5 Breakups for a Healthier, Happier You
From getting rid of toxic relationships to making delicious lattes at home, consider implementing these tips in the new year
Breakups generally have a bad rep, but they aren’t always a terrible thing. In fact, a breakup is sometimes a step—or a giant leap—in the right direction. With a clear, fresh mindset fueled by the new year, consider the following potential breakups as conscious tactics toward a healthier life and subsequently, a happier version of yourself.
Tech and Social Media Overload
In a society where FOMO is a silent, ubiquitous predator and after-hour emails from your boss burn a hole in your inbox, the smartphone has transformed into an additional appendage. But rather than be fixated by a digital world, we recommend enjoying the real world that's directly in front of you.
Go outside, breathe in the fresh air, and, all cheesiness aside, stop to smell the roses (or everyone's favorite: peonies!). Pick up a good, “old-fashioned” book and savor its pages without constant interruption. Put the phone away and on silent when in the company of others, and practice the art of listening. Be present; generally, answering those text messages, emails, and "mentions" can wait.
And have you ever relaxed in bed, absentmindedly scrolling through your Instagram feed until your smartphone accidentally falls on your face? (It happens to the best of us.) But besides the resulting slight chagrin and bruise, that use of technology and its short-wavelength enriched light ("blue light") is actually doing further damage.
According to research conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, blue light reduces melatonin secretion, interrupts your circadian clock, and ultimately, makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Give your tech devices a strict curfew or, better yet, completely banish them from the bedroom!
Unrestrained Spending on Meals and Drinks
Picking up some sushi here, a girls’ night dinner there, and grabbing a coffee to go in between; all of these purchases, big or small, really add up. Go ahead and scan your latest credit card or bank statement. Were you as alarmed as us regarding the monthly chunk of change funneling to the local coffee shop?
By taking matters into your own capable hands, you can whittle down the funds spent on outside food and drinks. For example, the Keurig Rivo can brew the same latte that your trusty barista does without the inflated fees that often accompany healthy alternatives such as almond or soy milk. Not to mention, all you have to do is head down the hall to your kitchen; no long line and wait included.
Think of it this way: If you get five lattes a week, at about $4 each, that's $80 per month and a whopping $960 per year. Why not invest a small fraction of that to service your girl boss-fueling caffeine needs, and then tuck the rest away into savings, invest in your health through fitness classes that make working out fun, and/or purchase something even more thrilling than barista-made latte art—an amazing trip abroad!
As for eating out less, conjure up meals that you would actually want to eat and would normally order at a restaurant. Skip the drab, basic salads and sandwiches, and opt for colorful, creative meals that look and taste appetizing. With careful planning, a trip to the grocery store can involve less overhead than regularly swiping your card for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Psst, we love these workweek lunches, especially the "Adult Lunchables.")
As you get older, people move away, schedules grow fuller, and free time dwindles, the reality of fine-tuning who you can afford to—and truly want to—keep close will surface.
When you sense a relationship has become more burden than bond, it might warrant reevaluation. This isn't easy, of course, but chances are you’ll be doing him or her a favor as well. A healthy relationship is a two-way street, beneficial to both parties involved. If someone is detrimental to your wellness, then that person already isn’t holding up his or her end. Know your self-worth, and make a strong, deliberate effort to recognize it every day.
Overly Trendy and Cheaply Made Clothing
Rather than jump onboard every fashion train that chugs on by, invest in classics that will stay in style for the long haul and can work well with other pieces in your closet. A pair of dark, flattering jeans; a crisp white blouse; black flats; a leather (or faux leather) handbag and boots—these are essentials that will likely remain at the forefront of your wardrobe time and time again. Or, if the aforementioned items aren’t your style, decide what your version of “classics” is and then stick to it.
While shopping, ask yourself: “What’s the likelihood of me wearing this six months from now? One year from now?” And although doth protest that skirt will look incredible with that one top you already own, what about the three dozen other tops already in your closet? (All of this will make annually cleaning out your closet much, much simpler.)
Also, low price tags can be understandably tempting, but another deciding factor of a purchase should be quality. Avoiding materials that fall apart or shrink at second wash is presumably worth shelling out a few extra bucks.
Loneliness can feel crippling at times. But rather than permit that loneliness to turn into overwhelming despair, we encourage you to put up a fight.
If someone who you drifted away from has repeatedly been on your mind, why not say hello even if it’s out of the blue? Though it can be tough to make yourself vulnerable and initiate a reconnection, you might just find that person has already met you halfway.
And say you have recently moved across the country and don’t know a single soul outside of the office, or maybe you’re still in your childhood town but could use a new yoga buddy. Whatever the scenario, joining local clubs and organizations enables meeting like-minded people with similar interests—a sturdy foundation for budding friendships.