- Category: Blog
Physical fitness is a general state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports or occupations. Physical fitness is generally achieved through correct nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical activity, exercise and rest. It is a set of attributes or characteristics seen in people and which relate to the ability to perform a given set of physical activities.
We know that most jobs require a measure of physical and/or mental labor to execute them properly. And we should have a good idea of how much labor is required ahead of time. But there are a good number of jobs that also require something called emotional labor.
Put simply, emotional labor consists of managing feelings and expressions to fulfill the emotional requirements of a job. For instance, a cashier or server having to put on a constant smile to keep customers happy — even though the worker may not be happy themselves.
Many people may not realize how much they expend emotional labor every day because practicing habits that help us put forth a pleasant attitude for strangers in public is part of our social norms.
But while you may not be able to totally avoid emotional labor in our day-to-day — especially working in the service industry — it shouldn’t cost your emotional and mental wellbeing. There are ways to manage it while avoiding burnout.
Though the term emotional labor has become more widely known in recent years, it’s also commonly misused.
It was originally introduced by sociologist Arlie Hochschild in 1983, as a term presented in her book The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling. By her own original definition, emotional labor is when your paid work centrally involves trying to feel the right feeling for the job.
She identifies the following as jobs that require emotional labor:
It can also be required of those working in the food service industry, retail, and the healthcare industry.
On the flipside (and contrary to popular assumption) emotional labor shouldn’t be confused with feelings attached to the following:
So, to be clear, emotional labor isn’t about how you feel about the work itself. Rather, it’s the front-facing emotions that you need to have in order to execute the full requirements of the work.
In an interview with The Atlantic, Hochschild says that emotional labor ultimately involves evoking and suppressing feelings.
“The point is that while you may also be doing physical labor and mental labor, you are crucially being hired and monitored for your capacity to manage and produce a feeling.”
Some jobs that contain a great deal of emotional labor in the job requirements include:
Since emotional labor is seen as the invisible work of managing other people’s emotions, it isn’t just confined to your daily occupation. It can easily creep into home life, interfering with personal relationships, too.
If someone feels the need to give less than genuine emotions in a relationship, or if someone often has to succumb to emotional demands in order to maintain a friendship, those are also examples of emotional labor.
Emotional labor differs from mental labor, physical labor, and emotional exhaustion because it primarily deals with the management of others’ feelings as opposed to your own.
|Emotional labor||Mental labor|
|Politely apologizing for the 10th time after another customer scolds you for a small mistake on their food order that you didn’t make||Going over data for the 10th time so you can prepare for a big presentation the following morning|
|Emotional labor||Physical labor|
|Smiling to welcome guests at an amusement park even though you’re still reeling from the bad news you received||Cleaning the food court for the third time that day as an employee of the amusement park|
|Emotional labor||Emotional exhaustion|
|Making the kids in your class laugh to keep them engaged even though you just found out that you can’t pay for your parent’s assisted living||Your friend just shared some great news with you, but after a chaotic week, you’re too emotionally numb to react as expected|
Emotional labor can cause burnout, which stems from prolonged exposure to a stressful work environment. It’s a state of exhaustion that is dysfunctional and can actually lead to reduced job performance.
According to a 2018 research review, data from a 2007 study surveying 2,055 service and sales workers found that emotional labor is associated with an increased risk for depressive mood in female workers and in men who have lower-paying jobs.
It can even cause serious physical health conditions. Another study found that emotional labor has been linked to the loss of memory, depersonalization, hypertension, heart disease, and has even been shown to exacerbate cancer.
Despite the serious effects emotional labor can have on our health, we tend to think it’s just part of the package that comes with the job.
Anxiety can stem directly from emotional labor due to the toll it can take if unmanaged.
Stress and anxiety go hand in hand, and can be triggered by something happening that makes you feel frustrated or nervous, which can then trigger anxiety.
