The problem isn’t your relationship status, it’s your mindset.

From the time I was sixteen, I dated one person after another. I didn’t take a break from finding love for over a decade, and it took two crappy breakups for me to finally realize I had a problem with being single.

I thought that with singledom came the possibility I’d never find love. I bought into the notion that not being in a relationship meant something was wrong with me. And when it came down to it, being by myself terrified me; I didn’t know what I liked doing during a night alone in my apartment.

It wasn’t until I intentionally took a year off from dating that I started to change my mind about being single. I realized that my need to be in a relationship and inability to be alone said a lot more about me than just my views on love.

And while I think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship (it’s a human need, can’t deny that), there’s room to love being single along the way. Whether you’re like me, a newly single serial monogamist, or someone who hates going to sleep alone every night, hopefully, this information will help you work towards loving your single life.

Realize that unhappily single is simply a mindset.

Not everyone is single and hating their life. In fact, the people in the happiest relationships were pretty ok and didn’t mind when they were single before. That’s because the whole notion of “unhappily single” is just a mindset. It’s the same concept of how being alone isn’t a feeling, it’s a state. You can either see it as solitude or lonely, that choice is up to you.

Here are some ideas for you to consider to help shift your mind about being single:

  • Finding love isn’t something to be rushed. Finding someone to spend your life with isn’t something you can force. Love comes in its own time, and rushing things will only cause yourself to feel shitty along the way.
  • There’s more to life than being in a relationship. There’s one thing we have a limited amount of in our lives: time. Refuse to waste yours being unhappy while you try to find someone to spend yours with.
  • When you’re happy, you’re less likely to settle. Insecure people will accept whatever love comes their way. But people who have a life they love to fall back on won’t be scared to draw boundaries and wait for a love that feels right.
  • Being happily single and wanting a relationship can coincide. You can value your alone time while still trying to date. You can learn to love your life without another person, while still trying to find someone to spend it with. These two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

Use this time wisely.

Having all your time to yourself when you’re single is unmatched. You can stay in and re-watch every season of Breaking Bad if you wantInstead of planning your weekend around someone else’s schedule, try out new hobbies and figure out what your interests are.

Or, if you want to focus on the bigger picture, start the business you’ve been dreaming of creating. Make a plan to pivot into a new career. Accomplish whatever goal you’ve had on your list for years now. With all this free time, you get to choose what to do with it. And when time is precious, how can having all of yours to yourself be a bad thing?

Strengthen the other relationships in your life.

Your best tool for navigating the dating field will be strong relationships outside of any romantic one. Your friends and family are great resources for when you’re going through a hard time. They’re also the people who know you the best. Sometimes, relationships get in the way of maintaining them. Use your time while single to see the people that matter most to you.

During my year off from dating, I planned two trips to see my friends that lived out of state. Traveling while single and seeing my friends at the same time had to be one of the best experiences I’d had in a long time.

Get off social media when it overwhelms you.

Social media is damaging to your psyche, especially if you feel bad about your single life. People only post the highlight reel of their relationships; never the arguments and hurt feelings. Any person can easily fall victim to feeling like their love life lacks in comparison.

Part of my single life journey was unfollowing anyone’s profile that made me feel bad. I don’t want it to seem like I think those people did it intentionally. Of course, they didn’t. But limiting that kind of content I saw helped me stay focused on bettering my life in a way that felt fulfilling.

Delete the apps, at least for now.

Dating apps are designed to be addictive; they want you to swipe without even having to think. If being constantly bombarded by profiles and hoping for something more makes you feel awful, delete your apps. There’s no need to be on them.

Instead, focus back on those newly-found activities you love to do. Go out into the world and be someone who loves their life. I promise, that kind of energy will still attract people, even when you’re not meaning to. But at the very least, you’re not wasting hours swiping on a dating app that leaves you feeling worse than when you first got on.

Create love when you feel like you need it.

If you feel desperate for someone to date when you’re single, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re quick to fill that void with whoever will give you the attention, I’d caution you to think differently. By looking for love elsewhere, you’re not filling the void that you feel inside you. Instead of trying to take love from someone, try creating some; it feels a whole lot better.

When I was single, I did more drawing and hiking and volunteering at the animal shelter, and I took up drum lessons. I did activities I loved, rather than trying to make it happen with another person. During that time, I felt so much more fulfillment from my life than dating ever gave me.

