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self care

@breatheintransformation/TikTok

Such a simple—and fun—way to add in daily self care

Work-life balance is a popular phrase thrown around these days, and certainly, with all the benefits it can add to our sense of purpose and wellbeing, it’s something worth striving towards.

But integrating the concept into our lives…that’s another story.

Before you know it, 12 hours of busywork have flown by, leaving us too exhausted to do anything for ourselves. And now, on top of the fatigue, we have the guilt of not doing that hour-long workout or thirty minute meditation or whatever else we know could help us feel fulfilled, if only we had time. Because the sad truth is—our current society makes it very easy to put our personal needs on the backburner in the name of productivity.

On the upside—taking even the smallest personal breaks can make a world of difference. And Trina Merz, a Hawaii-based holistic healing practitioner, recently shared the simple, yet powerful way that she and a friend created to remember their self care.


In a video posted to her TikTok, @breatheintransformation, Merz shared that whenever she and her friend carved out a small personal activity during a full work day, they’d call it “saving the day.”

For Merz, that often looked like catching a surf, calling her mom, or making a delicious meal. “One thing that reclaims the day as our own,” she explained in the clip.

And to hold each other accountable, they would ask each other how they saved the day. “It became this fun thing that we used to just casually talk about all the time,” she said.

Merz went on to affirm that "there's honestly so many ways you can save the day, and it doesn't have to be a huge time commitment. It could even be just making a cup of tea and cozying up with one of your favorite books; anything that makes the day feel like you had some space in it again."

@breatheintransformation Save the day. Everyday. #savetheday #careeradviceforwomen #corporategirlies #stressrelief ♬ original sound - trina 🕊️ work-life harmony

There’s just so much about this that works. For one thing, adding the phrase “saving the day” makes you feel like a superhero (and, let’s be real, main character energy is totally healthy sometimes). But also there’s the sharing with a friend aspect, which Merz told Upworthy is "such an impactful part of this practice not only for accountability…but because when our energy comes together it expands and inspires each other, adding fuel to the flame of seeing the positives in our lives."

As one viewer rightfully commented, “This is the healthiest lifestyle tip I’ve seen in a while."

Lots of folks requested some more examples of “saving the day,” and Mez happily obliged. Here’s a small sampling of what she listed in a follow-up video:

Blowing bubbles

Taking a walk or run outside

Making rituals out of special treats—using a special plate with a fancy piece of chocolate, for example.

Reading a book or article you find interesting

Getting a pedicure or a massage

Enjoying a crossword

Taking a dance break

Walking barefoot in the grass

Doing anything with a good friend

And of course, you are free to create your own “Save The Day” list. Share it with a friend, and see how it affects your week.

Representative Image from Canva

Wondering where she got that rested glow? She hurkle-durkled.

Hurkle-durkle might be the silliest word ever, but it could be the missing step in your self-care.

Hurkle-durkling simply means to linger in bed long past the time when you “should” already be up. It’s a Scottish term dating back to the 1800s—-originally having more to do with sitting in a crouching position either for warmth or secrecy, but eventually taking on a more relaxed and positive connotation.

It’s a word that only the biggest etymology enthusiast would know, had it not been plucked from obscurity thanks to TikTok.

The viral trend seems to have started with actress Kira Kosarin sharing it as her “word of the day,” joking that “I do be hurkling, and I do be durkling and once I’ve hurkled my last durkle in a given morning I will get up, but I’m a big fan of a hurkle-durkle.”

@kirakosarin

hurkle-durkle, u deserve it <3

♬ original sound - Kira Kosarin

Kosarin’s clip prompted others to share videos of themselves enjoying a good hurkle-durkling, blissfully wrapped in their sheets, basking in the sunlight, leisurely reading, etc.

One woman hailing from Scotland even joked, “[The Scottish] knew it was so critical to well-being they made a whole term about it. So no I’m not being lazy or wasting my life. I’m practicing an ancestral right of passage. I’m connecting with my culture and heritage.”

At this point you might be thinking, wait, isn’t this just bed-rotting?

Bed-rotting, another TikTok trend about lying in bed, and hurkle-durkling are similar, but have very different contexts. Bed-rotting has more to do with symptoms of burnout and fatigue, whereas hurkle-durkling is a bit more hygge, if you will. It’s seen as a pleasurable activity meant to promote rest for overall well being. Plus a hurkle-durkle has an end in sight, whereas bedrotting can take up an entire weekend, or longer.

