By now, almost everyone has heard of FOMO (or the fear of missing out) that is known for creeping up on you when you’re relaxing plan-free on the couch and a friend posts a picture having the time of her life at a party. It’s a nasty little syndrome that can ruin the most relaxing idea of a night spent by yourself. Well, for everyone who likes to become a bit of a hermit in the cold weather, or take some time alone to recuperate after the busy holiday season, there is a new syndrome taking hold across the social media universe. It’s called JOMO, and it stands for the joy in missing out, when you take time for yourself, and enjoy it – guilt free. And it’s a great way to unplug and avoid burning out. So if your plans for the weekend involve staying home and cleaning out your closet, don’t fear missing something, relish it.
I have 4301 songs on my iPhone. That is enough to play straight through for several days without hearing a repeat song. But somehow, still I get bored with my music selection, and turn to Pandora for inspiration. But what is a girl to do when internet connection isn’t available? In the subway, or particularly when travelling, music is even more important to help me get through the transit. In general I tend to be more of a playlist person than an album person. I like to mix it up with tunes of different musical genres and artists all in one loop. This is why when I am in a music slump, and stuck with only my own library to choose from, I enjoy what I like to call Movie Soundtrack Day. Soundtracks have a natural variety to go with the movie’s emotional ups and downs, and it’s rare to have one of just one artist through and through. When I can’t think of what else to listen to I pull up one of these old favorites, and I am set for a few hours at least. Check one out to match your musical mood.
One Fine Day
One Fine Day: Natalie Merchant
The Boy from New York City: The Ad Libs
For the First Time: Kenny Loggins
Mama Said: The Shirelles
Someone Like You: Shawn Colvin
Love’s Funny That Way: Tina Arena
Have I Told You Lately: Van Morrison
The Glory of Love: Keb’ Mo’
What a Diff’rence a Day made: Tony Bennet
Isn’t It Romantic?: Ella Fitzgerald
This Guy’s in Love with You: Harry Connick Jr.
Just Like You: Keb’ Mo’
One Fine Day: The Chiffons
Grey’s Anatomy – I know it’s technically a movie, but after 9 seasons, that show has enough drama for one
Such Great Heights: The Postal Service
Ruby Blue: Roisin Murphy
Song Beneath the Song: maria Taylor
Where Does the Good Go: Tegan and Sara
Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well: Mike Doughty
Wait: Get Set Go
Could Be Anything: The Eams Era
Portions for Foxes: Rilo Kiley
The City: Joe Purdy
End of the World Party: Medeski, Martin and Wood
Catch My Disease: Ben Lee
There’s a Girl: The Ditty Bops
Whatever Gets You Through Today: Radio
Fools in Love: Inara George
Cosy in the Rocket: Psapp
500 Days of Summer Soundtrack
Us: Regina Spektor
There is a Light that Never Goes Out: The Smiths
Bad Kids: Black Lips
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I want: The Smiths
There Goes the Gear: Doves
You Make My Dreams: Hall and Oates
Sweet Disposition: The Temper Trap
Quelqu’un M’a Dit: Carla Bruni
Hero: Regina Spektor
Bookends: Simon & Garfunkel
She’s Got You High: Mumm-Ra
Here Comes Your Man: Meaghan Smith
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I want: She and Him
You already know that texting while driving is a MAJOR health and public safety hazard (RIGHT?!). All you city dwellers out there probably shrugged off all the publicity on this issue, as not applicable to people who get around using their two legs and the subway – unless you spotted your cabbie texting. But now there is new data about how even texting while walking can be dangerous, and here’s why. Overall, texting affects your posture and balance while you walk which can put you at risk for injury and it’s pretty distracting. Data published in PLOS ONE journal found that people who walk while texting tend to walk slower and zig zag around more than people looking straight ahead and walking. That’s no big surprise, right? However, this can be dangerous if you pull out your phone to send a text while you’re crossing the street. If you veer enough from the straight line of the crosswalk you could wander right out into traffic, or miss the 10 second window you have to cross the street, putting oyu in the path of oncoming cars.