Being single isn’t this plagued part of a person’s life. You have all the power to make your life into one you love, regardless of having a romantic partner.

That way, when you do find someone, you’re the best version of yourself. That way, when love comes into your life, it’s simply the cherry on top.

Source : Medium

How to show love to those who need more than words.

The way you show affection to your partner matters.

For me, I thrive off Words of Affirmation. And if you’re at all familiar, you can tell I’m a fan of the theory of Love languages.

But whether you believe in the theory is neither here nor there. The fact is, people receive love in different ways. For some partners, telling them you love them is not enough.

If you know that physical touch means the world to your partner, you may be stuck on how to express love physically. Sure, there’s sex. But if sex is the only way you show your partner love, you’re basically friends with benefits.

My partner is a physical touch kind of guy. And while he’s never told me he feels a shortage of love, I wondered about other ways to express it physically — other than sex.

And after some thinking, observing, and straight-up asking my boyfriend, I found a few ways for people to express love physically in a non-sexual way:

Hold Their Hand

Don’t automatically knock this idea because it seems juvenile. Plenty of fully-grown adults hold hands in public.

study by Forevermark revealed that holding hands makes a relationship stronger. Couples that hold hands see their relationships as lasting longer than those who don’t.

While it might not be your jam, consider holding your partner’s hand in public as something you could warm up to. Start by doing it while out at dinner. Maybe clasp your hands while taking a walk through your neighborhood.

The simple act will show your partner you love them enough to let other people know.

Take an Extra Ten Minutes to Cuddle

When you get into a routine, it’s easy to overlook things like holding your partner in the morning.

If you’re the type to instantly jump out of bed, set your alarm for ten minutes earlier. Instead of getting out of bed once your alarm rings, spending some time holding your partner and showing them you care.

Or maybe pull your partner close to you at night before you separate for your slumber.

Cuddling feels fantastic and is a chance to be very close to your partner. Never take this act for granted.

Take a Dance Class Together

Feel like your life lacks excitement AND want to show your partner some love? Go and take a dance class together.

It doesn’t matter if you have two left feet or are rhythmically challenged; everyone has to start somewhere. Being goofy and trying something new with your partner is only going to strengthen your bond.

And all the hand-holding, waisting grabbing moves you’ll be doing means you’ll be getting physical, too.

Plus, you might even find out you love dancing.

A Massage Without an Ulterior Motive

This one goes out to all the guys: a massage doesn’t have to be just about sex! It’s possible to initiate one too, you know, make your partner’s achy body feel better.

Giving your partner a massage without any expectations is the ultimate act of physical love. You’re focusing your attention on them and rubbing your hands all over their body.

If a massage normally leads to sex, let your partner know they can simply relax. You’re not looking for anything other than letting your partner know you love them.

Kiss and Hug Each Other Goodbye

It took some awareness for me to realize that I kiss my boyfriend hello/bye, but I basically never add in a hug to the mix.

But kisses and hugs are intimate. Embracing your partner each time you see them again or before they leave reminds them how much they mean to you.

No matter how long you’ve dated, a kiss and hug never get old.

Netflix & Head Scratch

Every couple has their show. The one they only watch together (or at least promise they will).

When you and your boo are lying down to watch TV, offer them your lap to lay their head-on. Then give them a gentle head massage or scratch. It’s going to feel amazing for them.

Plus, it’s not something you have yo give much thought to when you’re already watching a show.

Squeeze their butt

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t my favorite form of physical touch.

There’s nothing better than being out and about, doing errands, and giving my boyfriend’s butt a firm squeeze. He has a great butt; not only do I want him to know that, but I also enjoy feeling it for myself.

But you don’t have to squeeze your partner’s butt in public. Maybe you’re more comfortable doing it at home when they’re making dinner.

A nice butt grab is out of the ordinary. It’s a little gesture to say, “Hey, don’t forget I love and want you.”

Physical touch is more than just sex; it’s subtle acts that can show your partner how much you appreciate them.

Everyone receives love in different ways. If your partners is physical touch, then these simple acts will go a long way.

Source : Medium

It took me three years to realize not every hobby needs to bear a dollar sign

Whenever I broke, which was often and always brutal, making food pieced me back together again.

Traveling the world from the food I make and feeling a semblance of who I used to be while eating it.

Source : Medium

On non-monogamy, commitment, and freedom.

