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    This is how you get out of that scroll hole

    Have you ever found yourself stuck in a scroll hole? This is what happens when you want to get to the end of the internet.
    Doom scrolling
    Just refreshed your Twitter feed for the umpteenth time today? You’re not the only one. “The tendency to endlessly scroll from one bad news story to another has grown over the past 18 months,” warns Tanya Goodin, digital detox expert and author of My Brain Has TooMany Tabs Open. This habit, also known as doom scrolling, is specific to your smartphone. Unlike your TV, your iPhone is always there, offering you continuous access to, let’s face it, the now rather depressing world.

    READ MORE: Is Your Smartphone Addiction Causing You To Gain Weight?

    We love misery
    This may sound strange, but your brain loves to cling to negative news. “And the algorithms that drive news feeds know this all too well,” explains Goodin. Reading bad news triggers the fight-flight response, but your brain also hates leaving things unfinished. And so arises the psychological phenomenon where you have a fear of interrupted or unfinished tasks, also known as the Zeigarnik effect. And you just want to soak up more bad news.

    READ MORE: Should You Go Through Your S.O.’s Phone? A Flow Chart

    Pandemic = infodemic
    This harmful effect is particularly associated with digital media. In the early days of the pandemic, consumption of stressful online news (which some researchers have called social media’s first “infodemic”) was associated with increased levels of depression, anxiety and stress. Research found that this was not the case with newspapers or magazines. The choice of your reading material therefore determines a lot.

    READ MORE: 15 Best Journalling Apps To Start The New Year With More Mindfulness

    Vibe check
    It is not only news that can temper your mood. If scrolling through your perfectly filtered feed fuels your anxiety, it can be just as damaging. “If you find yourself getting gloomier, log out and do something completely different,” Goodin advises. And that really doesn’t mean you should delete all your apps: ‘Dissociating yourself from (social) media is not good for your mental well-being, any more than overconsumption of news or social updates is.’ Keep it in balance.

    This story was first published in

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    Could Intermittent Resting Be The Key To Your Fatigue Problems?

