-horse

When she was graceful as a real life Mary Poppins

Queen In Turkey

And let’s never forget, the time she was the ultimate Bond girl

Yaaas, Queen.

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If you’re anything like us, getting up on a Monday morning can feel a bit like this:

hard

It’s cold and dark and the weekend really is over. But, the good news is that there are loads of reasons to get out of bed this morning. In fact, we’ve rounded up 21 of them.

1. Today might be the day your teacher gives you an A on your homework.

2. Or it might be the day that you hear your new favourite song.

3. Today might be the day you go the entire day without tripping on anything.

4. Or may be it’ll the day you only trip once.

5. Today might be the day Zoella retweets you.

6. Or the day you find out why it’s important to know what pi is.

7. It might be the day you find £20 on the floor.

8. Or the day you score the winning goal in football.

9. Today might be the day you take the perfect selfie.

10. It could even be the day you think of the PERFECT sarcastic reply in the moment, and not five hours later.

11. Today might be the day you get to the bus stop the exact moment the bus pulls up.

12. Or the day you finally talk to your crush.

13. It might be the day you have the best hair day of your life (so far).

14. Today might be the day that Barack Obama announces he’s becoming a teacher at your school.

15. Or it could be the day that your dog finally learns how to shake hands.

16. Maybe it will be the day that you find the bracelet you lost years ago.

17. Today might be the day that Beyoncé drops another surprise album.

18. Who knows, it might be the day that your teacher lets you go home half an hour early.

19. Hell, today might be the day you make a new BFF.

20. It might even be the day you find out you won the school science prize.

21. Or it might be the day Costa gives you a free hot chocolate. With marshmallows. And whipped cream.

See, there are loads of reasons to get out of bed this morning. We hope you’re now feeling a little less ‘meh’ and a little more like this little guy.

puppy-snoq

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. 

Ready for your weekly weep-fest? Both Barack and Michelle Obama made their final speeches as First Lady and President this week and they are So. Damn. Beautiful.

Right now, the outgoing president and his wife are basically like sixth formers at the beginning of July. There are loads of farewell parties on the horizon. Everyone’s asking them what they’re going to do next. They’re having to say goodbye to the people they’re used to seeing everyday. And there are tears. Lots and lots of tears.

Michelle said farewell on Sunday. Unsurprisingly she choked up delivering this inspiring final speech as First Lady, and we’re not gonna lie, we did too.

Her main message?

“I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. So don’t be afraid — you hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.”

She finished off her speech by saying:

“Being your First Lady has been the greatest honour of my life, and I hope I’ve made you proud.”

Oh Michelle. We’re not even American, but you made us so, so proud.

Then, in the early hours of this morning, Barack delivered his own farewell speech and woah, that man can talk. He had some really nice things to say about young people, too.

“Let me tell you, this generation coming up — unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic — I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, that it’s not something to fear but something to embrace, you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result the future is in good hands.”

“I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.”

*blows nose loudly on tissue*

Let’s do the Obamas proud, team.

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This week, as the French government is closing down the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais, refugees are in the headlines again. And while nobody should need a reminder that refugees have just as much potential and deserve just as many opportunities as the rest of us… the amazing story of Fadumo Dayib is really driving the point home.

Dayib and her family fled Somalia in the 1980s, during the Civil War. Despite still being considered one of the five most dangerous countries in the world for women, Dayib has returned to her homeland in a bid to be the first female President of Somalia.

At the moment, another woman is busy dominating headlines in her run for President (#imwithher) but that doesn’t make Dayib’s run any less important.

Aged 14, Dayib and her family fled to Finland, the home of fjords and raw fish and totally kick ass girls. It was here that she finally learnt to read and write and develop a passion for education. She went on to complete to Masters – one was on a scholarship to Harvard (casual). Dayib then spent a few years working with the United Nations, launching public health initiatives in developing countries around the world, and completing a PhD.

Impressed yet?

It was was her PhD study that inspired Dayib to go back to Somalia and be the first female candidate ever to run for President. Just like that.

Dayib told Mic, “…even though home is not a welcoming place, is not a peaceful place, we should do everything possible to make it so.”

Somalia has been gripped by numerous challenges over Fadumo’s lifetime; from vicious warlords to natural disasters.

Dayib is realistic about her odds of winning, she knows her campaign is a long shot. After all, she is the only woman and the only refugee running, and despite the country being pretty much run by gangs, she isn’t about to give in to corruption.