I’ve seen more people than ever stating that they’re looking for a “non-monogamous” relationship. In dating app bios, general conversation, and on actual dates, I’m amazed at how many men I’ve encountered over the past year who specify this. They say that they’re fine with long-term just not exclusive relationships. And though I appreciate the honesty, it’s not the norm to which we’ve grown accustomed, so it seems odd.

What’s happening? Is this the new normal?

Even megastars Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith recently let it be known that they don’t consider themselves married anymore, but . For them, this means that they’ve committed to supporting one another until the end of their days and neither will have to want for anything as long as the other is alive. The couple didn’t say explicitly that they’re nonexclusive, and even denounced the idea of an open marriage — but they made it clear that romantic fidelity is not the basis of their union.

I suppose our perspective depends on where we place the greatest emphasis. There are many more heartbreaks and betrayals that can be inflicted upon us by a partner than cheating. But traditionally, monogamy has been a foundation of committed relationships, and especially marriage.

Certainly, many additional factors go into the declining marriage  and increasing cohabitation rate in the United States than wanting to sleep with other people. However, the idea of non-monogamy, and more importantly, the recent boldness in pursuing it must be an element. Expressing a desire to have multiple sex partners used to be frowned upon and reduced to being nasty or a whore. It still carries a negative connotation with some, but the perception overall has softened.

To some, non-monogamy is about freedom and autonomy.

One guy explained to me that he’s no longer interested in exclusivity because he feels it creates, for him, unrealistic demands and expectations. He sees being forthcoming with himself and others about his wants as integrous.

Younger generations seem less interested in avowing to one person for eternity. In fact, speaking of the Smiths, Will and Jada’s daughter Willow said that she views this as ownership — which to her is unappealing.

“Monogamy, I feel — this is just personally, just for me — I feel actually inhibits you from learning those skills of evolving past those feelings of insecurity,” Willow said.

The youngest Smith views monogamy as “too restricting,” but is careful to point out that it’s not because she’s constantly seeking new sexual experiences. She craves emotional connection but doesn’t want the anxiety and jealousy that often come with viewing someone as “your person.”

Willow isn’t alone.  suggests that more people than ever in the United States are or have been engaged in consensually non-monogamous relationships.

Elisabeth A. Sheff, Ph.D., said:

While it seems highly unlikely that CNM will replace serial monogamy any time soon, it certainly has taken a place alongside singleness, monogamy, and cheating in the menu of possible relationship options.

My life experience and exploration support this theory.

Perhaps we’re actually trying to be better partners by declaring intent upfront instead of attempting to meet a relationship ideal with which we struggle or don’t wish to live up to. I’d much rather someone say from the beginning that they’re not interested in monogamy and allow me to make an informed decision when the alternative is deception.

So, I don’t have an issue with this evolving trend of men I’ve witnessed specifying a desire for non-monogamy. The concept doesn’t interest me but to each his/her own. I respect the transparency.

I’m in favor of consenting adults doing what makes them happy. Also, “life partner” is a fitting term for those who simply don’t wish to, or can’t marry. It isn’t synonymous with non-monogamy. Yet, I wonder if the idea is replacing the institution of marriage.

Love remains the #1 reason people decide to wed.

There are several logical  many may decide not to tie the knot. Among them are a reluctance to enter a legally-binding union and concerns over finances. Others just consider it an outdated, obsolete tradition.

Opting out of marriage doesn’t mean that there is no commitment. Just as we all know that husbands and wives commit adultery all the time. These are only titles. It’s up to us to give them meaning. The growing popularity of non-monogamy and life-partnerships just speaks to our changing relationship landscape. I don’t know that “change” in this case is synonymous with erosion, however.

Some associate a desire for non-monogamy with a lack of self-control or values. Some equate marriage with love, and if a partner doesn’t want this, think it means they don’t care for them enough. But I can’t say that monogamy or marriage is inherently better than the opposite. I’ve just noticed a shift — in the way that we present ourselves to dating prospects and the comfort with embracing concepts that the majority may consider unsavory.

In essence, perhaps the process has become more authentic.

Source : Medium

What is an Oat?

Health Benefits

How To Make Delicious Oatmeal

Source : Youngsters

In, out. Deep, slow. Calm, ease. Smile, release.

In2015, I fell on hard times. I was in a downward spiral; the worse things got, the more I obsessed over prior misfortunes. Eckhart Tolle calls this phenomenon “the pain-body”: a state of compulsively seeking turmoil, even if it means hurting others. Your pain-body thrives on conflict and misery, so it demands that you experience anger, shame, and hopelessness as viscerally as possible.