    Ever randomly left your desk mid-morning to bask in the sun, head buried in a racy novel? Or taken a quick post-run nap on your lawn? You’re in tune with your body’s needs and on the right track, according to experts. There’s a term for these regular breaks — Intermittent Resting.
    You’re probably already familiar with the term Intermittent Fasting — cycling between eating what you like and restricting your food intake via techniques like the 5:2 and 16:8. For the uninitiated, the theory goes like this: by giving your body a break from food you can not only lose weight, but potentially improve your metabolism and reduce your risk of certain diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
    Now, health and fitness experts are talking about Intermittent Resting, the idea that the body also needs to cycle through small bursts of inactivity (activity fasting, if you will) in order to perform at its best. So, can scheduling rest with the enthusiasm you usually reserve for scheduling workouts really support your health and fitness goals?
    Nahid de Belgeonne, a former fashion industry employee and owner of a London-based fitness studio Good Vibes started creating deliberate pockets of rest throughout the day — a kind of deliberate down time — once she discovered the power of rest.
    That she felt happier, healthier and more productive as a result of her new regime will come as news to nobody. But she also credits intermittent resting with making her fitter, stronger and improving her quality of movement. She now trains others in the art of snacking on rest via her yoga-meets-meditation technique, The Human Method.
    READ MORE: The 16 Best Mental Health Podcasts To Help You Cope With Anxiety, Depression, And More
    Nahid explains that her theory is based on the body’s ultradian rhythms. The sister science of circadian rhythms – which control your 24 hour sleep-wake cycle – ultradian rhythms refers to the cycles that the systems in your body move through during the waking day. The concept is nothing new; it was proposed in the 1950s by sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman, whose contribution of the field of shut-eye is such that he’s often referred to as the ‘father of sleep’.
    That the wellness industry is finally sitting up and taking notice doesn’t surprise Dr Kat Lederle, chronobiologist and sleep coach at the sleep education platform Somnia. “We’ve seen significant scientific interest and progress in nutrition, fitness and sleep — circadian health is the next big topic,” she explains.
    While much of the focus in recent years has been on how your behaviour impacts your ability to fall – and stay – asleep, your behaviour impacts your waking function, too. “The body clock is made up of two clusters of 50,000 cells in the hypothalamus and we refer to that as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN),” Dr Lederle explains. “The SCN is like a conductor, setting the timings for everything else that happens in your body, so while your ultradian rhythms vary from system to system, your body clock ensures they’re working in harmony together. If your internal rhythms become misaligned, that can lead to all sorts of problems.”
    It’s thanks to a raft of circadian rhythm research that we now understand that the repercussions of this ‘misalignment’ extend far beyond a night spent tossing and turning. A disrupted body clock has been shown to interfere with everything from your appetite to your co-ordination and mood. Extreme disruption, the likes experienced by shift workers, has even been linked with depression.
    But if the behaviour that contributes to a broken body clock sits on a sliding scale, with the shift workers whose livelihoods depend on keeping variable hours at one end. On the other, you’ll find the kind of habits you know you shouldn’t do, but you probably do anyway — working through your lunchbreak, doing a HIIT session when your body is begging for yoga and reading the internet instead of your book come bedtime.
    It’s these everyday behaviours, Dr Lederle explains, that present an opportunity to optimise your circadian health. “By becoming more aware of your body clock and adopting behaviours that supports its optimal functioning, as opposed to railing against it, you can not only reduce your risk of various diseases, but improve your day to day functioning.”
    Essentially, it’s about practising sleep hygiene, but for the waking day, too. And among the tools in Dr Lederle’s ‘wake hygiene’ toolkit is a habit that sounds a lot like Intermittent Resting. Regular rest, it transpires, is the backbone of good body clock behaviour.
    “I call them ‘mini breaks’, but they amount to the same thing — taking a break of up to 20 minutes every 90 minutes or so. For me, it’s sitting back for a moment and bringing an awareness to my breaths. But I think the key is doing something in that time that you enjoy. It’s not paying your bills or contacting your accountant — it’s something you’ve chosen to do.”
    READ MORE: Struggle to Get to Sleep? Try These 5 Breathing Techniques
    What seems to elevate Intermittent Resting from your average work break is its intuitive nature; the idea that tapping into the times when your body is best primed for activity and rest could be a useful tool for those in the business of incremental gains. “Mini breaks are just one example of how aligning your schedule with your body clock can support your health goals,” adds Dr Lederle, who gives the example of planning when you exercise.
    If the idea of taking a 20-minute break every 90 minutes makes your heart race (not the goal), even breaking for five or 10 minutes can help. “I’m a huge believer in doing your own experiments and seeing for yourself what works for you,” adds Dr Lederle. “If you’re truly free to plan your life in the way that suits you, the repercussions on your health and wellbeing could be huge.”
    READ MORE: How To Get Better Quality Sleep
    Make Intermittent Resting Work For You
    Take a chronotype holiday
    Dr Lederle suggests taking a five-day trip with the goal of tuning into your natural waking and sleeping hours. Go to sleep when you feel tired, rise when you’re ready and avoid sleep saboteurs like screens. “By day five, you should know what your natural sleep timings are, and ideally you’ll start sleeping in that time window every night.”
    Find out your MEQ
    By now you’ll already known what hours you like to sleep, but for a more scientific approach, take the Morning-Evening questionnaire. There are 19 questions designed to tell you where you sit on the sliding scale of morning person and evening person.
    Keep an energy diary
    You’ll know intuitively when your energy ebbs and flows throughout the day by the times you usually reach for a coffee or a snack. Start consciously tuning into your feelings, and noting them down. Look out for the obvious signs, like yawning, as well as how engaged you feel in a task. Keep it up for a week and see what patterns you notice. This will guide you to your own Intermittent Resting breaks.
    Make it stick
    Your body clock is like a baby – it loves routine. “Anything you do that’s part of a routine will help your body clock to know what to expect, be that the time you do a workout or when you eat your lunch,” adds Dr Lederle. Once you’ve identified your energy peaks and troughs, schedule your breaks accordingly, and stick with it.

    The article Can Intermittent Resting Help You Reach Your Goals? was originally published on Women’s Health UK.

    READ MORE ON: Activity Fasting Health Advice Intermittent Resting Mental Health mental health advice More

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    The 16 Best Mental Health Podcasts To Help You Cope With Anxiety, Depression, And More

    Podcasts are incredibly popular these days, and there are so many to choose from. From politics to pop culture this type of audio entertainment covers almost everything you can think of and is a great way to pass the time and learn something new. But that’s not all it’s good for – mental health podcasts, in particular, can boost your emotional wellness and be an effective form of self-care.
    Shelby John, a clinical social worker who specialises in addiction, anxiety, and trauma, loves mental health podcasts because they are not only extremely accessible for most people, but they are also free. “The freedom to be able to listen to episodes whenever and wherever you want is incredible,” she says. “This allows people who maybe otherwise would not go to therapy or hire a coach to access knowledge and practical skills from professionals.”
    READ MORE: 12 Bonnie Mbuli Wellness Quotes
    The information you consume has a direct impact on how you behave, feel, and think, says Amy Morin, a therapist and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. “If you listen to podcasts that share stories, strategies, and tips that can improve your mental health, you can learn how to improve your psychological well-being,” she explains. “A podcast might affirm the information you already know, which can reassure you that you are on the right path. A podcast might also help you feel less alone. This is especially true if you hear stories and interviews with guests you can relate to. You might also learn new things or discover strategies you can try to reduce your anxiety or boost your mood.”
    Most mental health podcasts feature experts in a specific field, such as behavioral scientists, psychologists, therapists, or other types of pros with unique and helpful insights to share.
    How To Choose A Mental Health Podcast That Is Right For You
    The host will be your constant companion, so look for one whose personality and voice mesh well with you. You should also make sure the podcast you’re listening to is produced by a licensed and legitimate mental health care provider, advises Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Master Social Worker Kayleigh Parent. “Even then, just because someone is licensed does not mean they are competent or using evidence-based practices,” she says.
    Another factor to consider is whether you are part of the target audience. Of course, anyone can listen to any podcast, but you may be able to benefit more if you tune into ones that you feel a kinship with, whether it is because of the age group, ethnicity, gender identity, or mental health issue they address.
    READ MORE: Why You Need Boundaries ASAP
    Know that many of the conversations that take place on podcasts are based on personal experience. The host and guests may touch on sensitive topics that trigger you. If you’re not comfortable with what will be discussed on a podcast (read those episode blurbs beforehand!), it may not be right for you.
    Remember: Podcasts are not a replacement for therapy. If you struggle with issues such as addiction, eating disorders, domestic violence, self-harm, suicide, or trauma, seek help from a medical professional.
    Ready to jump in? Here are the 16 best mental health podcasts recommended by experts. More

