It seems like there is always a new addiction popping up in the news. When a celebrity philanderer is caught, he’s a sex addict. When someone gains an immense amount of weight suddenly, they are addicted to eating. Now it turns out that your friend you’re always getting mad at for surfing the web while you’re having dinner might actually have a disorder. The latest addiction I’ve spotted in the news is Internet Addiction. While it is currently not recognized by the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, a hospital in Pennsylvania is opening an inpatient treatment center for people who cannot stop using the web. It joins a community of centers that have appeared all over the country to treat people who are unable to control online messaging, web-browsing, or game playing. And experts recognize that it is possible to develop unhealthy behaviors around internet usage, including dependency on the constant instant feedback or feel-good experiences of playing online. The risks of such dependency include carpel tunnel syndrome, potential diabetes or weight gain from inactivity, and excess anxiety or stress from being “on” at all times when logged in. Think you might be crossing the threshold from enjoyment to addiction? Check your levels on the digital distraction test to see if you need to cut back.
In the latest designer-retail superstore collaboration, the Philip Lim for Target collection is now available in stores (as of yesterday). And even better, for those of you who live in urban locations where the selection gets picked over at lightning speed, it’s available online without having to make a trip, only to be disappointed.
I have read several articles on how sitting all day is bad for your health. It can increase your risk for heart disease, decrease overall health, and lead to death at an earlier age, even if people who sit all day exercise. This is unfortunate news for the huge number of Americans who spend their days chained to a desk, but the negative health impact extends to riding in the car, or sitting on the couch watching television. And now, the news has gotten even worse. For women, sitting for nine hours a day or more results in an increased risk for depression (47% higher!) when compared to those who sat down less than six hours daily. Scientists chalk it up to lower circulation that decreases the movement of feel-good hormones to the brain to boost mood.
However, the effect may be temporary. When women started moving again, they were able to shake the depressive symptoms, indicating that sitting only brings down mood in the present. Additionally, the researchers believe that regular exercise after sitting periods can help to prevent potential future depression. While there is no way to reverse the poor health effects of sitting, making a point to get up and walk around every 20 minutes can help make them less severe. Now there’s an excuse to go say hi to your coworker on the other side of the office!
I’ve been a fan of P.S.- I Made This… for a while. Erica Domesek makes such cute DIY’s and crafts from fashions she sees around town, with simple pictures on her blog explaining how to make one on your own. Her motto is, “I see it. I like it. I make it.” As someone who has sewn dresses based on ones I’ve seen in magazines, and glued sequins to any number of clothing items, I have always thoroughly enjoyed her ideas for transforming things you have into better, more fashionable things.
Now she has a book, called P.S. – you’re invited…, and book launch parties kicking off around the country. If you’re in NYC, you can hit up one at West Elm tomorrow, 9/12. From 6:30-7:30pm, you can (for $85) participate in a crafting workshop, receiving a book, all the materials for the project, and a special P.S.- I Made This Swiss Army DIY Tool. If you’re not looking to drop a load of cash, you can get there at 7:30 for a book signing that will run for an hour. Make sure to RSVP on the facebook page if you plan to attend. The workshop requires registration in advance. Happy crafting!
Over the past five years, the United Nations conducted a world-wide survey on happiness around the globe with the goal of creating a report that would inform policy makers on the well-being of their nation for use in national policy decision-making. The results show that many countries have improved their overall happiness during the time period of the study, and that many of the happiest countries are found in Northern Europe including nations like Sweden and Denmark. Canada followed closely, with much happiness based on higher life expectancy, higher median incomes, and strong community ties. Somewhat surprisingly (to me), the United States ranked 17th in happiness, falling just under Mexico for total levels. Check out some handy infographics of the data at The Huffington Post.
I’m a big believer in stepping away from projects when they become too frustrating. When I am writing, and I hit a wall, I tend to take a quick break to look at some cute animals, or play a round of candy crush then go back to it with fresh eyes. It’s been proven that adorable little furry things can make you more productive, but now scientists are saying that little distractions in your day can help you be more creative. This phenomenon is exactly why some of the best ideas and solutions pop into your head when you’re doing something totally unrelated to your problem, like washing your hair or getting a drink of water. The little distraction gives you a “creative incubation period” that lets your mind work freely when you’re disengaged and not focused on a solution that’s not really working.
So there you have it, an excuse to pop out for a quick walk around the block. Inspiration might strike when you least expect it.