Let's Hear It for the Girlfriends

How Fem-ships Boost Happiness and Health

Our fabulous girlfriends, whether they’re new, old or our most trusted confidants, are invaluable to our well-being. Some women instinctively seek out other women to connect with when they’re stressed out. Besides just being fun and beneficial on a deep emotional level, female bonding gives women the kind of nurturing and support that encourages a healthier life and a better emotional well-being.

Friends with Function
You may find that you have different groups of friends that serve different purposes in the varying aspects of your life. Having a squad of women you admire and respect to get together with after work or for a Sunday evening movie can rescue you from the mundane. Your girlfriends can bring laughter and joy to your life while broadening your social circle. Not everyone in the group needs to be a close friend; the goal is for the group to have fun and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Our dearest female friends are the trusted few who know us well, listen to us when we’re upset, commiserate with us, and offer insight, as we do for them. Many married or partnered women often count on these friends to talk about the things they can’t discuss with their mate.

Studies show that having friends at work enhances happiness and productivity at work, much like your friends in grade school. They also help us network on the job and expand our circle of friends and contacts. Work friends often become life friends, but communication can sometimes drop off when we change jobs. 

Keep In Touch
The true purpose of friends is to support each other as you grow and change. The time we spend with them is precious and provides a balance between work and family. When life gets busy, fem-ships are often neglected. Instead of disappearing from your friends’ lives, do little things to let them know they are on your mind. Meet up for coffee, give a quick call or send a text. A simple message saying, “I’m thinking of you. I should be out from under all of this extra work in the next two weeks!” shows a sincere effort to on your part  to those that are important to you. When friends live far away, schedule a call at a time when you won’t be bothered for so you catch up with each other. Keeping  your female connections close is one of the most important facets of a woman’s life.

Staying Motivated in 2017

Tips on how to get your groove back and keep it

The New Year is in full swing and if you’re like most people, some of those resolutions you were excited about may have already slipped to the wayside. As we settle back into our everyday lives, a little motivation might be necessary to get you back on track. If you find yourself in need of a mental or physical pick-me-up, here are some simple tips to help you bounce back into 2017:

Break a Sweat
One of the best ways to clear your mind is to move your body! Exercising at least 20 minutes every day will give your psyche a boost; whether it’s a walk or a yoga class or any other physical activity that you love.  If you need motivation, try scheduling your workouts in advance and writing them in your calendar as part of your day. Having a workout buddy to help keep you accountable (and vice-versa) can also keep you on track.

Clean Out the Clutter
It can be hard to find your groove when you’re surrounded by clutter. Clothes that you don’t wear anymore, old magazines, paperwork; anything you’re holding onto that you don’t really need is just taking up space in your life. Clear your closet of any clothes that you haven’t worn in 1 year. You could also apply this rule of organization to other things in your home or office that do not serve a purpose.

Volunteer
We often get wrapped up in our own lives and lose sight of how fortunate we truly are. Consider volunteering to help others. Decide what cause is closest to your heart and find charities or organizations in your area that are a good fit. Even if you can only give a few hours a month, it is sure to lift your spirits.

Friend Time
Friendship is a vital part of our lives. Studies have shown that people with multiple social contacts and outlets are generally healthier and happier. At least once a week, schedule time to see a friend; even if it is only a 15-minute coffee date. You’ll leave your hangout feeling connected and content.

Play Time!
You may find yourself consumed with work or household tasks, leaving you without any “play time”. Take a cue from a child’s life and take some time to have fun! Being silly and laughing can relieve you of stress and boost your motivation as well.

Valentine’s Date Night Movies

What to watch if you’re staying in

Valentine’s Day is upon us and while this annual celebration of love is usually associated with a night out on the town, the simple truth is it can be just as romantic,  if not more so, to stay in. So if you’re among the many to hear the call of your couch on February 14th, why not redefine Netflix and chill with one of these Valentine’s Day classics?  

Moonstruck
A late 80’s classic that won Cher an Oscar for Best Actress. This heartfelt, inspiring and utterly authentic romantic comedy set in Brooklyn is about passion, fate and never settling for anything less than a perfect match.

The Way We Were
In need of a good cry? Look no further. The Way We Were is a cinematicreflection on what makes two people click versus what makes a relationship work. It’s the ultimate tear-jerker for those who feel that “the one” may have gotten away.

Before Sunrise/Before Sunset
Ready to reminisce? The first two installments of this Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke trilogy will have you feeling like a kid again. They may also remind you that magic exists and can be recaptured!

Sleepless in Seattle
And you thought your love faced obstacles. Visit an era when dating apps were unimaginable and there was no FaceTime for long distance relationships in the film that made Hanks and Ryan the rom-com couple.

Four Weddings and a Funeral
Get ready to swoon over Hugh Grant at his most charming. Andie MacDowell plays the American he falls for in Richard Curtis’s first, and quite possibly best film; and he’s the guy who brought us Love Actually!

Bull Durham
This  is a film where the female lead has all the power,and yet it’s still a “guy’s movie”.Kevin Costner’s speech defining love is one for the record booksand Susan Sarandon smolders as the woman caught between him and a younger, dumber Tim Robbins.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Would you erase your heartbreak if you could? Eternal Sunshine will help even the most broken heart heal by realizing that everything in love is worth remembering – even the hard parts!

Staying in High Spirits

Quick tips to get you through a rough day

Whether you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, things aren’t going as planned, or you’re just in a general funk, research tells us that there are plenty of effective ways to boost your spirits with a small amount of effort. Here are a few action plans with feel-good benefits to help you turn your mood around.

First Thing in the Morning
If you had a bad night or wake up feeling off, open the drapes and roll up the shades to let as much light into your home as possible. Start your daily regimen, like having a cup of coffee, by a window or outside, weather permitting, to get even more vitamin D. Ask for an extra-long hug from your mate or children, or snuggle with your pooch to activate more  good mood benefits. Wear your “happy” clothes, the ones you feel the most confident in,  – to guarantee some extra comfort and maybe a few compliments.

At The Office
If your office is dark or isolated, get out every once in a while. Head to the break room, go say hello to a co-worker or look out a window, to re-energize when office issues have you on edge. A walk around the block during your lunch break gives the mind and body a healthy dose of well-being, as studies show that exercise can turn a negative mood around in just minutes. Checking out photos of loved ones, friends or pets, on your phone is another quick pick-me-up.

After Work
Do something good for yourself!  Music triggers your pleasure center, so play what soothes you or moves you to do your “happy” dance around the house. You can also take a moment to think about the good things in life, take a hot bath, watch your favorite movie or call a friend.  It can also be helpful to take the emphasis off of yourself and do something good for someone else. Being kind to others is a highly effective mood booster. Bring your neighbor cupcakes just because or give your great aunt a long overdue call.
Most importantly, take a minute to smile during the day. Smiling activates your brain’s happiness center. If it doesn’t feel real, just keep on smiling. It really works, I promise. 
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