Having to be in these situations commonly in the workplace can fuel distressing anxiety cycles, which worsen as each situation is repeated, as you associate politeness and professionalism with those feelings of anxiety.
It’s important that you draw boundaries so that emotional labor doesn’t have a negative effect on other parts of your life.
You may be dealing with emotional labor if you ask yourself any of the following questions:
It can be difficult to draw boundaries, especially in a work environment. But there are ways to address or manage your emotional labor without being rude or aggressive.
When a customer has scolded you for not providing their proper shoe size.
Response: “I am sorry that we do not have your size, but I have checked, and I am certain it’s not in stock. However, I can recommend a shop that supplies similar clothing, as I have other things to do now.”
Your partner goes back on their promise to do something, and you’re annoyed because you know it won’t get done unless you do it.
Response: “I’m feeling tired. We agreed you would do this. I have done what I needed to do, and now you need to do the same.”
“Thank you for your text message, but for my own personal boundaries, I hope we can continue our professional conversation via email.”
“That is something I am not comfortable doing and I hope that you can respect that.”
“I feel that I am being asked for more than the position stated. It would be great if we could arrange a meeting to discuss my duties and what is expected of me.”
It is important to be assertive, to get your point across, but in a way that doesn’t cause confrontation.
It can be helpful to examine your thoughts and feelings to find out if your stress or anxiety stems from emotional labor. It can also be helpful to pinpoint when your stress or anxiety feels like it’s at its peak.
Talking to a therapist could help, not only with releasing built-up emotions, but also with providing specific boundaries and talking points helpful for navigating emotional labor.
It’s important to understand the prevalence of emotional labor while not ignoring the potential impact on your mental and emotional health. It takes practice to identify it, but with self-awareness and honest communication, you can learn how to manage it like a pro.
I’m at a loss for words as to how to describe the 2020 election cycle — or 2020 in general, for that matter. So I will direct you to this video of “two lynx having an intense conversation.” Or you can consider it actual footage of the first presidential debate. It’s your call.
The 2020 election has been intense. And that’s not a surprise, because so much is at stake. But it has also been absurd. (Kanye was on my MF-ing ballot, y’all.)
Obviously, we don’t know how the election will turn out, or if we’ll even have a bona fide decision on November 3… or the next day… or the next… The magic eight ball says, “Reply hazy, try again.”
What we do know is that Election Day and that evening will be a wild ride. So buckle up! But don’t worry — we’ve put together this survival guide to help you get through it.
No one can really answer this question for you — except you. You have to decide what’s best for your well-being.
Keep in mind that by the time Election Day has rolled around and you’ve cast your vote, you can’t do anything else to change the course of the election. No amount of refreshing your news or social feed will alter the end result. So give yourself permission to relax.
Remember that you’ve performed your civic duty with your ballot and done your part. And every vote matters! Maybe you’ve even donated cash — every dollar counts — to a campaign you feel strongly about or sent postcards or called others to encourage them to vote for a particular candidate. The point is that the work is done.
Also, you can’t do Election Day wrong, whether you watch the news or bury your face in your dog’s fur at 5 p.m. But it can be helpful to decide your Election Day personality ahead of time. Take your middle name, the first street you lived on, and divide it by the square root of a litter of kittens. Kidding! This is more about how you plan to tackle election night information.
However you choose to dive in to the Election Day news cycle, remember to take breaks early and often. Check in on your Animal Crossing pals. Scratch and sniff your “I voted” sticker. “Home Edit” your pantry by eating snacks in rainbow order.
Just be sure to step away from the screens for a bit. And if you must stay glued, remember that “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central will have its own live election coverage, called “Votegasm 2020: What Could Go Wrong? (Again).”
You might be tempted to doomscroll. Or root out posts that have fake news. Or comment on other people’s posts to set them straight. But like you, others have already cast their votes and made up their minds by Election Day. So chances are any energy spent trying to change someone’s mind is wasted energy — and shaming someone for their actions or beliefs won’t lead to change anyway.