And now matter how silly hurkle-durkle sounds, it could be seriously good for us. Research has shown that sleeping in, even a couple days a week, reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke by 63%, especially for folks who get less than 6 hours of sleep through the rest of the week. (So, everyone, basically). Not only that, but getting those few extra minutes of shut-eye from hitting the snooze can help increase alertness and boost our mood.

Really, as with any self care practice, balance is key. Experts warn against staying in bed as an everyday practice or to avoid responsibilities an uncomfortable feelings, especially as too much inactivity can worsen feelings of depression. But when done mindfully and moderately, it can be the rejuvenation we long for, that so many of us don’t grant ourselves.

In fact, Kristin Wilson, a licensed professional counselor and chief experience officer, told Yahoo Life that perhaps so many people are leaning into silly, catchy terms like hurkle-durkle because they make rest and self-care, activities many Americans "are hesitant to celebrate and fully embrace,” more accessible.

"Sometimes our bodies just need a break, and we don’t want to feel guilty about taking time to rest," she explained. "Giving this behavior a clever social media name can make it feel more socially acceptable and when it trends and becomes popular, it normalizes the need for relaxation within the community of followers."

So with that, show yourself some love with a little hurkle-durkle. It’s fun to say, and oh so important to do.

Health

Why little things can make us feel so good, and why we don't need to feel guilty about it.

Ready to stop feeling guilty for enjoying the things you enjoy? Just take a look at the science.

canva

Science seeks to discover the rules of happiness.

True
Cadbury

How excited would you be if you discovered that your guilty pleasures don't always need to make you feel guilty?

Like what if the blissful satisfaction you get from that slice of warm apple pie isn’t necessarily evidence of an intervention-level addiction to sugar and carbs (despite what that magazine cover told you) but could also just be a sign that you’re craving connection and feeling nostalgic?

Or that embarrassingly joyful feeling you have when small, random objects fit perfectly into another may not be a sign that you have obsessive compulsive disorder but just that you, like most people, really appreciate small moments of order in a chaotic world?


In other words, what if we could trace our feelings of happiness and satisfaction back to our brains and our humanity — and just a little farther away from the guilt-riddled land of right and wrong?

Well, according to science, maybe we can.

Over the past decade, a lot of research has been done into the science — both neurobiological and psychological — around why certain things make us feel so darn good. The science of happiness and satisfaction is a broad, relatively new area of study, and even though, like most big scientific questions, it will take a long time to have definitive answers, a few themes seem to be emerging from the research.

If true, they would be pretty powerful antidotes to the shame-based culture that makes us feel guilty about everything from a blissful bite of chocolate to our pursuit of wealth.

addiction, drive, success, indulgence

Large portions of chocolate and money.

Picture created via images Pixabay.

So without further ado, here are three ideas about satisfaction and happiness that could make you feel a bit more ... happy and satisfied.

1. It's possible that our brain wiring has a lot to do with how happy we feel.

biology, happiness, anxiety, lifestyle

A representation of the brain reacting to happiness.

Image via Pixabay.

Researchers at Kyoto University used MRI scans to see if they could find where happiness actually happens in the brain. The results showed there was a positive relationship between an individual's subjective happiness score and gray matter volume on the right precuneus (an area in the medial parietal lobe of the brain, located at the top of your head, toward the back). People who were more content with their lives had a larger precuneus. They also found that the same area was associated with positive and negative emotional intensity and life satisfaction.

So while we know that pleasure is both genetic and learned (nature and nurture), it is good to understand that overall happiness and satisfaction is also made up of a lot of factors. Good old biology may be one of them.

2. Some things that we're told "shouldn't" affect our happiness actually do — but not as much as we think.

Does money buy happiness? Well, despite the sweet old moral adage that says it can't, the science tells a different story. Studies show that our instinct (the one that we would never tell our kids about but deep down inside we think is true) is right: Money can increase our life satisfaction. Statistically speaking, household income is strongly related to both emotional well-being and a person's quality of life assessment. In other words, you don't have to feel amoral or greedy for always wanting more money. It makes sense!

But it's the why that's important and can reduce our anxiety a bit. Money increases our life satisfaction in as much as it helps us satisfy other evolutionary needs (like our desire for safety, freedom, health, or novelty, for example) and only up to a certain point. Studies show that after a certain amount, it has diminishing marginal returns on our satisfaction. So we can calm the never-ending desire for more — and stop comparing ourselves to the uber-rich. They aren't that much happier than the rest of us!