Whatever the outcome of the election, Fadumo Dayib is making history and standing up for what she believes in.

And for that, Fadumo, you’re our Shero.

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: Getty

We’ve all been there – scrolling through Instagram, feeling that our life isn’t quite as pastel-tinted, our outfit quite as perfect, our friends not quite as glamorous as all of the people populating our feed.

It can be exhausting. And irritating. And probably, maybe, quite bad for us.

Whenever I make the crucial mistake of opening Instagram when I’m lying on my bed waiting for the next episode of Gilmore Girls to load, surrounded by Maltesers and half drunk cups of tea, it can feel like a punch to the stomach. Why is everyone so flawless-skinned? And tanned? And chilling on a yacht while I’m in Nando’s? How are these people always travelling? Why do they drink so many smoothies? Does anyone, if they’re being really honest with themselves, even like kale?

So as a lovely antidote, here are 12 Instagram accounts that won’t make you feel terrible about your life.

And I promise, not one of them features kale.

Paul Nicklen bear photo
Image: @paulnicklen

Paul Nicklen

You might not have heard of Paul Nicklen, but 2.5 million people have. That’s right; 2.5 freakin’ million. He’s a photographer for National Geographic and his photos of nature are so beautiful it will make you want to live outdoors for the rest of your life. Maybe.

School of Doodle t-shirt image
Image: @schoolofdoodle

School of Doodle

The School of Doodle is a really cool project that focuses on providing young girls with the knowledge, skills and experiences not taught in high school. You can watch inspirational and informational videos featuring big creative brains and world changers, connect with fellow Doodlers and take part in the weekly Doodle challenge.

Image: @janetomyausten
Image: @janetomyausten

Jane to my Austen

I want ‘Jane to my Austen’ to be the Darcy to my Elizabeth. Basically, we are now in love. Don’t panic, this isn’t just a Jane Austen fangirl feed – it’s beautiful celebration of all things bookish.

The Atlas of Beauty instagram photo
Image: @theatlasofbeauty

The Atlas of Beauty

Mihaela Noroc photographs women from every corner of the world. Through exploring all sort of different cultures, she wants to expand our concept of what ‘beauty’ really. It’s a super inspiring project and her photos are amazing.

 

Mr Pokee
Image: @mr.pokee

Mr. Pokee

Somehow, in what I can only assume is a cruel punishment from the universe, I only recently found this account. The entire account is dedicated the adventures of a hedgehog. A hedgehog! Mr. Pokee is now my life, and he’ll be yours too.

Girl with no job Instagram post
Image: @girlwithnojob

Girl with no job

Sometimes life can get you down. Especially when other people are lying on a sun lounger in the South of France, sipping on organic, macrobiotic coconut water and you are lying in your back garden on an old towel with a warm glass of flat Coke. But luckily that’s what comedy is for. Here’s to Girl with No Job, who uses her downtime to entertain us rather than make us jealous.

History Photographed image
Image: @historyphotographed

History Photographed

This isn’t one of those Instagram accounts that just churns out old black and white images of Audrey Hepburn you’ve seen a million times. History Photographed includes loads of really unusual images that you’ve probably never seen before. Like parents at New York Pride in 1974 carrying signs that say “I am proud of my gay son.” #LoveIsLove

Baby Animalstagram
Image: @babyanimalstagram

Baby Animalstagram

This Instagram account is exactly what it sounds like. But better. So much better.

NASA sky photo
Image: @NASA

NASA

I never used to be that fussed by space. I knew it was out there but never wanted to learn all that much about it – like taxes or Kanye West. But NASA’s Instagram account changed all that. Now, while I would give all of my savings (£67.50) to go to space, this account means I don’t have to. I can see some pretty amazing things from the comfort of my bedroom.

 

Papered Thoughts pebbles
Image: @paperedthoughts

Papered Thoughts

I love everything Paper Thoughts does so much I want to eat it. Yes, even her illustrations. Yes, even her beautiful letters and envelopes. Yes, I would even gobble down her beautiful motivational painted rocks without so much as a second thought. I fully believe it would be worth the indigestion.

Makers Women quote
Image: @makerswomen

Makers Women

Need some inspiration in the your life? Look no further. Makers Women’s feed is brimming with kickass feminists and inspirational quotes like this one from Shay Mitchell: “You have this one life, so go and make the most of it.”

Mental Floss cheesecake post
Image: @mentalfloss

Mental Floss

If, like me, you are a lover of random facts, useless information, and things that will make you say “Really?!”, then this is your holy grail.

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.