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    A Therapist Answers 7 of Your Questions Around Feeling Lonely at Christmas

    Whatever your typical set up around December the 25th – perhaps a chunky get together with the extended family, a little celebration with a few key friends and fizz or a firmly ‘non-traditional’ takeaway from your local Chinese restaurant – between high Omicron rates and the desire to be ‘cautious’, things might look different, this year. (Again!)
    READ MORE: 12 Life-Changing Wellness Quotes By Bonnie Mbuli
    One possible ramification of this is a sensation of loneliness. The festive period is a core cause of the feeling – notwithstanding a global pandemic that has severed our physical ties like a piece of silverware through brandy butter. This especially goes for those who have tested positive for the virus and now must isolate over the day itself.
    79% of you feel lonelier now, than you did before the pandemic, according to WH research. To help you through, WH asked leading psychotherapist and author of This Too Shall Pass, Julia Samuel, to respond to some of your questions, musings and comments on feeling alone, this Christmas.
    How should I deal with Christmas loneliness?
    But first, there is some universal advice to root yourself in. Regardless of your situation, the below is likely to be a tonic, to some degree, in this bizarre time.
    Keep a routine
    ‘It helps to have regular routines that you can rely on that give you some certainty, so it might be structural routine of exercise before breakfast, or meditate after work,’ says Samuel.
    Just breathe
    ‘Both exercise and any breathing technique also reduce the anxiety caused by uncertainty, so you get double benefit. Intentionally choosing to do things that give you joy also helps manage uncertainty, so it might be listening to wonderful music as you cook.’
    READ MORE: Yoga Moves That Bonnie Mbuli Swears By
    Know what you can control
    ‘Recognising and jotting down the things you can change and influence and those you can’t is worth sticking on your fridge door,’ Samuel details.
    Remember that, even amid wild uncertainty, you are in control of some aspects of your life. ‘It is important to be proactive, make times for online connection and if possible real connection through walks together, even taking hot drinks that you can stop and drink together,’ she adds.
    ‘We need connection to others more than anything else. People need people and love in every form is vital medicine right now, we have to commit and work to have it, not wait for someone else to connect with us.’
    Scroll on for her response to WH readers who are feeling a little stuck, sad or solitary, at this time.
    7 of your Christmas loneliness questions, answered
    1. ‘I feel sick about Christmas! I am alone and dreading seeing people with their families on Instagram. What should I do?’
    ‘I can understand that living alone is heightened over Christmas when you both imagine and see on Instagram families being together,’ says Samuel. ‘I wonder if you might contact an organisation that connects people in communities, young and old online and in person.
    ‘Another thing to note is that using our skill and agency to make something through painting or any kind of craft gives us both purpose and satisfaction, there are also many online craft meet-ups that you can join to discuss your area of interest.’
    READ MORE: If The Festive Season Stresses You Out, Try These Psychologist-Backed Coping Strategies
    2. ‘I am struggling with uncertainty. It looks as if Christmas will be very miserable this year and there’s a shortage of money through no work…’
    ‘The uncertainty and shortage of money make celebrating anything worrying. I wonder if you can schedule virtual meet-up with, say, four good friends to wish each other a happy Christmas.
    ‘I have been pleasantly surprised how meeting with a small number of close friends can feel intimate and enriching.’
    3. ‘My main concern is my 94-year-old mom, who lives alone, abroad. My sister is nearby and sees her a couple of times a day, but if there’s a bad snowstorm or Covid regulations, she might not see anyone.’
    ‘I imagine not being with your mom on Christmas day is particularly hard, when the number of Christmases you are likely to have together in the future is uncertain.
    ‘Could you perhaps create a Plan B for your mother if there is a snowstorm – does she have a next door neighbour who she could ring and would agree to drop in, and could you agree a time you will telephone each other on Christmas day whatever the weather?
    ‘I would write and send her a card with a message of all that you feel about her, and memories of your happy Christmases of the past that she could open on Christmas Day.’
    4. ‘I lost my mom four years ago and she made Christmas magical. It’s not ever been the same again.’
    ‘Having memories of those very Happy Christmases with your beloved mom must be bittersweet.
    ‘I would create an annual Christmas ritual which reflects your mom and your love of her, maybe light a candle with flowers and a photograph of her that you can turn to at particular times or do something that connects you to her over Christmas.
    ‘Touchstones to memory are a way of expressing the love of the person who has died, for our love for them never dies.’
    5. ‘I think I will get depressed as I alone am expected to carry out all household chores. I used to have my friends as support, but, because I’ve not been in touch with them regularly through lockdown, they have left me.’
    ‘I can hear how hurt you are not being in touch with your friends, but I would suggest you draw on your courage and contact them and agree to reconnect. I am sure they would welcome hearing from you as they might well be feeling left and lonely too.
    ‘Partly it is about just daring, taking the leap to text or call and it is also cognitively recognising that the feeling of fear doesn’t in anyway match the reality of fear – feelings are not facts.
    ‘The worst that can happen is the status quo, they don’t respond, so you have lost nothing and may gain a friend so it is definitely worth the jump.’
    READ MORE: 7 Busy Women Share Their Best Self Care Tips for the Holidays
    6. ‘I can’t visit my family as my mom is very high risk, which means feeling very disconnected and alone. Help?’
    ‘That’s tough for you and your mom. I wonder if you could record a voice message for her from you and others that know and care about her, saying Happy Christmas but also why she is special to you, that she could receive on Christmas Day.’
    7. ‘I have no family anyway and I think Christmas is over-amped as a time of togetherness – and that itself is the key cause of the seasonal loneliness.’
    ‘I wonder if you would find some sense of enrichment over a time that feels over-amped by volunteering on Christmas Day or around it? Helping others is both good for those that receive but also the giver.’
    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health UK