That doesn’t mean you can’t engage with social media. Just keep it in check. Like your friends’ “I voted” selfies, post your own, and engage in online convos that encourage you to be the change you wish to see in the world. If you have to, you can always sit on your thumbs.
Let’s be real: You can eat whatever suits your fancy on election night — or any night, obviously. I’ll probably superstitiously consume all the marshmallows in a box of Lucky Charms. #AddsToGroceryOrder
Election night, though, likely calls for some good old-fashioned comfort food to keep you sated, carbed-up, and calm while you watch what happens with the fraught electoral college.
What is comfort food? It can be anything, really. What’s your go-to when you don’t feel so great? I’m a sucker for grilled cheese and tomato soup. What’s a food you always asked your parents to make when you were little? My dad used to melt my ice cream in the microwave. We called it Sloopy-Sloppy. But you can call 2020 that if you want to. Need some ideas? We’ve got you!
Obviously, not everyone drinks, so please skip this section if it’s not appropriate for your election night plan.
Personally, I admit I will have red wine lips while I cheer or holler at the map of battleground states on my TV, though I might switch to a cocktail if the mood strikes.
I’ve curated some old favorites for you and given them election-y names just for the absurdity of it all. As always, remember to drink in moderation, and absolutely do not drink and drive.
The election is almost over. Just hang in there. I know that in the months leading up to it — and even before that — you’ve probably asked yourself what David asked himself after that fateful dentist trip: “Is this real life?” It is indeed real life. And we will get through it. And we will tackle whatever comes afterward.
Obviously, I’ve made jokes throughout this piece to bring some levity to the situation. But the truth of the matter is that we do have a lot at stake.
If you’re feeling a ton of anxiety over the election — who isn’t? — try to remember that the Oval Office isn’t the only one to keep your eye on. Every candidate elected has the power to effect change. So celebrate the victories at the state level, too, folks! Because there will be victories. And we will take them as they come.
Jennifer Chesak is a Nashville-based freelance book editor and writing instructor. She’s also an adventure travel, fitness, and health writer for several national publications. She earned her Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill and is working on her first fiction novel, set in her native state of North Dakota.
A lot of us are sizing down our Thanksgiving festivities this year. Whether you’re missing family or relieved about there being fewer dishes, there’s one definite upside to a gathering of two: way less competition for pie leftovers.
Though the recipes may be smaller when you’re prepping and cooking a Thanksgiving for two, the meal can still be full of all the good, traditional stuff you love: turkey, dressing, sides, sweets — and all the joy.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best recipes for a smaller — yet mighty! — Thanksgiving dinner for two people, plus how to make it a cozy experience for you and your loved one.
Let’s be honest: A Thanksgiving dinner with all the bells and whistles creates a ton of dirty dishes. Rather than spend time scrubbing and cleaning, you can sit back and relax with this super-easy two-sheet-pan Thanksgiving dinner. It takes less time but still packs plenty of flavor with sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, stuffing, and yep, turkey!
You don’t have to skip any of your favorite go-to Thanksgiving dishes with this sheet pan recipe. It covers the classics — from turkey to sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Win, win, and yum!
If you want to take the traditional route and bake up a full turkey, just look for a smaller bird when you’re at the grocery store. Then, have fun with flavors, like the ones found in this recipe, including orange and rosemary.
A big ol’ turkey for all your aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings makes total sense. But there’s only so much leftover turkey you can gobble down. Instead, consider taking a different approach with these garlic and spinach turkey meatballs.
Instead of roasting a full turkey, scale down and focus on the breasts. This yummy recipe is simple to follow and requires a fraction of the prep time. The end product is a fall-off-your-fork, make-your-mouth-water tender dinner.
If you aren’t committed to Team Turkey — or don’t want to spend all day tending to a bird in the oven — roasting parts of a chicken is a low stress, high reward alternative. You can throw together these buttery rosemary-lemon drumsticks in less than 40 minutes. Praise be.
