PMS? Dealing with bad periods 101

Teen holding her stomach

Having bad periods can be a real pain. Haha.Get it? Cough. Anyway, they really are frustrating. With the cramping and the moods and the constant need to use the bathroom you start to get tired of it. Luckily it only lasts for a few days. So what do you do to make those few days as easy as possible? How do you deal with bad periods and take stress off you and those around you? Here are a few tips about things you can do during those really bad periods.

When you are having a really bad period it is always good to have some good medicine handy. You should probably carry some medicine in your purse that is wrapped in a little bag. That way whether you are at the mall with your girlfriends or at school in class, you always have the necessary medicine right there on hand. Every girl finds different medicines useful. Some will take Ibuprofen, some will take Tylenol, some will take Advil some will take other medicines. They will take whichever they want depending on how it helps their symptoms.

Another thing that can be important to do if you have really bad PMS is to warn people. You may want to distance yourself a little if you are afraid you will do something mean to a friend unintentionally. Your friends will probably understand your emotional roller coaster since they all go through it, but still you would not want to end up saying something you do not mean. Even though you both may understand that you have PMS that does not mean that feelings cannot get hurt. So if you want to deal with bad PMS it may be a good idea for you to distance yourself from people for a few days, or at least warn them that it is that time of the month.

One thing that some girls have found to be helpful with really bad periods is to go on a light jog. A light jog can help in many ways. If you have really bad cramps a light jog would help to lighten those cramps up. It might not make them go away all together but it would definitely help. It could make them bearable enough that you could hang out with your friends and have fun without being in too much pain. A light jog can also help if you are having bad PMS. If you are feeling angry, frustrated, sad etc. a light jog will help to lighten up your mood. Going jogging will release endorphins into your system. These endorphins will help to lighten your mood and make you feel cheerful rather than depressed.

Finally, if you have bad periods you need to make sure that you always have the necessary supplies handy. It is true that some bathrooms carry things such as tampons but not all of them do. Even if the bathroom does carry the necessary supplies, those supplies will not be free. If you do not carry your own supplies you will have to be sure to carry your money with you. It would be awful to be caught in with no supplies for a bad period. Especially if you were out somewhere with your friends. You could always hope that one of your friends would be carrying something, but if she’s not than it is up to you to have what you need prepared in advance.

Bad periods can be annoying but they really are not the end of the world. It may take some time to get used to having a bad periods but they will always pass and you will be back to normal, hanging out with friends, playing with family etc.

Being a fashion trend setter

There are people who follow fashion trends, and then there are the people who set them. Obviously many fashion trends are started or perpetuated by celebrities and what is popular in the more fashionable cities, etc. however, it is possible to be a fashion trend setter in your school. The following is a look at how you can be a fashion setter in your social circles:

1. Know your style. You can’t set trends in fashion if you do not know what your personal style is. People who flounder from style to style never really achieve the look necessary to be considered one of the more stylish people, and thus someone to follow. So, choose your personal theme of choice. This might be the heroine sheik look, the gypsy look, the preppy look, or tom boy, or something in between. No matter what you go for, make sure you know what works for you, what doesn’t, and what your style is.
2. Be confident in what you wear. It does not matter if you are wearing a grungy old t-shirt covered in paint splotches, if you are confident in how you look, and exude that air of confidence, others will think your style is cool, and will want to mimic it. The fact of the matter is, half of what you wear is the attitude you give off while wearing it. How else do you think celebrities get away with some of their outrageous outfits? They say, “If you don’t like it, that is your problem because I look great.” Practice the same attitude, if you believe it, you can wear sweats and no one will question your sense of style.
3. Be courageous. If you want to be a fashion trend setter, you can’t be too conservative in your color choices, cuts, etc. If you are, you aren’t going to be someone setting trends, but rather living inside them. You have to be the person to layer a skirt over leggings and see if it flies, or wear a t-shirt off the shoulder. If you want to set trends, think outside the box, and try stuff that is not your everyday outfit.
4. Don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong. Part of being a fashion trend setter is recognizing when a fashion is just not working, and dropping it. For example, if you wanted to start a trend of wearing foam visors, you could do it for a while, but you would soon see that there is not enough to recommend foam visors, and that the trend should be dropped.
5. Have fun. Fashion is supposed to be a way to express yourself through appearance. So have fun with it, and really let your personality show through. If you are a free spirit, wear clothes without brands, and flowy materials. If you are really traditional and conservative, invest in some sweater vests, collared shirts, and slacks. The idea is to have fun, get your personality out, and put a twist on the everyday.