Additionally, holding the phone and looking down while walking puts your body into an unnatural posture for movement. Instead of swinging your arms with your body’s motion, and turning dynamically, most texters lock their upper bodies to keep their phone steady while typing. This can put people at a higher risk of becoming unbalanced and falling. Then finally, it increases your risk of bumping into something, tripping, or falling because you’re just not looking where you’re going. So why not avoid an embarrassing encounter with that lamppost, and stop walking then text. Or, if you’re really in a rush, only text while you’re waiting for the light to change to walk and you’re stopped anyhow. Your fellow pedestrians will thank you for not getting in their way.
It’s tough to find good reasons not to hibernate when the temperatures dip so low, but Time has come up with an excellent one for anyone who is working on their fitness. Researchers found that just exposing people to the cold activates brown-fat. Why is this important you ask? Brown fat can eat white fat that typically lurks around hips and other problem areas, and burn up t0 30% of the body’s energy while doing so. Thus, being out in the frigid temps can actually help to whittle your waistline. Just remember that when you are debating another Netflix marathon on the couch this weekend, or popping out to meet a friend.
I am SUCH.A.FAN. of this new ad campaign by Aerie. It’s called Aerie Real, and not only does it make you feel a little less like a freak-of-nature by seeing real women modeling lingerie, it takes the guesswork out of your size and fit. After perusing the Victoria’s Secret catalog, and then going to try on bras in the dead of winter, the reflection in the mirror can be a little disheartening. Oogling all of those perfectly bronzed and well-toned bodies and then seeing your own normal, pasty white body can lead to a little bit of a let down when you’re trying on swim suits or lingerie. But now, Aerie is featuring real women without re-touching in their ads to promote acceptance of a wider range of body shapes, and to show what real bodies actually look like in their underwear. After seeing them, your body might not seem quite so bad after all.
Trapped inside with this latest polar vortex (and the 6-12 inches of snow it’s bringing with it)? Well, make sure to invite your sweetie over, and you can pick up some serious health benefits from a good old fashioned make-out sesh while you’re stuck indoors. CNN recently reported that kissing has all sorts of health benefits that in sum, mean that you should put it on your list of new year’s resolutions as something to do more often. First, kissing can help to reduce your blood pressure by increasing blood flow and heart rate. It can soothe aches and pains by dilating blood-vessels, a reaction that will help headaches and cramps particularly. Smooching fights cavities by increasing saliva flow that will wash away more plaque on teeth, and it can make you look a little younger by tightening and toning facial muscles. And it can contribute to your overall fitness toning goals by burning calories. While it’s not equivalent to cardio on the elliptical, it’s a good start! You can burn up to 16 calories per kiss.
In addition to all of the physical benefits, kissing can have mental perks as well. It leads to a rush in feel-good chemicals including serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, making you feel happier. And, while this one is kind of obvious, it can make you feel more loved and connected to the person you care about. These feelings can boost self-esteem, which can lead to greater happiness overall, increased productivity, and even potentially greater success. So use this snowstorm as an excuse to stay in and smooch – it’s good for your health.
I am no stranger to TED talks. They are my preferred thing to listen to while out running errands as I walk from place to place. I always learn something new, and come away a little bit more inspired. I learned about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by way of Beyonce. I listened to both of her talks, and was impressed with the simple importance and clarity of her messages. Check them out for yourself!
I don’t know about you, but I am EXCITED for the kickoff of the kickoff of the 2014 Winter Olymics in Sochi. I love the Olympics, and I can’t wait to watch skiing, and skating until my heart’s content. They are just about 3 weeks away, which is perfect timing to plan an Olympic-watching theme party. Since they’re in Russia this year, there should obviously be caviar, black bread, borscht, and maybe an ice luge to drink vodka out of. Or if your apartment doesn’t allow the space for that, try these Olympic themed cocktail recipes:
Vanilla Winter White Russian: (a drink and dessert in one!)
2 oz. vanilla flavored vodka
2 oz. Kahlua coffee-flavored liqueur
2 oz. Irish cream liqueur
2 small scoops vanilla ice cream
5 oz. half-n-half
In a pitcher, pour the vodka, Kahlua, Irish cream, and half-n-half, and stir.
Place a small scoop of ice cream in the bottom of each highball glass and then pour the mixture over the top. Makes 2.
2 oz. vodka
2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. white chocolate liquer
Shake with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
1 1/2 oz. brandy
1/4 oz. triple sec
3/4 oz. orange juice
Dash of lemon juice
Shaken over ice and serve in a cocktail glass
And if you’re going for host of the year, send everyone home with gold medal party favors you can make with those little gold coin chocolates.