    READ MORE ON: Mental Health mental health advice Mental Wellness More

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    Millennials Are Turning 40, But How Healthy are They, Really?

    As the eldest members of the generation accused of never wanting to grow up enter their fifth decade, one older millennial writer consults the experts to give her peers a general check up – and asks how they might fare in middle age and beyond.
    Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Anna, I was raised on Friends and I used to call myself a digital nomad (cringe).
    I’m also bisexual, earn my crust as a self-employed writer-slash-podcaster and I’ve just managed to buy a small flat in Margate, which I share with my best friend – a gay man.
    READ MORE: These Are The Top 10 Health Conditions Affecting Millennials Today
    I have no pension, I’m single, and a scroll through my grid would reveal captioned posts on the subject of everything from managing anxiety to cold water swimming.
    No, I haven’t copy-and-pasted my Instagram bio – although admittedly there is some crossover. I’m telling you this by way of letting you know that I’m a millennial. And if you happen to have been born sometime between 1981 and 1996, I suspect aspects of your life look a lot like mine.
    We have two men called Neil Howe and William Strauss to thank for the term, millennial. And in the years since they coined it in 1991, ‘millennial’ has gone from being a descriptor to an insult.

    25% of the world’s population are millennials, totalling 1.8 billion people worldwide.

    To baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – we’re spoiled, insecure commitment-phobes who care more about Instagram likes than a mortgage.
    To Gen Z (born 1997 to 2015) we’re ‘cheugy’ – a term doing the rounds on TikTok (where else?) that loosely translates as a blend of basic and past it. And don’t get them started on our side partings.
    But perhaps the most cutting among the insults levelled at my generation is that we’re the ones who refused to grow up. It’s ironic, then, that the oldest of our cohort turn 40 this year.
    Meghan Markle celebrated her fortieth on 4 August followed by Fearne Cotton, Rebel Wilson and Beyoncé in September.

    While my own Big Birthday is still three years away, seeing my peers on the cusp of midlife has left me feeling reflective.
    That millennials are entering positions of financial, political and social power during the biggest humanitarian crisis since the second world war is more than a little daunting.
    But quite besides the fact that we’ve thoroughly outgrown the labels of ‘kidults’ and ‘snowflakes’ – to tell the truth, they never really fitted in the first place – I want to know how our health is faring as we reach this milestone.
    READ MORE: Meet Evie Richards — The Millennial Making Cycling Cool Again
    Plus, what the choices we’ve made so far will mean for our wellbeing – now, and in the decades to come.
    How Healthy are Millennials, Really?
    That ‘millennial’ is almost synonymous with ‘wellness’, I hope, bodes well. While the origins of wellness as a movement can be traced back to the 1950s, it was between 1980 and 2000 – while millennials were all being born – that it began to gain momentum, coming of age around the same time we did.
    The Global Wellness Institute put the movement’s ‘tipping point’ at 2010, after which fitness, diet, healthy living and wellbeing offerings proliferated.
    While mine certainly isn’t the first generation to take an active interest in our health, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we were fundamental in making wellness a credible, 360-degree health concept that means far more than simply not being ill.