The drama of teen friendships

Out of all the age ranges, the friendships within teens undergo the most amount of drama. Teens seem to attract drama. Whether it is with the opposite gender, or the same gender, friendships amongst teens is often complicated and dramatic. This holds true a little more so for the females, but is not strictly a feminine characteristic or attribute.

Why teen friendships often have drama:

Teens are adept at communication, especially teen girls. This is a great thing, but it means that they pour all kinds of energy into it. All of that energy leads to drama. If you put all of your energy into every conversation, you start to read into every expression, every syllable and how it is pronounced, etc. looking for hidden meanings, underlying messages, vibes, etc. The fact of the matter is, most teen girls get far more out of a typical conversation than is said, and this is because when they speak, they often mean far more than what they say. For example, a teen girl might say, “Cute outfit” when they really mean, “Wow, you look horrible.” They may say, “I’m not sure if I can go tonight” when they really mean, “I will come if I don’t get a better offer between now and then.”

Because of the way teens communicate, they are always looking for the thing that is not said, or the facial expression that gets to the heart of the matter. While boys are more direct, teens do not like putting themselves at risk, males or females, and so a lot of communication games are played, love games, etc. and this is why there is tons of drama in teen friendships.

How to not let the drama affect your actual friendships:

Drama creates problems more often than it does anything else, while it adds interest to life, it also means gossip, hurt feelings, insecurities, etc. So, avoid ruining your friendships with drama by deciding not to dramatize every situation. With your friends you have to agree to be upfront with each other, saying what you mean. You have to be able to talk to each other when there are problems, so that life is not about, “Did she mean this?” Is so and so mad at so and so.” Etc. You also should do what you can not to get offended too easily. Most drama comes from unintentional, or even non-existent offenses.

Tips for avoiding drama:

1.    Avoid gossip. Gossip feeds drama, so if you want to reduce the drama in your life, do not spread or listen to any gossip.
2.    Stay busy. The busier you are with classes, after school activities, family time, etc. the less time and energy you have to commit to drama. Drama is more prevalent in the lives of the bored teen.
3.    Don’t stew on things. If it is outside your control, or you are too chicken to ask what they mean outright, or if you don’t understand something someone did or said, don’t worry about it, and sit and mull it over in your head, just be laid back, forgiving, and cool.

How to explore your crush without getting burned 

If you’ve ever had a secret crush on someone, you know it can be nerve racking.  You’re dying to walk up to him and confess your secret love, but you would never ever want to do something as embarrassing as that!  You want to get to know him and talk to him, but you’re afraid he doesn’t even know you exist.  So what do you do?  You obviously can’t go on living the way you are- you’ll go crazy if you don’t have some kind of outlet for your crush.  But how can you explore your crush without getting totally burned?

First of all, relax!  Don’t get so stressed out when he’s around.  He’ll notice if you’re always jittery when he’s around and he’ll think you’re weird.  Just be calm.  Tell yourself that he’s just a boy he’s just a person; he gets nervous too.

Next, get some confidence!  Everyone likes people who have good self-esteem and are secure with themselves.  People will notice that you are confident and it will make your personality shine.  Working on your confidence will also help you be less nervous when the boy you like is around.  If you need to, practice talking to yourself in the mirror.  Practice what you would say to him if he walked into your house.