3. Overall life satisfaction leads to longer life. (Duh.)

In a nine-year-long study published by Chapman University that looked at adults over 50, the researchers learned that as participants' life satisfaction increased, the risk of mortality was reduced by 18%. By contrast, greater variability in life satisfaction was associated with a 20% increased risk of mortality.

So what's the actionable takeaway here? If we know that life satisfaction is tied to our mortality, it probably makes sense for us to spend time learning what brings us true satisfaction and fulfillment and actually pursuing those things ... right? Allowing ourselves guilt-free pleasures as well as investing in the deeper things that bring us overall life satisfaction isn't a selfish pursuit. It really may be a life-saving (or at least life-extending) measure!

This article originally appeared on 05.16.16

Health

Men's salons are changing the stigma around toupees one amazing transformation at a time

Toupees have gone from being the punchline of a joke to a celebrated form a self care.

@prismelites/TikTok

The smiles at the ends are priceless

Toupees are often used as the punchline to a joke in most media, shown as a desperately kept secret that will inevitably become exposed after a gust of wind, thus conveying just how pathetic the wearer is. Cue laughter.

However, take a look at any of the thousand of incredible transformations on TikTok, and you’ll see that hairpieces have made a comeback. Men of all ages and ethnicities nervously approach the barber’s chair, allow glue to be painted onto their freshly shaved head, and have a patch of perfectly matching hair placed on so well you’d never know it was fake.

The result is not only five, 10, even 20 years taken off the clock, but a newfound confidence that radiates off the screen. Indeed, these men are transformed.


Many salons, such as Prism Elites in Los Angeles, adopted the word “hair system” to avoid the negative associations with toupees. As Josh Williams, the man behind Prism Elites’ countless viral TikToks, can attest, there is still a major stigma surrounding them. Though most comments are highly supportive, some folks are either convinced toupees remain as artificial looking as they were some odd years ago, or they believe men should embrace their baldness to appear more masculine.

But judging from the incredible makeovers on their account (like the one below), there have undeniably been major advancements in the industry. Many of these “after” images look so natural you instantly forget what these men looked like before.

@prismelites What do you guys think of his new look? #hairreplacement #hairsystem #beforeafter #beforeandafter #transformation #hairtransformation #hairtrends ♬ About Damn Time


Plus, it almost goes without saying that beauty standards —for both men and women—come and go. Bald men might be commonly perceived as more attractive now, but that wasn’t the case only a few short years ago. And it most assuredly won’t be the case forever.

More to the point, there isn’t a one-size-fits all approach when it comes to looking and feeling our best. It’s clear from the way these men light up at seeing their new selves that having a head full of hair unlocks something for them. There’s an assuredness that comes through the screen. And seeing that moment really doesn’t get old.

@phildoeshair We offer mens hair replacement services in Manhattan, and invite you to schedule a consult with us if youre interested in receiving this service! Text our salon at 6233774247. New system service cost $950 reapplication monthly $260. #hairsystem #nonsurgicalhairreplacement #hairreplacement #nyc ♬ Montero x The Hub - Jude

There’s also the unspoken, outdated rule still lingering in society that grooming and caring for one’s appearance is considered feminine. Sports? Sure. Salons? Are you kidding, real men don’t do that. As Gregory Brown, founder and director of the Green Psychiatry Center told Mashable, "[men] think that if they're taking time for self-care, they're losing productivity, time from work. And that goes against what society tells us is masculine."

That’s what makes the simple act of proudly, publicly—sometimes virally—getting a toupee so revolutionary. It reflects a huge cultural mindset shift towards normalizing self care for men, which can lead to a more well-rounded mental and emotional state.

@prismelites We see you Luis! 🔥🔥🔥 #hairreplacement #hairsystems #hairsystem #beforeandafter #beforeafter #transformation #transformationchallenge #hairtransformation #hairtok #toupeetok #hairtransformations #transformations #crazytransformation #hairtrends #viraltransformation ♬ Drank in My Cup (Instrumental)

Of course confidence can be manifested from within, but sometimes allowing it to come from looking good is an amazing form of grace we can give ourselves. This is something many women know firsthand, and it’s great that both innovation and social media’s knack for spreading awareness are helping men find comfort in that fact as well.