Comparison and guilt reinforce our addictions to stress

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Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

In times of low stress, I tend to worry about why I am not more stressed. I’ve grown accustomed to putting high amounts of stress on myself. “Hustle culture,” as it is called, has played into this. I have high expectations for myself and what I can accomplish, so when I am not spending my free time actively working towards my goals I feel like I am failing behind. That feeling paired with seeing what my peers are accomplishing leaves me defeated.

This left me wondering — can we be addicted to stress?

Perhaps addiction is too strong of a label for me personally, but research has shown that people can develop an addiction to stress. When under stressful conditions your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Prolonged periods of stress can turn your natural bodily reaction into an addiction since that hormone is continuously circulating in your system, leading to the need for more stressful situations to keep that high. …


Finding moments to be grateful for during a challenging year

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Photo by Ann on Unsplash

Undoubtedly, 2020 has brought pain, sorrow and loss to people across the world. From high school and college graduations being cancelled to unemployment rates skyrocketing to family and friends passing away from the virus, everyone has been affected by this pandemic and everyone has lost something of importance to them.

With all of the heartache and grief that this year brought, it is difficult to find moments to be grateful for. But even during the most difficult times, it is still important to practice gratitude.

Reflecting on the year, here are 15 things I have appreciated about 2020:

  • Being healthy
  • Spending quality time with my…


Toobin caught masterbating on a Zoom call

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Reports surfaced earlier this week regarding Jeffrey Toobin’s, legal analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker, sexual act during a work meeting.

CNN downplayed the situation by claiming Toobin had allegedly accidentally “exposed himself” on the video call because he thought he had turned the camera off. The phrasing, at least in my mind, sounded like he tried to turn off the camera to change and exposed himself for a moment.

However, this was not the case. Subsequent news articles explained that Toobin was caught masterbating while watching another video during the meeting. …


How technology may stunt children’s creative development

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Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

As I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook lost in a sea of posts, one caught my eye. It said, “I find myself worrying that when we hand our children phones we steal their boredom from them. As a result, we are raising a generation of writers who will never start writing, artists who will never start doodling, chefs who will never make a mess of the kitchen, athletes who will never kick a ball, musicians who will never pick up their aunt’s guitar and start strumming.”

Boredom invites creativity. TIME magazine interviewed Sandi Mann, a senior Psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire in the U.K. and the author of The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom Is Good. Mann explained what boredom is and how it sparks creativity, “[Boredom is] a search for neural stimulation that isn’t satisfied. …


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Photo by Thomas Habr on Unsplash

Recently, my brother and I were laughing about all of the disgusting lunches our elementary school served. We joked about the hexagon “Mexican” pizza, the freezer burned salisbury steak, and the mashed potatoes with chunky gravy.

We started searching pictures to refresh our memories of the lunches we ate for nine years, when I realized that so many schools nationwide serve very similar food. None of these meals were particularly balanced or healthy. I recalled that towards the end of my elementary school years, there was a transition to slightly healthier meals.

In 2012, the Department of Agriculture updated the nutrition standards to school lunch programs across the nation. The mandate stated, “This rule requires most schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements.” These updates were meant to help increase children’s intake of nutritional food and reduce the likelihood of obesity. …


Judicial activism expands rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution

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Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

Judicial activism is a buzzword that many conservatives denounce and many liberals cherish. Throughout the history of the Supreme Court, justices have displayed either activism or restraint. This can be dependent on the public opinion of the nation or the justices’ personal ideologies.

The Warren Court is often touted as a highly activist era. While Earl Warren served as Chief Justice, the Court extensively expanded civil rights. For example, prior to the Warren Court, defendants had few rights. Although the Sixth Amendment gives defendants in criminal cases the right to a speedy trial with an impartial jury and the right to counsel, there are more rights afforded to defendants today than those articulated in the amendment. …


These simple habits can improve your mindset during difficult times

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Photo by Valeriia Bugaiova on Unsplash

Challenging times evoke intense emotions, and it can be difficult to recognize and process those emotions in a healthy way. Instead of turning to vices, such as excessive eating and drinking, these four habits can improve the way you work through troublesome feelings.

  1. Journal

Writing out the thoughts in your head allows the emotions to spill out onto the page. Anger, sadness, grief and other similar emotions are very difficult to process for most people, so journaling is a solid starting point to recognize the emotions you feel and begin to work through them. …


How to leverage niceness in a work setting

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Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

“After years of self-discovery, building a successful career, and paying close attention to what worked and — most importantly — what felt right for me, I ultimately came to see that I didn’t have to sacrifice my values or hide my authentic personality in the name of achieving success. In fact, as I learned to own my natural kindness, it has become my professional superpower.”

As a woman who has been told many times that she is “too nice,” I began considering ways to present myself in a less empathetic and more direct manner. Whenever I thought about being labelled as “too nice,” it frustrated me. …


Women’s body hair does not deserve judgement

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Photo by Oz Seyrek on Unsplash

“Shaving my legs for the first time in 3 years.” I see the video title and a thumbnail of a young woman holding a razor. A wave of disgust rushes over me. Automatically, my first response was to feel grossed out by her hairy legs. Then, I took a moment and wondered why this random girl’s body hair bothered me so much that I had a visceral reaction.

After a moment of reflection, I concluded that body hair falls into the category of beauty standards. Women are expected to be smooth and hairless; women shave, wax, thread, and even laser their hair to attain that standard. …


Chanel Miller highlights sexual abuse and harassment that women face

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Photo by Daria Litvinova on Unsplash

“Cosby, 60. Weinstein, 87. Nassar, 169. The news used phrases like avalanche of accusations, tsunami of stories, sea change. The metaphors were correct in that they were catastrophic, devastating. But it was wrong to compare them to natural disasters, for they were not natural at all, solely man-made. Call it a tsunami, but do not lose sight of the fact that each life is a single drop, how many drops it took to make a single wave. The loss is incomprehensible, staggering, maddening — we should have caught it when it was no more than a drip. …

Olivia Shackleton

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