Third, be yourself!  This might be the most important tip of all.  You must be yourself no matter what.  Don’t let the desire to date some boy change who you are.  If any boy, no matter how cool or hot he is, doesn’t appreciate your personality then he’s not worth dating!  Plus, he’ll notice if you are trying too hard or are acting weird.  And what happens if you pretend to be someone else for a while and then get to know him and start to be yourself- then he’ll think you’re a poser and won’t be interested in you.  So just be yourself.  It’s much easier that way.

Now that you’ve figured out how to act around him, let’s find out what kind of person he is.  Whether you’re in the same class or see him every week at church, say hello to him.  Ask him about himself and what he’s been up to.  Ask him simple questions like what teachers he has or what sports he likes to play.  Share a little about yourself as well.  Flirt with him a little bit.  Make eye contact with him.  Smile at him when you pass him in the hall.  Make friends with his friends.  One of the best ways to find out about a person is by hanging out with the type of people that he likes.  If you get along well with his group of friends and you like them, chances are that you’ll like him and be interested in similar things.  But if you hate his friends, you probably should just give up now.

Once you’ve finally started talking to him on a regular basis, start building up a friendship.  Ask him and his friends to group activities with you and your friends.  Think of reasons for the two of you to hang out together.  Maybe even work up the courage to ask him out on a date.  By this point, there’s a good chance that he might be into you as well.  If you’re very bold, just tell him that you really like him and have had a crush on him for a while.  If you’re too shy, keep asking him out and hopefully he’ll start to do the same to you.  Then you’ll have a strong relationship started and you will have emerged unscathed!

Teen fashion for males

When people think fashion, they generally do not immediately think of the male population. Accessories, trends, and an over-abundance of clothing tends to be a female burden, but that is not to say that males are not fashionable, or don’t love to stay up with the trends as much as the girls do. The trends for teen guys are just as changing and diverse as the trends for teen girls, they just have fewer options within each trend. The following is a look at some of the common themes about teen fashion for males:

Wrinkle-free trousers and jackets.
You want to be able to pull something out of your closet and get dressed. Spending time in front of an ironing board is not ideal, so wrinkle free is the way to go. In addition to that, by having trousers and jackets you can dress up or dress down any outfit. For example, hit the local McDonalds with your buddies in jeans and a t-shirt during the day, and hit up a party that night by adding a blazer type jacket to the same outfit. You get an instant dress up to a basic outfit.

Highwaters or shpants designed in denim.
Denim is always going to be in, the length of it is what will change. So, of late, having shorter jeans, with a tighter fit is the in-thing. Pair it with sandals and a v-neck solid color t-shirt, and you get a comfortable, classy look.

T-shirts and half-sleeved regulars. In the summer or winter, showing your arms is a popular choice. T-shirts are in, but you can add some interest to your style by choosing shirts with graphics, designs, and embellishments. Half sleeved regulars can be spruced up a bit too with interesting buttons, bold prints, etc.

Crimped, faded and/or motif jeans.
Jeans are the thing, but don’t go looking too preppy or clean. These days the grungier, more distressed, and more washed look is in. You want bold pocket designs, lots of hardware, and aging so that your jeans do not look like you just pulled them off the shelf. This gives a casual feel to your style, while keeping you hip and in the know.

Khakis – shorts and shirts.
Khakis are the new way to look a little dressier while staying casual. Shorts that are khaki can be paired well with almost anything, and allow you to transition from a morning on the golf course to an afternoon at the arcade. In addition, the subtle color but substantial fabric allows you to play up other parts of your outfit without looking like you are overdoing it.

Accessories for guys change frequently, whether it is a trucker hat, a bandana, a neck scarf, or aviator glasses. If you want to accessorize, be sure to stay current with whatever the accessory phenomenon is, and pay attention to your shoes and belts, as they are a great way to add some style and flair to your outfit without over doing it.

Popular teen fashion looks

Part of having style is having a signature look, or sort of themed wardrobe. Eclectic styles where you jump from preppy one day to hippie another can be hard to maintain. In addition, it often leaves you feeling unsatisfied and wondering who you really are. Style defines you. It is like an outward expression of what you are feeling on the inside. Are you bold? Are you traditional? Are you a free spirit? Choosing a look or at least a type of look you want to go for will help you make fashion choices, and be more comfortable in your own skin and clothes.