It’s your Thanksgiving — you can eat tenderloin if you want to! Honestly, though, there really aren’t any rules, and the sweet and savory marinade for this pork dish will have you saying, “Turkey? Never heard of her.”
Baked salmon may seem like an odd choice for Turkey Day, but salmon, loaded with flavor and nutrients, is a special occasion type of food. Plus, many of the classic side dishes — like carrots, potatoes, and brussels sprouts — pair perfectly with salmon.
This rainbow of sweetly roasted carrots is the perfect veggie side dish to round out a spread for two. Herb-speckled and tossed with fresh lemon, it looks and tastes fancy and is still easy to pull off.
There’s a reason brussels sprouts are a mainstay on the Thanksgiving table — no matter if it’s set for two, three, or a dozen. They’re a versatile member of the cabbage family and can be dressed up or down with oils, spices, and even bacon. Consider this recipe a starting point and add your own touches.
A must in Southern homes, this gooey, warming dish will soothe you from the inside. Plus, it’s a piece of cake to throw together. If you’re hesitant about the amount of dairy, you can substitute almond milk and lactose-free cheese.
You can’t have Thanksgiving without some sort of sweet potato recipe. We like this one for the sweet additions of maple syrup and brown sugar, which pair nicely with the tartness of cranberry sauce and the crisp taste of green beans or brussels sprouts.
This cranberry relish gets a lovely sweet tang from the addition of orange. It’s perfect for slathering on your turkey or chicken slices or just enjoying all by itself.
Last — but definitely not least — don’t forget the gravy! This simple recipe doesn’t take much effort but will add even more goodness to your turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.
Note: You’ll need turkey or chicken drippings to make this gravy.
A personalized apple crisp is the perfect cap to your dinner. But if you and your Thanksgiving partner want to skip dinner altogether and just have these crisps, that’s fine by us.
These rich, pumpkin-y puppies are to die for. The graham cracker crust adds a crumbly texture to the thick, creamy filling. Try not to get drool on your keyboard.
Rather than have a dessert that lasts only one night, make these cookies to enjoy for a few days. These adorable pecan pie thumbprints are sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup, which give them an extra-rich flavor.
By prepping your ingredients the night before — chopping veggies, making the marinade for the turkey, making pies and desserts — you can save time and headache. Just remember: Fresh vegetables like beans or carrots should be placed in cold water in the fridge so they don’t lose their crispness.
When deciding what to cook on Thanksgiving, consider what you want to eat on National Pie for Breakfast Day, National Pie for Breakfast Day Two, and so on. After all, this holiday revolves around food, and even if you make smaller portions, you’ll likely have leftovers for days.
And don’t feel guilty about it! The most complicated part of Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey. If you don’t want to worry about checking on it every few hours… don’t. There are literally countless alternatives, pretty much all of which require less elbow grease.
During a difficult lap around the sun, finding silver linings can be a challenge. You may be missing your extended family on Thanksgiving, which can make it tough to find joy. Even so, take time to discuss what you’re thankful for as you enjoy your meal for two.
New Year’s Eve may be all about excesses. But come New Year’s Day, there’s a fresh perspective. The first day of the year is a time to regroup with friends to reflect on the year past, look forward to better things ahead, and — hopefully — eat some delicious food.
We’re all antsy to get on with normal life. But unfortunately, the threat of COVID-19 is still very real. So, we highly recommend checking the CDC’s most recent guidelines for gatherings this holiday season before you make any plans.
You can, of course, mix and match any of the recipes below. But for a spread that covers all the brunchy bases, here’s our star lineup:
Ratatouille has a reputation for being a pain to make. (So. Much. Slicing.) This frittata includes all the Mediterranean flavors with less of the slicing and dicing.
Jarred roasted red peppers make these distinctive deviled eggs a snap to prepare.
The classic Denver omelet, compacted into muffin form!