    Nor does doctor, private health coach and fellow millennial Dr. Christie Lewis. ‘I’d certainly agree that millennials are more aware of the benefits of good nutrition, exercise and low stress levels than any generation before us,’ she tells me, from her consulting room.
    20% of millennials have changed their diet to reduce their impact on the planet
    Take our health and fitness spending – there are countless studies that show millennial continuously spend an impressive amount on health and fitness.
    Meanwhile, the number of vegans has risen 350% over the past 10 years, with millennials making up one third, according to The Vegan Society.
    What Drives Millennials’ Health Consciousness?
    ‘There are a number of factors, from the acceleration of research into preventative medicine to how pivotal a role social media plays in our lives,’ adds Dr. Lewis. Something that speaks to both, she explains, is the rise of doctors-slash-influencers.
    ‘The fact that social media users have been able to access scientific research, explained in an accessible way and by aspirational figures, has gone a long way to increasing engagement with health topics – particularly the kind that were previously considered taboo, like mental illness and menopause.’
    READ MORE: Less Sex Could Lead To Early Menopause, According To This Study
    As to whether taking an active interest in our health will translate into a healthier midlife and beyond, Dr. Lewis is optimistic. ‘If you form healthy habits earlier on in life, you’re more likely to continue them through to your middle years,’ she explains.

    This is significant, since one of the best predictors of living well when you’re older is developing healthy habits by the time you reach middle age.
    “Form healthy habits earlier in life and you’re more likely to continue them into middle age”
    Take a 2020 study published in The BMJ; having four out of five low-risk lifestyle habits by the age of 50 (never smoking, eating a good diet, maintaining a healthy weight, doing 30 minutes of daily exercise and drinking a moderate amount of alcohol) meant female participants were likely to live chronic disease-free for 10 more years than those who hadn’t established those healthy habits in their forties.
    There are several lifestyle factors that can help reduce your risk of developing conditions such as cardiovascular disease, like following a balanced, predominantly plant-based diet and keeping your body moving,’ adds Dr. Lewis.
    ‘Weight bearing exercises in particular can help to lessen the risk of osteoporosis, seen disproportionately in women due to hormonal changes,’ she continues.
    The latter is just one of many conditions that she anticipates being less of a burden on our generation, thanks to the rise in supplementation of one vitamin in particular.
    READ MORE: The Top 2 Reasons Why Millennials Cheat On Their Partners
    ‘Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a number of health conditions, so the fact that our generation has increased knowledge about supplementing it – as more research about its benefits has been published – makes me hopeful,’ Lewis explains.
    Are Mental Health issues Common for Millennials?
    But while Dr. Lewis paints a positive image of our physical health in midlife, I suspect the outlook is rather less favourable when it comes to our minds.
    I’ve had several spells of depression, which I needed to take antidepressants to relieve. Most of the creative, high-achieving men and women in my friendship group have had a similar experience with mental health, which is representative of millennials more generally.
    We’re more likely to be depressed than any other generation – lonely, too – with fingers pointing at everything from entering the job market in the wake of the 2008 financial crash to the housing crisis and the un-put-downable nature of our smartphones.

    50% of millennials spend more than three hours a day on their phones

    So I can’t help but feel nervous as we enter our fifth decade – one in which we’re statistically more likely to become a carer to an elderly relative, experience myriad physical and mental symptoms as we go through the (peri)menopause and face mounting professional and financial responsibilities.
    Dr. Emma Svanberg has a front row seat when it comes to the emotional baggage many women in their forties wrestle with.
    A clinical psychologist who often supports mothers, she’s keenly aware of the pile-on of pressures, though she remains optimistic that millennials will rise to the challenge.

    “We’ve created a language and a blueprint for a model of happiness, beyond the traditional”

    ‘Particularly since the #metoo movement, millennials have highlighted many questions about gender equality and the harmful experiences that were too often accepted by previous generations,’ she says, referring to the ways in which we’ve railed against prescriptive social norms.
    READ MORE: If You’re A Millennial, Your Risk For Colon Cancer Just Doubled
    When I think of all the terms we’ve normalised along the way, there are too many to count. From polyamory to being child-free and happily single, we’ve created a language and a blueprint for a model of happiness beyond the traditional (read: marriage and kids) kind.

    57% of millennials have never married, and one in four won’t have married by their fifties