The following are some popular teen fashion looks that are easy to adopt, and fun to wear:

The Grunge Look: This is one of the easiest looks to pull off, as it does not require a whole lot of money. It is also popular because it reflects a laid back personality that is more concerned with inner beauty than outer. To achieve the grunge look, go for straight hair, longer is better, flats, sneakers, converse, etc. usually in bold colors, and possibly with writing on the soles. You want cotton t-shirts, or flannel checkers. You can wear trousers, like Dickies, or other brands that are informal. You want to wear things with holes, fraying edges, cut offs, hoods on shirts, sweatshirts that are cut off, etc.

The Layered Look: Layers are a great way to take some basic pieces and give them life. This is a fun look if you have a large wardrobe, and aren’t sure how to put it to the best use. To layer you need shrugs, sweaters, vests, jackets, short sleeved and long sleeved shirts, shirts with different lengths and necklines. The options for tops are endless. You can wear a tank over a T-shirt, you can wear a shrug over a tank, you can wear a t-shirt over a long sleeved or ¾ sleeved shirt. With the bottom half you can add leggings under a skirt or shorts. You can wear boots over leggings, etc.

The Gypsy Look: To achieve this look you need lots of colors, prints, and flowing clothing. The most popular is the flowing long skirt, but you can also wear peasant tops, and bright scarves. In addition you want long earrings, and chunky jewelry. This is a great look for the girl who loves to accessorize. To get the gypsy look right, you have to add accessories, from bangle bracelets to dangle earrings.

The Hippie Look: This look is making a comeback, but with a twist. Bright clothing, tie-dye, wrap arounds, etc. are all popular, but instead of a tie-dye shirt with bell-bottoms, pair it with skinny jeans. Instead of a wrap-around skirt with an oversized shirt, pair it with a tight t-shirt and razor back vest.  Add in headscarves, long necklaces, bandannas, strapped and flat footwear and flowers around the neck and you have the hippie look down pat.

Finding friends in unexpected places

As a teenager, friends, and the drama attached can sometimes be a little overwhelming. Friends change, life progresses, you change, etc. Sometimes friends, and the work it takes to make friends can seem like more hassle than it is worth.

Why you should have friends:
As a teenager life can be full of changes, friends help you stay sane, and often act as an anchor during that hectic time. They can guide and direct you, support you, and be someone to have fun with. Without friends, life would be boring, lonely and much too school focuses. So, having some friends is always wise, but this does not mean you need a million friends. A few close friends are often better than twenty okay friends.

Who your friends are:
Friends is a term that many teenagers use liberally. However, when it comes to finding friends in unexpected places, it is important to understand what it means to be a friend. A friend is not someone who is going to back-stab you, gossip about you, or treat you unkindly. In fact, they are the opposite. A friend is going to be there for you when you need them. They are going to be trustworthy, and someone who protects your secrets. Friends are sensitive to your feelings, and would never intentionally hurt you.

So, when talking about finding friends in unexpected places, it is important to recognize this is not about finding acquaintances, or people to hang out with, but friends.

Tips for finding friends in unexpected places:

Never prejudge people. You never know when someone you run into has the potential to be a close friend. If you base your friend selection off clothes, hair, social status, etc. yours will be a lonely life.

Be open to making friendships. Sometimes you miss signals given by people that want to be friends because you have your exclusive group. The fact is, you should always be willing to make new friends, especially if they will be true friends.

Be approachable. You will not find friends in unexpected places if you are a snob, if you do not allow people to approach you. If you are short with people, rude, or stand-offish, no one is going to take the risk to be your friend who you wouldn’t normally befriend. So, be open and inviting.