Salad for breakfast? Yep, totally a thing. Lighten up your New Year’s spread with this superfood mélange of eggs, smoked salmon, and arugula.
Prep this egg dish ahead! Quiche can be served at room temperature or even cold. (Just don’t let it sit out longer than 2 hours.)
These juicy bites won’t derail your low carb pals’ eating agenda.
If you’ve made resolutions to eat more veggies in the new year, this casserole fits the bill with sweet potatoes, spinach, red onion, and bell pepper.
On a hectic morning of last-minute table setting and dining room vacuuming, an overnight baked French toast means one less thing to worry about. Prep this the night before, then pull it out of the fridge and pop it in the oven on New Year’s Day.
Praise be for the blender! These oat-based blender pancakes are a total breeze. Plus, they’re gluten-free for your GF guests.
For a perfectly seasonal New Year’s brunch option, grab some grapefruit. This twist on the usual lemon poppy seed mixture uses fresh grapefruit juice for an even tangier taste.
Vegans can get in on the creamy goodness of stuffed French toast with this animal product-free version.
Amp up the nutrition — and the color — in whole-wheat pancakes by grating in some zucchini.
Can’t decide between French toast or pancakes? Now, you don’t have to. This fun recipe dips pancakes in an egg mixture and griddles them like French toast.
Earthy cinnamon and hearty whole wheat combine forces in these stick-to-your-ribs waffles. If you’re serving multiple items at your brunch buffet, cut the waffles into quarters so everyone can sample a little of everything.
Haul out the muffin tin for these bite-sized, veggie-filled hash brown cups.
A fennel-citrus slaw adds a touch of fancy to humble latkes in this unique recipe.
Savory herbs are a no-fail complement to roasted potatoes at any meal, including brunch.
Use the air fryer to get the crispy texture of homestyle taters with less of the oil. Just 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil is all you need here.
Even novice chefs should have no trouble with these simple sweet potato hash browns, made even easier with the help of a spiralizer.
Move over, avocado toast. In this twist on toast, thin slabs of roasted sweet potato serve as the base for a scrambled egg and chive topping.
There’s more to this hash than its simple name might lead you to believe. With green and red bell peppers, onions, and garlic, this one may be the hit of the party.
Ooh, pretty! A garnish of neon pink watermelon radishes brings a pop of the unexpected to these saucy morning nachos.
The smaller size of street taco tortillas makes the mini breakfast-themed Mexican delights perfect for buffet grazing.
The classic Mexican breakfast, updated! Huevos rancheros get a makeover with a fresh pico de gallo-style salsa atop tortillas, beans, and eggs.
An easy casserole never fails to save your bacon (or, in this case, your sausage) on brunch day.
You may end up making this nutrient-dense hash for breakfast, even on non-holiday mornings. It’s black beans, spinach, and sweet potatoes — a very good way to start the day indeed.
With three ingredients, these mimosas don’t actually take a lot of work, but their striking red hue is sure to impress.
Those who stayed up ’til dawn ringing in the new year may need something to get them perked up the next morning. A jolt of almond milk cold brew just might do the trick.
New Year’s Day is all about starting fresh. With five different veggies and three fruits, this green juice is full of the best edible intentions.
Tweak the traditional screwdriver in this recipe that subs grapefruit juice for OJ.
For a virgin drink that’s still oh-so-special (and lovely to look at), try lavender-infused lemonade.
You provide the basic mix (tomato juice, vodka, Tabasco) then let guests go to town with creative mix-ins like olives, celery, fresh herbs, bacon, and more.
You’re out for a nice fall run, but 5 minutes into it, you’re coughing and can’t catch your breath. Is this just what it feels like to be out of shape? Is it allergies? Maybe and maybe. But it could also be exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), aka exercise-induced asthma.
Does EIB mean you have to throw in the towel and park yourself on the couch? Heck no! In fact, with the right treatment, people with EIB can be as active as they want. Lots of elite athletes have asthma or EIB.
