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work life balance

Kayleigh Donahue explains the differences between the U.S. and Europe.

American-born TikTok user Kayleigh Donahue is going viral on the platform because of her unflinching take on why it was a mistake for her to move back to the U.S. after spending 4 years in Ireland.

She now lives in the Boston area.

Kayleigh moved back to the U.S. from Ireland to make more money, but that didn’t go as planned. Even though she got paid more, the cost of living was so much higher that she saved less money than she did in Ireland. She also missed the generous number of vacation days she got in Europe as compared to America.


@kayshaynee

popping off always #americanabroad #usavseurope #movingabroad #livingabroad #europevsamerica #fyp

“Basically, I really got sucked into the American Dream way of living when I was abroad, which is funny because I loved living abroad,” Kayleigh said. “But you know, making more money, that’s enticing. Good job, that’s enticing. It’s not true. It used to be. It definitely used to be. You could come here and make a ton of money, make a great life for yourself. But the younger generation today, in this country — screwed. It’s literally all a lie that is sold to you. It’s such a struggle, and the older generation doesn’t seem to see how much of a struggle it is for the younger generation here.”

In the end, who wants to work harder for a lower quality of life?

“Needless to say, I will most likely be moving back to Europe where 20-plus days of paid vacation a year is literally the law, and I will make less money, but somehow, you know, the cost of living is lower there and I can save more,” Kayleigh concluded the video.


This article originally appeared on 1.17.24

@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.

via Pexels

People living to work, not working to live.

If we looked 60 years into the past, there are a lot of things that were accepted as “normal” that today most people find abhorrent. For example, people used to smoke cigarettes everywhere. They’d light up in hospitals, schools and even churches.

People also used to litter like crazy. It’s socially unacceptable now, but if you lived in the ’70s and finished your meal at McDonald’s, you’d chuck your empty styrofoam container (remember those?) and soda cup right out of the window of your car and onto the street.



It’s hard to imagine that just 60 years ago spousal abuse was considered family business and wasn't the concern of law enforcement.

It makes me wonder when people in the future look back on the year 2022, which things will they see as barbaric? Almost certainly, the way we treat the animals we use for food will be seen as cruel. The racial divides in the criminal justice system will be seen as a moral abomination. And I’m sure that people will also look at our continued reliance on fossil fuels as a major mistake.

A Reddit user by the name u/MEMELORD_JESUS asked the AskReddit subforum “What’s the weirdest thing society accepts as normal?” and the responses exposed a lot of today’s practices that are worth questioning.

A lot of the responses revolved around American work ethic and how we are taught to live to work and not to work to live. We seem to always be chasing some magical reward that’s just around the corner instead of enjoying our everyday lives. “I’ll get to that when I retire,” we say and then don’t have the energy or the inclination to do so when the time comes.

There are also a lot of people who think that our healthcare system will be looked at with utter confusion by people in the future.

Here are 17 of the best responses to the question, “What’s the weirdest thing society accepts as normal?”

1. Work-life balance

"Working until you're old, greying, and broken then using whatever time you have left for all the things you wish you could have done when you were younger." — Excited_Avocado_8492

2. Rest in comfort

"That dead people need pillows in caskets." — Qfn4g02016

3. I.R.S. mystery

"Guessing how much you owe the IRS in taxes." — SheWentThruMyPhone

4. You get the leaders you deserve

"Politicians blatantly lying to the people. We accept it so readily, it's as though it's supposed to be that way." — BlackLetyterLies

5. The booze-drugs separation

"Alcohol is so normalized but drugs are not. It's so weird. I say this as an alcohol loving Belgian, beer is half of our culture and I'm proud of it too but like... that's fucking weird man." — onions_cutting_ninja

6. Stage-parent syndrome

"People having kids and trying to live their lives again through them, vicariously, forcing the kids to do things that the parents never got to do, even when the kids show no inclination, and even have an active dislike, for those things." — macaronsforeveryone

7. Priorities

"Living to work vs working to live." — Food-at-last

8. 'The Man' is everywhere

"Being on camera or recorded any time you are in public." — Existing-barely

9. Tragic positivity 

"'Feel-good' news stories about how a kid makes a lemonade stand or something to pay for her mom's cancer treatment because no one can afford healthcare in America." — GotaLuvit35

10. Credit score

"As a non-American, I am amazed at their credit score system. As a third-world citizen, credit cards are usually for rich (and slightly less rich) people who have more disposable money than the rest of us and could pay off their debt.

The way I see people on Reddit talk about it is strange and somewhat scary. Everyone should have a card of his own as soon as he becomes an adult, you should always buy things with it and pay back to actively build your score. You're basically doomed if you don't have a good score, and living your life peacefully without a card is not an option, and lastly, you'll be seen as an idiot if you know nothing about it." — BizarroCullen

11. The retirement trap

"Spending 5/7ths of your life waiting for 2/7ths of it to come. We hate like 70% of our life, how is that considered fine?" — Deltext3rity

12. Yes, yes and yes

"Child beauty pageants." — throwa_way682

13. That's not justice

"The rape of male prisoners. It's almost considered a part of the sentence. People love to joke about it all the time." — visicircle

14. Customers aren't employers

"Tipping culture in the US. Everyone thinks that it's totally OK for employers not to pay the employees, and the customers are expected to pay extra to pay the employees wages. I don't understand it." — Lysdexiic

15. Staring at your phone

"Having smartphones in our faces all day. This shit isn't normal...imma do it anyway...but it is not normal." — Off_Brand_Barbie_OBB

16. Homework on weekends

"Students being assigned homework over weekends and only having a two-day weekend. The whole point of a weekend is to take a break from life, and then you have one day to recover from sleep deprivation then one day to relax which you can’t because of thinking about the next day being Monday. And the two days still having work to do anyways." — MrPers0n3O

17. Kids on social media

"Children/young teens posting on social media sites. I’m not necessarily talking about posting on a private Instagram followed by friends, I’m talking about when kids post on tiktok publicly without parental consent." — thottxy


This article originally appeared on 03.11.22

A group of men look at paperwork.