Examples of unexpected places:

It is amazing where you can find friends. For example, you may get a job, and initially think that the people you work with are all weird. However, you may find you have more in common than you think, and that they end up being some of your favorite people to spend time with. The following are a few of the unexpected places that as a teen you can find friends:

1.    Your job. If you want to make any money and have fun during the time at work, get to know the people you work with.
2.    Your church. You already have a common interest, and somewhere you can spend time together on a regular basis.
3.    Your classes. You may not have classes with your existing friends, but you will be spending an hour a day with the people in your classes, you might as well search out some friendships
4.    In your locker section. You visit your locker regularly, you might as well spark up a conversation and get to know the others who locker in your section.
5.    Your bus. You live close, and you are going to have to be together for at least a few minutes each day, talk and get to know each other.

The social circles of high school

In high school there are all kinds of social circles. Some are more popular than others, some attract more people, and others are very exclusive. The social circles of high school play a large role in many teen’s lives. Where they are in the hierarchy of sociality matters. How many circles they can openly associate with is critical. Which circles they avoid is part of their identity. The following is a look at some of the social circles of high school:

This is the social circle most people are the most familiar. People with the same popularity level tend to stick together. The ultra-populars, nick named the “plastics” in a popular movie, stick together and associate very little in other groups. You have the regular levels of popularity, the people who are known and know people, but are not exactly popular. You then have the “un-populars.” These are the people who tend to be considered strange, weird, etc. often it is people who play magic games, or dress up like medieval warriors, or who do theater, or are nerdy.

The next social circle is that of common interests. A lot of your “group” is going to be determined by the things you have in common. For example, if you are in the running for valedictorian you may hang out with the other people in the running, as you have common academic interests. A lot of time, the commonality circle goes hand in hand with the popularity circle. Things that you have in common may characterize you as cool, nerdy, funny, fun, etc. The popular group may have money, partying, etc. in common. The nerdy group may have World of Warcraft, and Sudoku in common.

This is a social circle that often crosses the boundary lines of other social circles. If you do a sport you typically have friendships within the team you are a part of, and some of those people may fall in the really popular groups, while others may be average, or nerdy. Sports usually require you to put your personal differences aside and just be friends.

Often times in school social circles are formed by your personal values. People who value the same things in life often congregate together. This is why religion tends to create social circles. Within the same religion, you typically hold the same values and beliefs. So, all of the mormon kids in a predominantly non-mormon community might hang out together. All of the Jewish kids may sit together at lunch, or the Catholics, etc. In addition to holding similar values, you spend time with each other outside of school attending worship services, in youth programs, etc.

Sometimes friendships and social circles are formed because of your family history or standing in the town. The kids the grew up next to each other will be in the same social circle at times simply because of their history of friendship and proximity to one another.

Life should be fun, how to balance work, social, and school 

As a teen, balancing work, school and a social life can be tricky.  But if done well, it can teach you important life skills that will always be with you.  Like every other teen, you want to have an active social life and also do well in school.  You want good grades so that you can get into a good college in a year or two.  You also need to work so that you have spending money when you go out with your friends.  But how can you juggle such a busy schedule?  You should be able to enjoy your teen years, right?  Life should be fun!  So here are some ideas how to balance the three most important part of your teen life.

First of all, you need to determine your priorities.  Although work, school and social life may be equally important to you, you must be able to determine which one has a higher priority at any given time.  For example, if you’re approaching term exams, perhaps school should become the number one priority for you until you’ve finished them.  Or if you have a busy time at work, maybe your social life will have to take second to work.  Your priority can change from time to time, but you need to be able to determine what should be most important at any given point.

The easiest way to determine your priorities is to do the following each week:
1.    Write down all your important events for school, work, and social activities (write down when your schoolwork is due, when you are scheduled to work and any activities planned with friends).
2.    Next, star the events that are most pressing in your schedule.
3.    Third, write out a schedule for each day, listing your tasks that must be accomplished by a certain time and then inserting the less important tasks.
4.    Finally, arrange your schedule with the other activities or tasks that you need to do but that might not be on the list.  Make sure that you’ve allotted time to get your homework done but still have time for your friends.
5.    Remember to stick to your schedule to get everything accomplished.