Tolle has explained the pain-body as follows:

It has two modes of being: dormant and active. A pain-body may be dormant 90 percent of the time; in a deeply unhappy person, though, it may be active up to 100 percent of the time. Some people live almost entirely through their pain-body, while others may experience it only in certain situations, such as intimate relationships, or situations linked with past loss or abandonment, physical or emotional hurt, and so on.

Anything can trigger it, particularly if it resonates with a pain pattern from your past. When it is ready to awaken from its dormant stage, even a thought or an innocent remark made by someone close to you can activate it.

When my pain-body took over, I began to relive painful memories.

This “intrusive re-experiencing” was excruciating.

I thought about the worst moments of my life hundreds of times every day.

Therapy and exercise helped, but I needed something else.

So, five years ago, I read You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment.

It’s kind of like a manual for day-to-day living, written by a Buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hanh.

It helped, and I highly recommend it.

You can buy it online for $6.

What I want to highlight today is a meditation Hanh prescribes for people feeling overwhelmed. Some call it a “meditation poem.”

It’s very short:

In, out.

Deep, slow.

Calm, ease.

Smile, release.

Per Hanh’s instructions, I practiced reciting the poem in my mind while I breathed. As I inhaled, I would focus on the word “In.” As I exhaled, “Out.” Inhale, “Deep.” Exhale, “Slow.” You get the idea.

You don’t even have to worry about modulating your breathing.

In fact, Buddhist practice is generally to let your breath do what it wants to do during meditation.

But you will find that the mere act of monitoring your breath causes you to breathe gently.

When my thoughts were chaotic and unmanageable, Thich Nhat Hanh’s poem really helped me soothe my mind. I would sometimes imagine that I was inhaling cool air directly into my brain. I could relax, I could focus, and I could sleep better.

And you can breathe into any other source of tension in the body. Whatever ails you — your back, your joints, your stomach — try to inhale directly into the pain or discomfort.

You’ll find that you can manage the sensation, even if you still need medical care to treat the underlying cause.

Hanh’s meditation poem is the most portable life-enhancing tool I’ve ever encountered. It’s easy to memorize, and it’s very effective. You can incorporate it into your daily life without setting aside time for meditation, and I hope you will. My mind has been a calmer place since I did so.

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

Source : Medium

You’ll go to these recipes again and again for as long as it’s eggplant season

rilled eggplant is a summer favorite for good reason: It’s one of the most satisfying of summer vegetables to cook and eat. And while eggplant shines when it’s prepared on a grill, you won’t want to miss out on these eggplant meatballs, either. Read on for more.

Grilled or Roasted Eggplant Dip

Makes: 6 to 8 servings. Time: About 1 hour, largely unattended.

There is nothing like grilled eggplant, and its smoky flavor makes a sensational dip; if you grill or roast a red pepper at the same time, so much the better. Serve with bread or crackers, or use as a sandwich spread.


2 medium or 4 small eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 red bell pepper (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic, or to taste
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Turn the broiler on and position the rack about 4 inches below the heat, prepare a charcoal or gas grill for high direct cooking, or heat the oven to 500°F.

Pierce the eggplant in several places with a thin knife or skewer. Grill or roast it, along with the pepper if you’re using one, turning occasionally, until the eggplant and pepper collapse and their skins blacken, 15 to 30 minutes depending on size. Remove, wrap with foil, and let cool.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, unwrap it, make a cut in the skin (if it hasn’t split on its own), scoop out the flesh, and chop it as finely as you can manage. Peel and core the pepper if you’re using it, then chop it. Mix the eggplant and pepper with lemon juice, oil, and garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Baba Ghanoush
A little more elaborate: Omit the oil and bell pepper. While the eggplant is grilling or roasting, toast 1/2 cup pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking occasionally, just until they begin to brown. When the eggplant is cool, put it in the food processor with the pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, реpper, and 1/3 cup tahini. Process until very smooth, adding a few teaspoons water or olive oil it necessary. Taste and add salt and/or more lemon juice or garlic to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

— Recipe from How to Cook Everything

Eggplant Meatballs

Makes: 4 servings. Time: About an hour, largely unattended.

Vegetable meatballs are certainly they’re not the same as meat meatballs, but the different textures and flavors are terrific. To round out the meal, serve these over pasta, rice, salad, or steamed greens with a squeeze of lemon.


