After a recent string of failures, I’ve decided to go back to basics. This is my mother’s go-to solution for any number of issues: relationship troubles, a stalled career, a spike in weight, a misguided fashion choice. And even though the advice might sound cliché, going back to basics does seem to work.
Instead of trying out a new and inventive dinner each night (dan dan noodles with homemade pickled vegetables and chili oil!), I’m sticking with tried-and-true staples (like spaghetti). I’ve also finally nixed the idea that I’m someone who wakes up at 5am and is in her home office 10 minutes later. My body prefers rising at 6:30am and leisurely consuming the news and breakfast. These changes are admittedly simple — or, you know, basic. But ridding my life of unnecessary complications has allowed me to release pressure and focus on what’s important.
Like, for instance, this week’s links.
An Impassioned Plea To Bring Back Sweatpants
Amid a sea of serious and urgent op-eds from the Times, this piece about workout wear — which angered some readers, apparently — might seem, at best, superfluous. Yet, it’s oddly compelling to read an article that lambastes the ubiquitous yoga pant and urges a return to the simpler days of exercising in sweatpants. The writer conveniently ignores the downfalls of sweats (don’t they give you, um, swamp ass?). Regardless, the op-ed might make some gym-goers consider why they’re donning $100 aqua-colored leggings with mesh “calf vents.” Do they enhance performance in HIIT class, or are they just another unnecessarily sexy and overpriced product for women? [New York Times]
How Noise Pollutes Our Health
Most of us understand how urban noise can affect sleep: Late-night car alarms and rumbling subways and neighbors screaming for the sake of it can get in the way of a good night’s rest. Yet, in this article, writer Kate Wagner explores how pervasive noise pollution can do more than rob us of a few Zzzs. Studies show that underlying industrial and traffic sounds can take a toll on urban-dwellers’ hearing, stress levels, and even blood pressure. But don’t be discouraged; Wagner proposes several solutions beyond “go buy earplugs.” [The Atlantic]
Inking Through The Breakup Blues
In this piece for The Cut, a writer details her approach to combatting depression in the wake of an earth-shattering breakup. Although, she didn’t seek help from Lexapro or a licensed mental-health pro. Instead, she turned to a tattoo artist and a past connection to dinosaurs. This isn’t the most remarkable piece of writing you’ll read this week, but it’s a good reminder to do what works for you, no matter how much side-eye you get from coworkers or subway riders. [The Cut]
Yup, Beer Is An Energy Drink Now
While we’ve been on the couch consuming the Olympics, German athletes have been at the Olympics consuming liters (and liters and liters) of nonalcoholic beer. Are they demonstrating champion-grade commitment to their country’s favorite beverage? Not exactly. Athletes and exercise researchers alike have discovered that beer — sans-alcohol, only — boosts levels of hydration and energy, both before and after competing. In other words: Chug to win! It’s hard for me to envision beer becoming the drink of choice for Americans crossing the finish line. Then again, weirder things have taken off in the aisles of Whole Foods. [New York Times]
Can Distraction And Meditation Go Together?
Dan Harris, a journalist and ABC news anchor, recently published a new book about happiness and meditation — two topics that became central to his life after he had an on-air panic attack in 2014. In this interview, Harris highlights some of his discoveries about the importance of self-care. For instance, Harris says it’s okay if you feel distracted when you’re meditating; that doesn’t mean you lack the ability to be every bit as mindful as the people doing yoga (always on beaches, always at sunset) on Instagram. If you’re aware that your thoughts are jumping around, according to Harris, then you’ve achieved the first step to being a better you. [The Lily]