Maybe you’re just thinking about getting a job but are worried that it might impose on your school and social life.  But did you realize that in getting a job you’re opening yourself up to a whole new social group?  Your coworkers at work can become good friends that you never would have had if you hadn’t decided to go get a job.  Work can also be a blessed relief from school work.  Most people aren’t able to sit for hours upon hours working on school projects- ever once in a while, people need to take a break.  Work can be a break to let your mind rest during the day.

Remember that school can also be a place where you have fun with your friends.  You may be able to hang out at lunch or during study halls.  You can form study groups with your friends where you study and learn a topic, but where you also are able to have a good time with your friends.

Finally, you need to know your own limits.  Life will never be fun if you allow yourself to be pushed around by your friends, teachers or bosses.  If you’re only scheduled for a certain shift, but your boss is always trying to make you stay late, talk to him/her about it.  If your friends are dominating your life and you never have time alone to get your homework done or go to work, you need to tell them that you need more time alone.  If you’re able to effectively balance your work, school and social activities, life as a teen will be a fun and memorable experience.

Acne 911, what to do when the zits won’t go away

How eating healthy, exercising, and having good hygiene can definitely improve your skin condition.

1.    A healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lots of water will help your complexion. A bad food diet does not directly cause an acne breakout.  If your skin is susceptible to acne, not eating properly will definitely not help your acne.  Therefore not eating properly can have an “indirect” effect on your skin.  Eating foods high in sugar and fat can all be damaging to your skins health.  Saturated fats are the bad guys.  The negative effects of saturated fats on the body are weakening of your immune system, and for those prone to zits, raising the skin’s oil production, therefore the zits don’t go away.
2.    Vitamins play a key role in the reduction of acne breakouts.  Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C, and zinc are important nutrients for promoting a good complexion.  An easy way to be sure you are getting these vitamins and minerals is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. You can also choose to take Vitamin supplements to assure that you are getting proper nutrients.
3.    Water is very important for clear skin and overall body health.  Water plays a key role in carrying waste out of your body.  Everyone should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, that way the waste flushes out through your liver and kidneys and not through your skin and pores. Therefore your pores don’t get clogged with the waste from your body, and that helps the zits to go away.
4.    Exercise can help two ways with acne.  First sweat-inducing exercise can help to clear away toxins from the skin, as well as helping to improve circulation.  Good circulation is very important to healthy skin.   As you sweat you are pushing toxins out through your pores keeping them clear.  Sweating cleans the pores of dirt, dead skin, and excessive sebum.  Your pores will cleanse themselves naturally while exercising. Second exercise is a great stress reducer and stress contributes to acne
5.    Washing your face twice a day with mild soap or acne solution such as Proactive, or Clearasil followed by an astringent, should help to clear up zits. Tea tree oil has similar effects of benzoyl peroxide and has been used for many years to help fight zits.  Lemon juice is a good exfoliant it helps to balance the skin and is also an effective cleansing tool.  Add some diluted lemon juice to a cotton ball and apply to the skin.  The results are almost immediate. You can also try and oatmeal mask, it is a simple and very effective way to clear up zits and blackheads. All you need to do is cook some up add a little honey, let it set till it becomes a paste.  Before bed, apply the paste to your skin and wash it off with some warm water.  Your skin will start to clear up in just a few days. It is very important to let your pores breath.  Always make sure to remove your make-up before going to bed.  Never scrub your face too hard with a washcloth as this can make the zits worse by irritating the skin and pores.

6.    If you wear make-up or sunscreen, make sure that these products are labeled “noncomedogenic” or “oil-free”.  Hypoallergenic cosmetics, perfumes and lotions can help to avoid allergic reactions and skin irritations. Use lip-gloss with a matte finish. Shimmering facial colors have mica in them, which is a flaky mineral that can clog pores and irritate skin.  The more shine the more comedogenic content, which in turn means more clogged pores.
7.    If you need to cover up a zit always use a cosmetic concealer.  Never use liquid make-up, as this can irritate the zit and make it worse.  Buy a cosmetic concealer that matches your skin tone so you can blend it easily with your skin.