You wanna live fancy?

What the stars have in store
Give yourself a big pat on the back, you’ve officially survived Mercury Retrograde. Now we can all go back to blaming Apple for our computer problems. This week, we say farewell to show-stopping Leo and hello to sensible Virgo. It’s a great time to take inventory of your daily routines and possessions to see what you can pair down. Find joy in simplicity, like a little stroll outside or a picnic in the park.

Sunday is the full moon in Pisces, aka “go time.” Let loose and don’t hold back. Now is the perfect time to try new things and really go after your dreams and desires.

Happy news
The rise of the feminine became more literal during Tuesday’s primaries when Vermont became the first state to make a transgender woman a major-party nominee for governor, and mid-term votes set new all-time highs for the number of female nominees for U.S. Senate and governor!

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And while we’re on the subject, women tend to be better doctors too—their mortality rates are lower, and they listen more (waiting about three minutes before interrupting a patient while male doctors wait about 47 seconds). No big surprises here today.

#girlboss
Alas, it’s a great time to be alive, but let’s not forget the impact the hustle can have on our health.

Burnout is real, and it is on the rise, especially among women. So how do you know if you’re suffering from it? Overwhelming exhaustion, feeling cynical and detached from your job, and a sense of ineffectiveness or lack of accomplishment are some of the symptoms, which could lead to more serious physical issues like fatigue, GI issues, insomnia, poor productivity and executive function, an inability to concentrate, difficulty making decisions, depression and even diabetes.

Maybe it’s time to redefine productivity. As Grace Bonney, femtrepeneur and author of In the Company of Women put it, “Today’s online world prizes busy-ness and non-stop hustle (for better and for worse) and I think it’s good to remember (and remind myself) that for every bit of hustle and stress you need an equal amount of rest and restoration.”

Speaking of jobs
As much as 50 percent of them are going to be replaced by machines over the next two decades, so us structure-oriented humans will need to learn how to manage and make our time meaningful without all of the corporate milestones.

The best way to do this is to create your own story. Job aside, look at the bigger picture and ask yourself what you’re doing here and what you want to accomplish. While jobs tend to focus on the short-term, thinking about your unique story can help you think more holistically about how to best use the time you have here.

In our current, “activity-obsessed” society, boredom has become a stigma, but soon everyone will face stretches of boredom at some point. We’ll need to learn to sit with it, feel it and embrace it. This is where meditation and mindfulness will really come in handy.

If you need a new hobby…
Try learning a second language. Bilingual brains learn how to select and pay attention much faster and more efficiently, and the average onset of dementia in bilinguals is about four years later than in monolinguals. It’s never too later to try!

No hablas español? Start exercising for 30 minutes a day instead. This will reduce your risk of cardiovascular events (like a heart attack) by up to 75 percent.

Making me hungry
Three nutritious meals should be all you need, but if you’re getting hungry in between, add more healthy fat, fiber, and protein to your meals. Other ways to avoid snacking are making sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day (at least half your body weight)  and getting some movement in (ideally 250 steps an hour). Movement is crucial for brain health too since too much sitting lowers blood flow to the brain.

Enough is enough
There are hundreds of millions of tons of plastic waste in our oceans, and this is just part of the problem with plastic pollution. The plastic carries pollutants that are ingested by fish, corals and other animals.

We cannot delay any longer. We must all take stock of our plastic usage and disposal habits, figure out what we could be doing differently, and put the plan into action. This means thinking before ordering a to-go drink, bringing your own leftover containers to restaurants, not buying plastic water bottles, being aware of products that use microplastics (like facial scrubs), saying no to straws, and of course minimizing the use of plastic bags everywhere.

If you’ve been tossing your contact lenses in the sink or toilet, stop now. They can break and make their way into surface water, causing environmental damage and adding to the growing problem of microplastic pollution.

If you're like me and often forget to bring your reusables (like bags, glasses or to-go containers), I made this handy printable reminder you can tape to your front door. If this doesn’t fit with your design aesthetic, try an unsuspecting visual cue near your front door instead, like a cute plant reminding you to “go green.”

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Looking for a good reason to drink red wine?
Read Rachel Jacoby Zoldan’s article on the benefits of resveratrol, “an antioxidant superhero” also found in dark chocolate, grapes and blueberries. It’s one of the strongest protectors against aging and free radical damage, along with a whole host of other benefits from reducing inflammation and the risk of heart disease to protecting your brain and preventing your eyesight from fading. Want 12 more reasons? Here you go.

(Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you can drink the whole bottle.)

Breakfast of champions
Or not. Weed-killing poison was found in most popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars. If you’re a big oat-eater, make sure the ones you’re eating are safe here.

So hot right now
Two words: dessert hummus!

The Rainbow Diet, which is based on foods that feed the seven chakras and believes that seemingly separate issues—nutritional, anatomical, psychological, and spiritual—benefit from being treated together. Incorporate each of the seven colors into your diet each day, and take the quiz to see where you could use some extra nourishment, healing and attention.

This icebreaker for your next intimate gathering: Ask everyone to share a story, a moment or an experience from their life that changed how they viewed the world. It has to be a story that no one else at the gathering knows.

There was nowhere to go but everywhere,
so just keep on rolling under the stars.

-Jack Kerouac

Kaley VierckComment