The massive changes to the American workplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic invited many to reconsider their professional lives. This reevaluation has led people to push for improved work-life balance, and many now are looking for work to provide a greater sense of meaning and purpose.

When the world returned to work after COVID, many believed they deserved to be treated better by their employers. This resulted in many taking a break from the workforce or changing professions altogether. It also helped usher in a more comfortable culture for calling out companies that don’t treat their employees respectfully.

Recently, a group of thousands came together on Reddit to expose the common mistruths that people often hear at the workplace. It all started when a Redditor named PretenstoKnow asked: "What's the most common lie employers tell their employees?" And over 2,600 people responded.


People shared great examples of office developments that may signal a company being sold or future layoffs. They also exposed how employers may manipulate employees to work more hours or do a job that isn’t theirs by dangling a promotion in front of them. While some took the thread as the opportunity to complain about American corporate culture, the post was an excellent way for people to educate each other about common workplace pitfalls they may not know about.

Here are 13 of the most common lies that employers tell their employees.

1. Working 2 jobs

"If you just do this extra work until the other position is filled, you will be rewarded later." — MightyAtom13

"Any form of delayed comp should be treated as a lie." — Mirbatdon

2. There's nothing to see here

"You may have heard some rumors that [insert bad thing here] is happening, but I'm here today to tell you that this isn't the case." — UnfinishedThings

"Nothing is ever true until the company officially denies it." — Big-Problem7372

3. Don't talk money

"You aren't allowed to discuss your pay/salary." — Meestrdg

"Any company that tells you not to discuss pay, you should immediately start discussing pay with as many people as you can find. Hell, put your job title (or something similar) on a post-it note with your pay in the employee bathroom that the managers never use." — BlackMoons

4. The loyalty lie

"That you owe them loyalty. You don’t. You are a number in SAP that costs money. Once you are replaceable or your skill set is no longer required, you’re done. No matter your situation in life." — JustAnotherS**tposter.

"I’ve seen enough layoffs to know that they would cut me without a second thought if it benefited them. I feel obligated to perform my job in good faith, but I’m taking my vacation days, I’m taking my sick days if I need them, and if I come across a clearly better job offer, I’m taking that too." — Provocotive_Bear

5. You're not family

"Honestly, if an employer invokes families or sports teams analogies, you had better avoid them." — A CaffeinatedWandress

"Yes! We are like family until we say you can’t take a day off to see your biological family." — 77 Tassells

6. Work-life balance

"On rare occasions, this can be true. It most likely isn't coming from owners or execs though. It's usually middle managers who actually give a sh** and fight their nonsense constantly." — The_Bitter_Bear

"My last boss tried to emphasize this and then come review time I was criticized for not putting in 'extra' time to help the team (was told not to work past 5 pm and family came first)." — Zoap3256

7. Flexible hours

"This one is so true. When most job postings say “flexible hours,” it usually means that they need you to be flexible to work nights and weekends even if you need them off." — 1991195

8. Healthcare changes

"We’re changing healthcare providers in order to benefit you, our valued employees <cough>." — Kismet237

​9. Your raise is right around the corner

"The next job/promotion will pay you more. We are planning to expand." — vArrowhead

“The future is bright. We can’t give you that raise now but Just hang in there and your hard work will pay off.” — Friend-of-thee-court

10. Anonymous feedback

"Your anonymous employee feedback surveys are 100% not anonymous." — SarenTenet914

"When I first started taking employee feedback surveys, it would lead off with questions if you were male or female, what department you worked in, how long you've been in the department, and how long you've been in the company to 'validate' you as being an employee and to serve up the right set of questions. I realized how very easy it was to track people back based on how those questions were answered." — wetwater

11. Unlimted vacation days

"Unlimited vacation days really means minimal vacation days." — IlIIlIIIlIl

"We went unlimited. I track my use on a spreadsheet that is in line with legacy policy before the change. So, if questioned, I can produce documentation I, in fact, have not abused it. That hasn’t come up. But just in case." — Sharpedoweek

12. Not selling the company

"Once you hear the rumors, there is a 100% chance it is going to happen." — Andos4

13. We're using the latest tech

"In software jobs, the most common lie is 'We are using the latest tech' or 'We are upgrading to the latest tech right now!'" — Propostor

"My job is to manage the tech, cloud, and software strategy, and this is pretty much never true. Aside from random startups playing with massive startup capital from angel investors, no established company works with the latest technology, because it carries too much risk and too many unknowns. No actual technical manager will claim otherwise. Only non-technical people like executives, sales, marketing, and HR make ridiculous claims like that." — Maitreg