When the spirit of spring takes hold, we find ourselves wanting to clear the clutter from every area of our lives. We don't just long to dump the junk from our closets and dust the corners that were barely noticeable in the dark days of winter; we want to streamline our lives in more meaningful ways, too. Shasta Nelson of GirlFriendCircles shares tips on how to strengthen our existing friendships and cast off the ones that aren't working anymore.
When we're crazy busy but still want to maintain the friendships that we treasure, first thing's first: how can we keep those relationships that we treasure going strong?
Consistency is key. Instead of the scheduling emails that can go back-and-forth for a week ("I can't do Tuesday but are you free for Wednesday lunch? How 'bout two weeks from next Thursday?"), set one regular date and stick to it. Nelson suggests making a standing date for brunch the third Saturday of the month, or cheap manis every other week.
Get deep. Our friendships
Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff
When the spirit of spring takes hold, we find ourselves wanting to clear the clutter from every area of our lives. We don't just long to dump the junk from our closets and dust the corners that were barely noticeable in the dark days of winter; we want to streamline our lives in more meaningful ways, too. Shasta Nelson of GirlFriendCircles shares tips on how to strengthen our existing friendships and cast off the ones that aren't working anymore.Read More »from Spring clean your friendships
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Mon, Mar 22, 2010 4:36 PM EDT
You've likely seen footage of women asked to draw a life-sized outline of their bodies on a piece of butcher paper taped up against the wall. Inevitably, the outlines are wonky and out-of-whack: the thighs are humongous, the bellies bulge. Our images of ourselves can be practically grotesque compared to the reality.Read More »from Is your body image super healthy or utterly out of whack?
So where's this coming from? I will admit that usually when watching movies, it's practically impossible to not notice all the ways in which a svelte actresses' body is unlike my own. Perhaps her triceps bulge or she looks really, really good in short shorts. But last night, when watching the old 1960's movie The Misfits, I couldn't take my eyes off Marilyn Monroe. Yes, she has "It," that unmistakable star power that expands to fill the entire screen. But she also had a butt that jiggled and soft upper arms. In fact, it was her very humanness --- that visceral, fleshy appeal --- that contributed to her sexiness. It was enough to make me see my own fleshy bits in a new,
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Fri, Mar 19, 2010 4:37 PM EDT
In a culture hung up on happiness quick fixes, The Nine Rooms of Happiness is a breath of fresh air. This thoughtful book goes through the house of your life, room by room, with ways to clear the clutter. But it's also a book that acknowledges the realities of a real, messy, full life and encourages us to "get over life's little imperfections." Here we talk with authors Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief of Self magazine and Catherine Birndorf, M.D., a women's health psychiatrist, on finding our passions, the most cluttered "rooms," and how to make peace with the mess.Read More »from The Nine Rooms of Happiness: Q&A with authors Lucy Danziger and Catherine Birndorf
Why the house metaphor?
We found that thinking about rooms in a house worked well to help women create an organizational template for their emotional lives. It's easy to picture a house with many rooms in your mind. And it helps create distinct places (rooms) to put your problems. I find that women can be easily overwhelmed by all the things bothering them, but when you can separate them out and place them in "rooms", it
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Thu, Mar 18, 2010 6:18 PM EDT
If you're feeling whooped by the Daylight Savings switch, you're not the only one. And if you were feeling exhausted long before the time change, you're in good sleepy-eyed company. Getting enough sleep is the bottom line for increasing your energy levels, but if you're already doing your best on that front, here are 8 simple energy-boosting suggestions.
Read more life-improving ideas on Real-Life Makeover:
Photo credit: Getty ImagesRead More »from Tired? 8 things to eat, drink, and do to boost your energy levels
Ice cream lovers rejoice! Laloo's, made from the milk of goat's who graze freely in the hills of California's Sonoma County, is rife with good-for-your-digestive system probiotics. While a half cup of rich premium ice cream (yum) can have 270 and 15 grams of fat (ouch), goat's milk ice cream has 130 calories and 5 grams of fat. But all this is beside the point when it's a creamy treat you're after, and on this front, Laloo's doesn't disappoint. With flavors like black mission fig, chocolate made from 77% dark Scharffen Berger and the coffee-licious Capraccino ("capra" means goat in Italian), the adventurous ice cream lover's prayers have been answered.
Recently in my favorite, final moments of a yoga class, I was stretched out under a blanket, enjoying the treasured minutes of meditation before I returned to the decidedly unrelaxing real world. And then, pouring through the window that had previously only ushered in sunshine, came the unmistakable sound of a jack hammer. My body tensed with irritation and incredulity --- doesn't the world know I'm meditating!? --- until I had a profound and necessary realization: the outside world doesn't stop for our inner moments of peace. We have to carve our own quiet mindfulness out of a loud, messy, stressful world that never lets up. And herein is the beauty of meditation: it can be a doorway that we step through anytime, anywhere, into a room of focus and relaxation.Read More »from A beginner's guide to meditation
There are more reasons to meditate than you can shake a stick at, including lower blood pressure, increased concentration, reduced stress, and an improved immune system, but if you've ever tried to sit still for 20 minutes and
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Wed, Mar 17, 2010 2:31 PM EDT
The bad news is that motivation doesn't grow on trees. The good news, though, is that it is a renewable resource. There's no limit to the motivation we can access, we just have to learn the ways to dig through exhaustion and boredom to get to it. Here are six simple ways to keep yourself motivated so you can achieve your goals:Read More »from 6 ways to stay motivated so you can achieve your goals
Pull out a piece of paper and write your goal at the very top in big, glittery letters. Instead of writing "Exercise more" as your goal, be specific as possible. Do you want to make it to the gym four times a week? Run a 10k come summer? Make your goal as quantifiable as possible so that you'll know as soon as you've achieved it.
Remember why you're doing this in the first place.
When the going gets tough, the tough remember why they wanted to achieve something in the first place. Underneath the goal you've written on that piece of paper, list all the reasons you want to accomplish this goal. List everything: you want to look good in skinny jeans,
It's such a relief when you read articles about how celebrities get their otherworldly bodies and they admit to taking one "cheat day" a week when pizza, fried chicken, margaritas and any thing else their hearts desire is sanctioned. But does a cheat day mean you're feeling really deprived the rest of the week? And when it comes to healthy eating -- a way you hope to eat to live longer and stronger -- is this method sustainable?
The weekend is right behind us (and dang -- isn't that "springing forward" a killer?), so how did you handle it? Was it a two-day cheat fest, business as usual, or something else?
Earlier in the week when we talked about the habits of happy people, many of you mentioned the small pleasures you enjoy that are worth more than anything money can buy, like walking on the beach and flying paper airplanes with your children. Since one of the key tenets of happiness is being able to savor small pleasures, here's a list of 101 delights that are worth enjoying today (not all in one day, though!). Let's try to come up with 101 more in the comments!
- coloring (yes, grown-ups can do it, too)
- crisp cotton sheets
- soft skin
- old family recipes
- the first daffodils of spring
- sleeping in
- an exercise endorphin high
- window boxes
- a perfect cup of coffee
- a genuine compliment (giving or receiving)
- the way babies smell
- a handwritten letter
- waking up in a good mood...for no real reason
- singing in the shower
- finding a couple forgotten dollars in your pocket
- doing something nice for your neighbor
- a home cooked
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Thu, Mar 11, 2010 4:55 PM EST
Whether your gym membership was a casualty of the sluggish economy or you just don't like to leave the house to exercise when it's raining, workout DVDs can be the key to keeping your routine fresh. These favorites cover the spectrum from calming pre-bedtime yoga to oh-my-god-make-it-stop cardio.