    ‘Millennials have been instrumental in the increased diversity of the concept of family, and for changing expectations of gender roles in parenting,’ Dr. Svanberg explains. On the whole, she believes this will serve us well: family units and partnerships will be shaped more by individuals’ wants, as opposed to society’s say-so.
    But there’s a ‘but’. ‘This can also make parenting more challenging, since we’re trying to do something that’s already immensely difficult while writing our own stories.’
    Millennials at Work: How a Generation Impacted Workplace Mental Health
    Nowhere is millennial-made progress within mental health more profound than at work.
    ‘The movement for mental health to be taken more seriously in the workplace has absolutely been from the ground up, with millennials driving the change,’ says James Routledge, 30-year-old founder of workplace mental health coaching service Sanctus and author of Mental Health At Work.
    ‘If companies want to attract and maintain millennial talent, they need to demonstrate that they have a good mental health culture and that they support flexible working,’ he adds.
    Routledge is confident that as this emotionally-aware generation moves into positions of power and responsibility, it’ll take action to give mental health parity with the physical kind.
    ‘We’re already seeing this with paid leave for pregnancy loss, and hopefully as millennials move into middle age, we’ll see greater support for workers caring for elderly parents, too.’
    READ MORE: Your Postpartum Periods Might Be Heavier And More Irregular Than The Ones You Had Pre-Pregnancy
    That’s not to say that all facets of physical health are taken seriously – not least when they’re ones that exclusively impact female bodies.
    Journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Emma Barnett – who shares details of her struggle with endometriosis and adenomyosis in her book Period: It’s About Bloody Time – is one notable millennial who’s used her platform to make female health conditions newsworthy.

    “Millennials have shown that women can hold both power and physical vulnerability at once”

    That one of the most fearsome political interviewers speaks openly about her crippling period pain is powerful – and indicative, I’m learning, of a unique millennial strength: the ability to show both power and vulnerability at once.
    ‘To show pain, to show suffering, can be viewed as weak; we’re educated to believe that’s weak,’ says Barnett. ‘But actually, even to put one foot in front of the other with conditions like endometriosis and adenomyosis, you’re the toughest woman I know.’
    I put it to Barnett that the way in which millennials, like her, have been open when it comes to talking about periods stands us in good stead for what happens when they stop.
    But when it comes to the (peri)menopause, Barnett believes we won’t be the change-makers. ‘Women in the generation above us are talking about it now, and we’re going to be the inheritors of that,’ she says. ‘I feel grateful to the women who have come before me on that.’
    What Wellness Lessons can Millennials learn from Gen Z?
    While props are due to the generation above us, we have a lot to learn from the one below, too. ‘Members of Gen Z are so much more aware of the systemic issues causing mental health issues than we were,’ adds Dr Svanberg.
    ‘This means they may be better adapted to abandon the perfectionism and chronic dissatisfaction that many older millennials struggle with after being brought up in the 1980s and 1990s,’ she continues – ‘when success and outcomes were prioritised over growth and development.’
    She argues that while it’s true that millennials started talking about mental health openly, they often do so in an intellectualised way.
    READ MORE: 6 Tips On How To Protect Your Mental Health During The Coronavirus Pandemic
    ‘We’re still not truly able to contain and validate people’s distress because we can still feel uncomfortable with genuine vulnerability,’ she shares. This resonates, hard.

    “My millennial friends were keen to tie my difficult emotions up in a neat little bow”

    Over the second lockdown, I had a sports injury that required surgery and, without the crutch of exercise, I experienced an episode of depression.
    When I voiced what was going on, the millennials in my circle were keen to tie my problems up in a neat bow: ‘Oh well, it’s a good time to get it done! What else would you be doing?’
    There was a need to patch it up and move on – which, ultimately, made me feel I was being too negative or exaggerating how bad I felt, which only increased the depressive feelings. Clearly, we’ve not got this self-compassion thing licked.
    Health and Happiness: Why this isn’t a Generation Game
    I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about what midlife holds for me. But during this past 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions, I’ve felt grateful for the archetypal millennial lifestyle I’ve built.
    My meditation apps, my yoga habit, my collection of single thirty-something friends; my lifelong commitment to social justice; the life-processing memes sent by friends across the world via Instagram or WhatsApp.
    This millennial baggage, as ridiculous as it might sound, is what got me through a year of career pivots and pirouettes, isolation from my family in another country, and oppressively tragic world events.
    But the other thing that got me through? The wisdom of generations older and younger.
    During this weird time, I’ve relied on the compassion and kindness of baby boomers, the more relaxed and existential beliefs of Gen Xers, and the progressiveness and openness of Gen Zers.
    It’s a comforting thought that, however well I fare in middle age and beyond, I’ll do so with the support of the people I love, regardless of what year they were born.

    This article was originally published in the September issue of Women’s Health UK.

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Advice Health Advice Mental Health millennials More

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    Grab Our Photo Editing Course + 110 Other Online Courses for Just $75

    The dreary winter months at the beginning of the year always feel like the perfect time to do a little reflection and check in with yourself. From cultivating new hobbies to pursuing mindset shifts and overcoming personal roadblocks, it’s a great time to work toward a more content and revitalized you. Which is why we’re so excited to have partnered with The Bundle Co. to offer our popular Mastering Photo Editing on Your Phone course as part of a pack of 111 (!!) online courses full of self-improvement-focused classes on everything from overcoming imposter syndrome to financial wellness. The full bundle is an incredible value, worth over $20,000 (seriously, $20,000), and on sale now for just $75.90. This is the biggest bundle they’ve ever offered, at the lowest price, and we’re so excited to be included. 
    Claim all 111 courses now (an over $20,000 value) for just $75.90

    Our popular course, Mastering Photo Editing on Your Phone, is included! 