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into cubes no larger than 1 inch

1 teaspoon salt

1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon pepper

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup cooked or canned white beans

1 ⁄ 4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 cup breadcrumbs

Pinch red chile flakes (optional)

2 cups any tomato sauce (like this one)


Heat the oven to 375°F. Use 1 tablespoon olive oil to grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Put 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the eggplant and 1 ⁄ 4 cup water. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic and return to the heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until they’re soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the beans; if using canned, rinse them before draining. Add the beans and parsley to the work bowl with the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not pureed.

Toss the eggplant mixture with the onion and garlic, then add the breadcrumbs and red chile flakes if you’re using them. taste and adjust the seasoning. Roll the mixture into 12 balls about 2 inches in diameter; transfer them to the prepared pan. Bake, undisturbed, until they’re firm and well browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the tomato sauce. serve the meatballs hot or at room temperature along with the tomato sauce.

— Recipe from The VB6 Cookbook

Eggplant Parmesan With Grill-Roasted Tomato Sauce

Makes: 4 servings. Time: 40 to 50 minutes.

This recipe is so easy and fast you’ll never go back to breading and frying. The sauce is nothing more than chopped grill-roasted cherry tomatoes — all the seasoning they need is a little salt to heighten their natural flavor, concentrated as they gently hiss over a hot fire.


5 Tablespoons olive oil

2 eggplants, 3/4 to 1 pound each

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

6 cups cherry or grape tomatoes

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

About 1 cup fresh basil leaves

8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella


Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium-high direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.

Peel the eggplant if you like, and cut each lengthwise into 4 slices not more than ¾ inch thick each. Whisk 4 tablespoons of the oil and the vinegar together with some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush the eggplant slices with the oil mixture on both sides. Put them on a baking sheet until you’re ready to grill them.

Toss the tomatoes with the remaining tablespoon of oil and either skewer them or put them in a perforated grill pan and spread them into a single layer.

Put the tomatoes on the grill, directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, turning the skewers or shaking the pan several times, until they start to look wrinkled and get charred in places, 5 to 8 minutes total. Don’t let them cook too long; they should be saucy when you cut them up. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl.

Put the eggplant on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook until the slices are browned and tender, 5 to 8 minutes per side.

While the eggplant is cooking, chop the tomatoes by hand on a cutting board or in the bowl with an immersion blender, leaving the sauce somewhat chunky. If you chopped by hand, transfer the tomatoes and any juices back to the bowl. Sprinkle the sauce with salt and pepper; taste and adjust the seasoning.

As the eggplant is ready, transfer the slices to a platter. Top each slice with 2 tablespoons parmesan, a layer of basil leaves, and a layer of mozzarella. Return the slices to direct heat, close the lid, and cook until the mozzarella melts, 4 to 5 minutes. Return the eggplant to the platter. Reheat the tomato sauce if you like, top the eggplant with the sauce, and serve.

— Recipe from How to Grill Everything

Grilled Eggplant Salad With Yogurt and Tomatoes

Serves 4. Time: 30 to 45 minutes.

A room-temperature salad at the intersection of savory, smoky, tart, and refreshing. Eat it as is, over a bed of baby spinach or steamed basmati rice, or stuffed into pitas. If cherry tomatoes look better, use them instead of the big guys. Skewer about a dozen — or toss them in a perforated grill pan — and grill them with the eggplant for a double dose of fire flavor.


1 large eggplant, 1 1/2 pound

1/2 cup good quality olive oil, plus more for brushing

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 or 2 minced cloves garlic

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

1 large or two medium fresh tomatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks

Ground sumac for garnish, optional


Start a charcoal or wood fire or preheat a gas grill. Make sure the grates are clean.

Peel the eggplants if you’d like. Cut into 3/4 inch slices. Brush with oil and salt and pepper to taste, both sides.

Put the eggplants on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid, turning once, until the slices develop deep grill marks and are tender, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Brush the eggplant with more oil if it starts to look dry. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces.

Put the yogurt, garlic, scallions, mint, and lemon juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and eggplant to the yogurt and stir to coat. Serve chilled or bring to room temperature and garnish with sumac if you’d like.

— Recipe from How to Grill Everything

Source : Medium

Monday through Friday isn’t for everyone

With many physical offices closed for the foreseeable future, the regular workweek has seldom seemed like a more artificial construct for office workers. Commutes have been replaced by a short amble to the desk, if you aren’t just tapping away on your laptop from the heights of Mount Duvet. And the “weekend,” especially for those without children, has become a rather abstract concept.

