The week before last, I took a road trip from Milwaukee to Minneapolis. Upon tiring of my go-to Spotify playlist (there is such as thing as too much Björk), I put on a podcast that I’d never heard before. But I’m pretty sure you can find it just by lifting your head towards the sky and shouting the words “Oprah, help me!” (Or by clicking this link.) But I mention it here because I haven’t found a whole lot of things that relieve my fairly chronic anxiety — not yoga, not meditation, not pans of Rice Krispies treats. Yet I carried thoughts about love and unity with me all through Thanksgiving, all through the conversations about immigration and climate change. And that is something to be genuinely thankful for.
Anyway, there are forms of self-care besides listening to Oprah, I guess, which brings me to this week’s wellness links.
A Little Ugly To Brighten Your Day
Upon opening this article, your first thought might be “why?” But please keep reading: The art of creating odd and ugly flower arrangements out of whatever the hell you want, deemed “Freakebana,” isn’t some social media joke. It’s more like a cultural backlash against American extravagance, environmental degradation, and, I don’t know, beauty norms? After reading this piece, you may be tempted to stick a few dandelions in a sweet potato and place it on your living room mantle. And, hey, if it feels right, don’t question it. [The Cut]
On Flying And Crying
I could write an essay — a novella, even — about the bad movies I’ve watched on airplanes. When you’re trapped in a cramped seat at 10,000 feet in the air, deprived of all your usual land-based distractions, a forgettable or even horrible film somehow becomes exceptional. (That’s why I enjoyed Joe Dirt 2 so much, right?) And if you’ve ever found yourself sobbing into your airline peanuts during a swell in the background music of, say, The Secret Life of Pets, don’t be alarmed or embarrassed: Shedding tears during in-flight movies is, apparently, very common. And, man, does it feel good. [New York Times Magazine]
Kvelling Over K-Beauty
A beauty editor, whose formerly flawless skin started breaking out when she hit 30, decided to hop on the Korean beauty bandwagon. After consulting a “K-beauty” guru (of sorts), the newly blemish-prone editor had herself a 10-step skincare routine: She spent a month testing out everything from collagen face masks to pimple patches, and documented her experience week by week. Product junkies beware: The before and after photos alone almost made me spend $46 on a small bottle of some soothing-looking balm called “skin essence.” [Buzzfeed]
“All Natural” Hell
Author Rebecca Schuman writes about the difference between how childbirth was supposed to feel, based on the research she’d done, and how it actually felt to bring a tiny, wriggly human into the world. In her essay, Schuman addresses the admittedly convincing claims of midwives and mothers who describe painless, and even orgasmic, labor experiences and explores those claims through a philosophical lens, with a particular focus on Descartes and his famous theory of dualism. This piece is no mommy-blog rant; it’s a thoughtful, smart, hilarious, and honest meditation on mind + body + pain. [Longreads]
Final Snack Call
The older I get, the closer I come to accepting an obvious-but-unfortunate truth: The foods I eat affect the body I’m putting them into. Now that I’m mature enough to acknowledge the relationship between Cheetos consumption and jean-buttoning ability, there are other correlations to take into account — sleep and diet, for instance. This article is a simple breakdown of what and what not to eat before bed. I thought it was helpful, and also a little bit hopeful, thanks to the surprisingly positive section about carbs. [Business Insider]