    About Mastering Photo Editing on Your Phone
    We start the course with our best tips and tricks for actually taking your photos. Even though editing can cover a lot of sins when it comes to photos, it always helps to set yourself up for success when shooting. We go over how to create balance in the composition of your shots and our process for taking our fave photos—like outfit flatlays, exterior shots, and interior vignettes. 
    Next, we take you through all the edits we routinely make on our photos—from brightness to contrast to removing imperfections. With guided video tutorials and pro tips from our guest instructors Lauren Taylor and Ali Stone. 
    You’ll learn our favorite apps for making specific edits—like Snapseed and Tezza—as well as the order we make our edits for the best results. Playing with filters is fun, but sometimes you need to overhaul a photo and a filter just won’t cut it. In this course, you’ll learn the separate core elements of photo editing, so you can edit any photo with ease. All you need to take the course is a phone with app capability. 

    Plus, 110 other amazing courses, all for $75.90 (!!). Here’s a quick look at a few of the courses included in the bundle that we can’t wait to dive into: 

    Taught by Tatiana O’Hara, this course is for anyone who has struggled with having the tough conversations in a corporate role. It covers everything from how to prepare yourself for the conversation to conversation scripts to how to communication after the conversations are finished, and so much more. If you’re in a leadership role, this course is essential. 

    A holistic health coach and registered nurse currently working toward a doctorate in integrated medicine, Kate Eskuri was one of our expert panelists for our 6-Week Self-Care Challenge and we love this goal-setting course she’s created to help you manage your productivity and get sh*t done. The course includes guided worksheets, journal prompts, and a six-step ritual to help you put all your planning to action and achieve your goals. 

    Are you a small business owner having trouble moving or marketing your inventory? This is the course for you. Dani Brown takes you step-by-step through her unique strategy to selling out your launches or restocks every. single. time. A great tool for business owners, including bonus material and a workbook to help you implement her advice every step of the way. 

    Imposter syndrome can stop you in your tracks and prevent you from achieving your goals or feeling like the best version of yourself. Learn how to shift that mindset and start thinking differently with Erika Cramer’s in-depth guide on overcoming imposter syndrome and reclaiming your confidence. 

    Get the full scoop on every course included here. Be sure to claim your bundle by Sunday, February 7, because this amazing price is on the table for this week only. 

    We can’t wait to see what you create with these powerhouse resources! Follow us over @theeverygirlcourses on Instagram and share which course you’re the most excited to start. Plus, more info on future course releases from The Everygirl—we’ve got tons of amazing content in the works for you. More

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    10 Ways to Upgrade Your Self-Care Routine for 2021

    It’s no surprise that we love self-care at The Everygirl; we’ve all tried dozens of face masks, perfected the CBD bubble bath, and watched Bridgerton at least three times through (staring at Regé-Jean Page is self-care). We know that caring for yourself is just as important as crushing a work presentation or keeping your home tidy (if not more), and we believe that the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. But the thing about self-care, and health in general, is that it should always be changing and growing with us. The start of a new year means it’s time to reevaluate our self-care routines and incorporate some much-needed upgrades. Whether you switch up your wellness routine after every new year or the end of 2020 requires some special cleansing, here are 10 ways to upgrade your entire self-care routine in 2021.

    1. Get outside
    So you fit in workouts, skincare, and maybe even meditate regularly. The way to upgrade the routine you already have? Take your self-care outside. Getting some fresh air can have major effects on the mind and body (yes, even when it’s cold). Take your workout outdoors by jogging, going on walks, or doing some lunches and jumping jacks at a local park. If you prefer working out in your living room, you can also take a cup of coffee to your balcony or front yard for a few minutes of quiet meditation in the morning. And if you don’t have time for a full workout or morning meditation? Take walks on your lunch break or sit outside while on conference calls.

    2. Make sexual wellness a part of your routine
    PSA: sexuality is not just the private side of relationships or what we learn about from Sex and the City reruns. Your sexuality should be just as much a part of your self-care routine as a face mask or a bubble bath (and, FYI, can be done simultaneously with both). Whether that means regularly exploring your own body, getting to know what you want (and don’t want), or building sensuality outside of the bedroom through prioritizing pleasure in all areas of your life, sensuality can (and should) be a daily practice. Remember that pleasure is your right, whether that means more pleasurable workouts, food choices, or orgasms, and in 2021, it’s high time we see sex as self-care instead of a dirty word. 