With the world in flux, it’s not surprising that the shape of the workweek is shifting too. It wouldn’t be the first time. After the French Revolution, the government implemented a radical calendar: From 1793 to 1805, French workers operated on a 10-day week with one full day and one half day off. Stalin tried something similar: For 11 years, the Soviet Union had no weekends, working a five-day “continuous week” with staggered days off.

Obviously neither of those systems had staying power, and few would welcome similar state-mandated shifts in the workweek today. But there’s also no need for us to be so universally wedded to the five-days-on, two-days-off workweek. It’s a vestige of early 20th-century industrial labor, a far cry from the realities of the modern connected workplace. Technology has allowed us to be productive on our own time, yet somehow we’re still committed to that structure of a 40-hour week.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Remote work has given us more options for flexibility than ever before — and many are learning that one size doesn’t fit all. Now is a great time to consider whether the Monday-through-Friday workweek is truly right for you, or whether another structure works better for your needs and rhythms. Here are some options.

1. The four-day workweek

It sounds like a fantasy: full pay, full work output, and 80% as much time chained to your computer. It’s a relatively new concept, but the little data that exists on the four-day week is very promising. In early 2018, a New Zealand company called Perpetual Guardian ran an eight-week experiment with its 240 employees. Workers would set out to accomplish the same work for the same pay — with three days off rather than two.

The results were striking: Workers were more productive, more efficient, and happier. Two years on, the company has a permanent option of a four-day workweek (though the company retains the right to “withdraw” the extra day off if employees aren’t getting their work done). Since then, founder Andrew Barnes reports, revenue has increased by 6% and profitability by 12.5%. “This is a work revolution whose time has come,” Barnes wrote in Marker.

If you think that it could be the right option for you, try pitching it to your boss, but make sure you’ve given some careful thought ahead of time to exactly how it would work. First, consider who else it could affect and how your new schedule might affect everybody else on your time. Then, be prepared for tricky questions.

2. The early start

If you’re at your sharpest while the sun is still low in the sky, go with that instinct. Working from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. could be a fantastic way to maximize productivity and make the most of your early-bird body clock. While the rest of the world wakes up, you’ll have the quiet you need to focus and get a head start on the day’s tasks without interruptions from chatty colleagues or demanding clients. By the time your first morning Zoom calls starts, you’ll be prepared and hopefully in the right headspace.

There are other advantages: According to researchers from the University of Washington, managers often display a bias toward early birds. Even when total work hours were the same, employees who began earlier were consistently rated as better performers and more conscientious.

Working a slightly different schedule could give you more time to spend with nonworking members of your family. And outside of a pandemic, it’s also a sure-fire way of escaping rush hour traffic.

3. The 21-hour week

You probably can’t just march into your boss’s office and ask them to halve your hours. But if you’re considering going part-time and are able to take a pay cut, the benefits are huge: Voluntary part-time workers are often happier and feel better able to take care of themselves and their families.

In heterosexual couples, there’s a strong feminist argument for both partners to work part-time, if it’s financially feasible, in order to engage more equally in the emotional and physical labor of running a household and shared life. Women in the U.K. spend an average of 16.8 hours a week in paid work and 29.75 hours in unpaid work according to data from Eurostat. For men, the numbers are reversed at 29.16 hours of paid work and 16.1 hours unpaid. Balancing out the discrepancy could lead to a more equal sharing of childcare and other responsibilities, making it easier for women to succeed.

It’s one reason why the think tank New Economics Foundation has proposed a 21-hour week as the standard for the 21st century. They argue that it’s best for everyone: As well as creating more gender equality, it would help countries to decarbonize by cutting down on commutes, spread labor and resources more evenly, and make workers happier and more productive.

4. The five-hour workday

If you’re able to manage your own time, there’s no reason to be “on” for the standard eight-hour day. Digital marketer Felicia Sullivan advocates for working smarter rather than harder or longer. By gut-renovating her own workweek, she has managed to maintain a cool five-hour workday, five days a week. “I don’t get less done,” she writes. “I just do it in less time, freeing myself up for the things that matter.”

Her own strategies involve confining phone calls to Thursday and Tuesdays, mapping out blocks of time on her calendar, and avoiding task-switching at all costs. Sullivan also automates as many processes as possible.

