Follow your dreams

 

Your dreams and talents are the keys to unlocking your amazing potential, so try not to be tempted to act like someone you're not, or someone who doesn't matter. Not all your dreams are going to happen this week or next, but that's no reason not to believe in them and nurture them. The dreamy creative part of you loves new things, so make a date with yourself to visit unusual places. Check out your local thrift stores, markets, and garage sales. Visit button shops, second-hand bookshops, funky little cafés and galleries. You'll be amazed at how amazing you'll feel. Suddenly you're then inspired to write, paint or dance, and do a thousand and one things.

 

Be your fabulous self

 

Sometimes it's hard to be you, because everything everyone else is doing looks a whole lot more appealing. But no-one has the wonderful combo of qualities you have. That's what gives you your x factor, what makes you interesting and special.

 

So instead of trading who you are, to be the same as, start by appreciating who you are and what you're good at. Think about what you enjoy. This is important, because it helps make you a happy and passionate person, instead of anxious about what everyone else thinks.

 

Make a little bit of time to enjoy small things about yourself - your smile, your eyes, your cheeky laugh. Notice the buzz you get when you give yourself credit for being you. Take time to remind yourself of what nurtures you– movies, travel, animals, fashion, nature, photography, whatever. Once you know the things that make you come alive, you enjoy life a whole lot more. Then you're able to encourage your gorgeous girlfriends to feel good about who they are.

 

Feeling a bit down?

 

Though we'd all prefer to always be 'happy as', there are days and weeks that get us down. It's okay to be sad or unmotivated once in a while. But if you're constantly down, crying for no apparent reason, feeling worthless, or no longer doing the things you love, don't panic. You're not on your own. You just need a little tender loving care right now.

 

There's lots of things you can do to turn things around, like getting outside in the fresh air, being around nurturing people who love you, or going to a funny movie. It's also a good idea to talk to your parents. And if you can't shake the blues, see your doctor. Talking through your worries with a professional helps take a big weight off your mind, as they know what to do to help.

 

"There's always a bad day to deal with, and I've learned the secret: wallow in it. Wallow in feeling sad, lonely, overtaken and hopeless for one day. Then snap out of it. I find that indulging these feelings is the only way to really get over it. There's nothing to say it won't happen again, but at least you will have been through it and come out on the other side!" Love Emily, Hampstead, Maryland, whichgoose.blogspot.com

 

Periods and dreams

 

Have you noticed how often you want to chill when you have your period? That's because your body's extra busy replenishing the wall of your uterus. That's hard work so your body needs more rest. You can keep going regardless, or you can slow down a bit, and enjoy being in your own space.

 

In the native American culture when girls had their periods, they went to the Moon Lodge, where they'd spend their time day dreaming, listening to the grandmothers and braiding each other's hair. How good is that?

 

So if you're feeling a bit stressed create some lovely chill out space. Take a long bath. Light a few (safe) candles. Have an early night. Orange, lavender, lemon and rose otto oils will help you relax. Put a few drops in your bathwater, or burn the oil in a burner to scent your room. Then when you're feeling relaxed, you're in a great space to dream up wonderful new dreams.

 

Friends and frenemies

 

Everyone's under massive pressure to do and be a thousand things. Some pressure's good, because it helps you focus and be even more fabulous, but too much pressure can nibble away at your self confidence. That's when you start apologising for being you. And seriously, who needs that?

 

If you want to feel great about yourself, spend time around supportive friends who appreciate you for being you, and don't put you down every five seconds. The best way to sort out your true friends is to take a step back so you can see which friends really love and appreciate you, and which friends have become frenemies, and make you feel nervous about what you say, think and do. Why bother? Because you're worth it, and because when you hang out with great friends life's magical.

 

Driving

 

Nobody gets into a car thinking they're going to die, but more teens get killed on the road than any other way. Frequently teen fatalities happen late at night, when the driver's distracted by friends. Or they're eating, drinking, or using cell phones while driving. Studies show that for every teen passenger in a car, the ride gets more dangerous.

 

So when you're out with friends don't be tempted to drive faster, or do crazy stuff just to look cool. It's one sure way to end up badly hurt or dead. Before you get into a car, take a second to think about the people you're with and the choices you want to make. Listen to your instincts, and you'll be fine.

 

Tips for a Top Babysitter

 

Babysitting's great experience and can be fun, but it's also a big responsibility. When you're sorting out the sitting details, make sure you know the length of time you're to babysit, how much you charge and whether your employers will drop you home afterwards.

 

Always arrive on time. Let your parents know where you're going, and for how long. Keep the sitting address with you while you baby sit, just in case of an emergency, as you'll be asked the address. Find out the nearest cross streets if you can too.

 

Before your employers leave write down their contact numbers, and any other details you're likely to forget so there's no misunderstandings. Don't be afraid to ask them to repeat any instructions. This shows you're taking the job seriously. Ask if there's a 'go to' neighbor in case of an emergency. Find out how doors and windows lock. Check if you are to feed the children, their bed times, and how much TV and computer time they can have.

 

Be kind but firm. You're the acting parent, so be responsible. And when you're looking after younger children at night, organise quiet games so there's no dramas before bed.

 

Best tips:

Make sure you can hear the children call if they're in bed.

Check with their parents about any allergies.

If you have any queries or concerns don't hesitate to ring the parents.

Unless invited don't help yourself to the family's food or drinks.

Don't be a sticky beak

Wash any dishes you use.

Don't invite friends to join you without permission

 

Snowy Wonderland

 

As Meaghan lives in Canada she ice skates every winter. Here's a snapshot of what her perfect afternoon looks like. 'I spent part of the afternoon skating at Beaver Lake and sipping hot chocolate to warm up,' she admits, Then I drove to my favorite (highly secret) vintage heaven.' Love Meaghan, Montreal, Quebec, lefthandendeavor.blogspot.com