    3. Laugh more often
    “Laughter is the best medicine” is certainly a cliché, but there’s a lot of truth to it. Laughter can have a variety of mental and physical health benefits. Plus, it’s free and doesn’t come with side effects like other medicine (except maybe peeing your pants if you laugh a little too hard. You know what I’m talking about). Incorporate laughter into your routine by surrounding yourself with people who are fun to be around, choosing hilarious comedies for movie nights, and not taking life too seriously. You’ll be amazed at the humor you can find in any circumstance when you remember that the point of life is to enjoy it. 
    4. Multitask with movement
    Fitting in a workout is important and necessary for both our mental and physical health, but most of us still end up sitting at a desk for over eight hours a day, workout or not. Our bodies aren’t meant to live sedentarily, so fit in more consistent movement whenever you can by multitasking. For example, do bicep curls while on conference calls or go on a power walk while talking to your mom or a friend. You can also work out while listening to an online class or audiobook for your book club, or do some stretching or jumping jacks while watching TV. Oh, and whenever you’re cooking or getting ready? You know what to do: turn on a bomb playlist and dance.

    5. Take more breaks
    I don’t just mean work breaks. I mean breaks from everything (and yes, that includes self-care practices). Take breaks from Netflix binges by going for a walk or taking a warm bath, take workout breaks by scheduling a rest day, take technology breaks with a tech detox, and even take breaks from that full morning routine you’ve perfected by spending a weekend morning sleeping in, staying in PJs, reading a book, and making pancakes. The goal of self-care practices (and health in general) is not perfection; it’s balance. Nothing should ever feel too strict, regulated, or perfect. It’s time we stop seeing breaks as a weakness or failure, and instead see them as important, necessary, and healthy. Hint: if you’re feeling unmotivated, worn out, exhausted, bored, or tired of any one thing, that’s probably a sign you need a break from it.

    6. Do something “just for fun”
    Take a “fun evaluation” right now: when’s the last time you did anything just for fun? How do you spend your free time alone that isn’t bingeing Netflix? If it’s difficult (or impossible) for you to think of an answer, your very stressful adult life has likely taken precedence over a very important aspect of life: having fun. Enjoyment is not only good for you, but it’s crucial (remember how laughter is the best medicine?). Incorporate regular “playtime” in your life by turning on music and dancing, doing something creative like coloring, or going to your local jungle gym and playing on the monkey bars (bonus points that it doubles as a workout). If you feel silly “playing” or feel unproductive spending time on something “just for fun,” that’s even more reason to. 

    7. Try out non-toxic or natural products
    So you have a go-to candle that instantly relaxes you, a line-up of impressive face masks, and every item you could possibly need for a killer bubble bath. While I commend you for being on top of your self-care game, if you’re looking for a 2021 upgrade, try switching to non-toxic or all-natural products. After all, nutrition is not just about what we put in our bodies; it’s also about what we put on our bodies. Going clean doesn’t have to feel overwhelming, expensive, or wasteful. Whenever you finish a beauty product, candle, or even food, do a little research to find an alternative that’s better for you and better for the planet (bonus points for buying from a small business!). It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing process. Instead, take baby steps that will lead to big changes. Click here for some clean beauty hacks, and click here for our non-toxic candle guide.  

    8. Set boundaries
    Self-care is about what to do to care for yourself, but it’s also about what not to do. Setting boundaries, whether they’re with work, your family, or in your relationship, should be non-negotiable. Think of boundaries as a shield to protect your energy, mental health, and overall wellness. If your energy is always drained or you notice that other people affect the way you think, you probably need to set (and keep) more boundaries. Set work boundaries by deleting work-related apps off your phone, set social media boundaries by muting accounts that don’t bring you joy, and set boundaries in your relationships by limiting your access to other people when you need time for yourself. 

    9. Put it in your calendar
    Your calendar is probably full of work meetings, doctor’s appointments, and deadlines, instead of workouts, meditations, or downtime. But when you write something on your calendar, that means you’ll prioritize it, show up on time, be prepared, and not skip (unless you reschedule in advance). Why should your self-care be any less important than work deadlines or appointments? Scheduling it into your calendar will not only make sure that you’re making time for it, but will remind you that self-care is just as important as other obligations. If you prefer to have a career-specific calendar, consider getting a planner just for self-care to schedule activities that will recharge your energy. 

    10. Ditch the practices that make you more stressed
    I’ll be honest: even for someone who is #extra with wellness, meditation has always stressed me out. It seems like every expert in the world preaches its benefits, but when I sit down and try to have a few minutes of meditative bliss, thoughts run through my head like I’m doing this wrong, and I can’t stop thinking about my to-do list. I would leave meditation sessions feeling more stressed than before. Yes, it is a practice that requires patience, but it didn’t make me feel at peace, relaxed, or zoned out. You know what does make me feel at peace, relaxed, and zoned out? Going for a walk, coloring, listening to Frank Sinatra, and yes, even watching Real Housewives.
    Maybe one day I’ll start up a love affair with meditation, but until then, I’m going to be doing whatever it is that actually brings me peace, relaxation, and happiness, whether wellness experts swear by it or not. The truth is that adding, doing, or trying all the things that are supposed to be good for us can sometimes just be FOMO disguised as health. With the start of a new year, reevaluate every way you’re spending your time, and get rid of the ones that aren’t truly serving you.

    How are you updating your self-care routine for 2021? More