One nonnegotiable part of her workday is a morning walk, Sullivan writes: “I take my walks in silence, free of distraction, because I know the rest of my day will be filled with noise. That lone hour gets my body moving, my head ready, and my heart anxious to dive into the work I absolutely love — in healthy moderation.”

5. The seven-day workweek

It sounds terrible, but hear me out: For some people, working a few hours every day can solve the conundrum of the pandemic weekend.

“When the world was put on lockdown, weekends quickly started to feel exactly like weekdays, only with less work and stimuli,” wrote Stephen Moore in Forge. “And I started feeling off. I was anxious, unsatisfied, bored.”

For Moore, waking up early on Saturday and Sunday to get in a few hours of work before lunch put a stop to 48 hours of “Netflix and doomscrolling,” he said. And it has done wonders for his mental health: “Working on the weekends actually helps me relax — when my workday is over, I can be fully off, knowing that I spent my morning being productive.”

This could work for some people even during non-pandemic times. More than 70% of American workers check their work email outside of office hours. If you’re already working far beyond your office hours, why not embrace it? That might mean working 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays and then slotting in eight hours of work spread over the weekend.

6. The 30-hour workweek

It’s easier to make the case for a 30-hour workweek than you might anticipate. That’s the lesson from one long-ranging Swedish study, where nurses at a Swedish retirement home were put on six-hour shifts with an eight-hour salary.

On the face of it, nursing seems like one of the professions least suited to a shorter workday. Patients often need support around the clock, and medical care can’t generally be rushed. But the retirement home found that its bottom line was barely affected, even after taking on more nurses to cover the extra hours. Over a year, nurses on the new schedule took half as much sick time and were almost three times less likely to take time off in a given two-week period. More than that, they were happier and more focused.

Those are the points to lead with if you’re considering proposing it to your employer: that with this new schedule, you’ll be a more productive, more satisfied employee. That’s a change that’s as helpful for them as it is for you.

7. The classic five and two

Love working 9 to 5, Monday to Friday? Great! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Source : Medium

You don’t feel like yourself but you can’t walk away

When you’re on the other side of a toxic relationship it can be so easy to look back and identify all of the red flags and signs that you missed.

However, when you are in the relationship it’s not nearly as easy. Normally we don’t go into a situation analyzing every single part of our partner’s behavior.

No, because instead we are getting excited when they call us and jumping at every chance to see them. We aren’t keeping a list of all the times we are putting forth effort while they reap the benefits because we like them. We aren’t keeping score.

The reality is that normally when you are in a relationship with a narcissist you aren’t going to realize it until you have a moment of clarity and start doing your own research.

However, if you aren’t sure, here are five signs that you are in a relationship with a narcissist.

Something within you hesitates to make future plans

When my narcissistic ex mentioned getting an apartment together I remember a flood of emotions and thoughts that came into my mind but the main one that I could identify was fear.

My partner never followed through on our plans and his promises. He claimed that moving in together would change things but I knew in my gut that moving in together was not going to make it better.

A narcissist doesn’t want to make plans because they want to be in full control. You can’t plan for a future unless you give up what you want because otherwise, it’s not going to happen.

Remember, when you are in a healthy relationship you will be excited to make future plans with your partner.

You are putting in 100% effort and getting nothing in return

Let me ask you if this sounds familiar.

You drive to their house

You are a slave to their schedule

You always apologizing and taking any blame

You are the only one fighting for the relationship

If you are in a relationship with a narcissist you will realize that your needs are never acknowledged or met and you have will be putting them first. Yet, the less they acknowledge you, the more you will do to try to get their attention and “love” again.

Your body is telling you something is wrong

Every day I would wake up sick to my stomach. My anxiety was so high I constantly felt like I was on high alert.

Although I was telling myself in my head that I had met the love of my life and I was so happy, my body was reacting completely differently.

Our bodies often tell us what we don’t want to face.

My gut told me that we wouldn’t have much time together and that I needed to get out. I just didn’t want to listen to it right away.

You don’t feel like yourself but you can’t walk away

In a healthy relationship, your partner will want to encourage you to be your best self.

When I was in a relationship with a narcissist it was the complete opposite. I didn’t feel supported. He constantly encouraged toxic behavior and would get frustrated when I didn’t want to party every night. At work, he would tell me that I would never get a promotion.

I felt like my heart was tearing in two every day that I woke up. It was easy to admit that I wasn’t happy and at one point I walked away, but quickly let the narcissist back into my life for a second chance, and then a third.

I didn’t realize at the time that I was in a trauma bond and that is why I was struggling so hard to let go.

What can you do if you are in this situation?

Having a relationship with someone who had narcissistic personality disorder affected my mental state for years after. The gaslighting and manipulation left me with PTSD and trauma that I am still working through to this very day.

If you are in this situation you have to get out. The more time that you spend with them the harder it is going to be to break out of the cycle and reclaim your life.

Once you end the relationship and identify that you were in an unhealthy and often abusive situation there are steps that you can take to start healing.

It’s not going to be easy, and it’s going to take a lot of working on your sense of self, but I promise you that it’s so much better on the other side.

So don’t fool yourself into thinking you can.

young woman told me she didn’t like her partner’s dress sense.

But when we explored her thoughts the problem was not his clothes — it was his behaviour on social occasions.

He could be opinionated and “rough around the edges” and that didn’t fit with the image she presented and wanted others to have of them as a couple.

“Am I being unfair?” she asked. “I know you’re supposed to let people be who they are. I just think he could try a little harder to rein it in.”

It was an interesting niggle, which often crops up when two people start to get serious about their relationship. They desperately want “their people” to like their partner so they become more conscious — even critical — of his or her appearance and behaviour.

But it’s not about being fair. It’s about being honest about what matters to you — for whatever reason. And it’s about seeing your partner clearly, accepting (and loving) who they are and recognising what you can change and what you can’t — and shouldn’t — touch.

Here’s a guide to help.

6 Things You’ll Never Change in a Partner

“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” ― Deborah Reber

1. Their history.

We all bring “baggage” into our relationships. Not just through our previous experiences with partners, but all the drama, wounds and scars we’ve picked from the cradle onwards.

While our histories shouldn’t be life-defining, they are hugely influential in who we are now. They affect our psychological health, our emotional capacity, our communication and conflict styles and the ways we’ve learned to love (or not). And then there’s our people. Our families, for better or worse, our old friends and the way those groups operate. So look (hard) before you sign on the dotted line. And be honest about your partner’s relationship with their people. Is it estranged, close, too close, enmeshed? Can you live with that?

2. The stuff (and people) they’re drawn to.

We all have our own quirks and (sometimes weird) interests. We know who we like to hang out with. People will often say they don’t like their partner’s friends — which is fair enough, but you need to be wary of the consequences if you try to separate them, even if your motivation is sound.

I recall a young woman who hated rugby who wanted her sports-mad partner to quit watching it so they could spend more time together. He tried, but the loss of both his passion, and the time that gave him with his mates, caused resentment. The moral of the story? You can’t control what and who someone else is drawn to, at least not without kickback. The best you can hope for is that they’re open to other things as well.

3. Their addictions.

Drugs, alcohol, porn, food, cigarettes…if your partner has an addictive problem, it’s theirs to own and theirs to decide what to do with. You can provide encouragement and support, but if they’re not up for working on it, you’ve already lost the race.

4. Their choices and regrets.

The choices people make and the things they have (or haven’t) done with their lives often stay with them for many years — and can be a source of angst between couples.

You can help to make it up to them (e.g. if your partner regrets never having travelled, you can plan a trip.) But you can’t change their choices or the way they feel about them. You can’t free them of guilt or shame or loss. Those things are for them to explore, accept and overcome.

5. Their capacity for love

Some people have seemingly unlimited capacity for love. Others have very little, which is often the fallout of their difficult or traumatic history. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle — we do our best, but we’re flawed: we don’t always get it right.

I’ve seen decent, well-meaning people have their hearts broken by people who struggle to love — because they’ve kept hoping, kept believing if they love them consistently enough, they will change. People can learn to love if they’re up for it: if they’re open to understanding what has made them this way and getting help for it. But, when they can’t do that (or refuse to try), you need to understand this is the way they are, and either decide to live with it or step away.

6. Their brand of crazy

We’re all a little crazy. We truly are. We all have complexities (even if we try to hide or bury them), unhelpful beliefs; dysfunctional ties that bind; negative, recurring thoughts; things that tap our vulnerabilities and trip us up.

Here’s the cool thing, though. The fact that we are all crazy doesn’t matter at all. It’s our ability to “get” each other, to tolerate and forgive, and to love in spite of it, that makes all the difference.

Source : Medium