The biggest clue is EIB symptoms tend to start 5 to 10 minutes into your workout and continue after you’ve stopped exercising.
Coughing is the most common symptom of EIB, and sometimes it’s the only symptom. You may also experience:
Symptoms usually start several minutes into a workout and are most severe 3 to 15 minutes after stopping. Breathing usually returns to normal about 20 to 30 minutes after that. It’s possible to have a second wave of symptoms over the next 4 to 12 hours.
Talk to a doctor if any of these symptoms interferes with your ability to exercise. There are medications and ways to modify your workout so airflow isn’t an issue.
Breathlessness from exercise isn’t a mystery: your body works hard, it needs more oxygen, you breathe harder to get that O2. EIB is different because your airway actually starts to constrict, making it harder for the air to get into your lungs. Weird, right?
If you have EIB, rapid breathing through your mouth introduces more cold, dry air into your airway, triggering the constriction.
That’s why you may find symptoms are worse on cold days or in dry conditions. Other triggers like pollution, pollen, smoke, fumes, or a recent respiratory infection or asthma attack may also make an episode of EIB more likely.
Researchers estimate that 40 to 90 percent of people with chronic asthma also experience EIB. Between 8 and 20 percent of people without asthma have symptoms of EIB.
Elite athletes are at increased risk of EIB because their participation in sports requires a lot of time inhaling cold, dry air and pollutants. Children also seem to be at higher risk of EIB than adults.
Episodes of EIB can cause temporary inflammation and damage to lungs, but it’s reversible with proper treatment. The biggest complication associated with exercise-induced breathing difficulty is… GIVING UP ON EXERCISE!
Some people with EIB feel anxiety, fear, and embarrassment about exercising. Rightfully so! What’s not scary about feeling like you can’t breathe?
The truth is avoiding exercise is counterproductive. It’s totally possible to have an active life while managing EIB. (Remember those elite athletes? They don’t get to the Olympics by giving up.) In fact, exercise improves quality of life.
The most common way to diagnose EIB is by measuring lung function before, during, and after exercise.
A person is diagnosed with EIB if their forced exhale volume in 1 second is reduced 10 to 5 percent after exercise. Forced exhale volume is measured with a spirometer, a device that you breathe into.
Your doctor may use spirometry (that tube you breathe into) to measure how much air you can exhale forcefully and quickly. If you’re not experiencing symptoms or haven’t been exercising before the test, results will likely be normal.
To get a full picture of the impact of exercise on your breathing function, the doctor will do a bronchoprovocation test. Sound provocative? It just means they’ll measure the volume of air you exhale at rest, during exercise, and after exercise.
For this test you may use a treadmill, a stationary bicycle, or recreate the exercise that caused your symptoms before.
You may be tested again after using a bronchodilator like an albuterol inhaler. If the inhaler doesn’t improve symptoms, you might have exercise-induced vocal cord dysfunction instead of EIB. Vocal cord dysfunction symptoms will also stop as soon as exercise is stopped.
Bronchial hyperresponsiveness can also mimic EIB when the airways “overreact” to inhaling allergens or airborne irritants, causing cough and phlegm production.
There are a number of prescription medications that can help control exercise-induced asthma. Here’s your cheat sheet for medication options.
Try these recommendations to reduce your risk of EIB while exercising:
You don’t want to mess around when it comes to breathing. Follow your doctor’s recommended treatment for EIB, but you may find some of these alternative therapies are helpful too.
Like we said, even if you have EIB, you can totally get your exercise on. However, some forms of exercise are better than others for people with exercise-induced asthma.
You might have worse symptoms exercising in the cold (think ice hockey, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing). EIB symptoms are also more likely with sports that require sustained activity like long distance running and soccer.
Choose exercise that’s leisurely or requires short bursts of activity like:
When you experience symptoms that may be exercise-induced asthma, make a note of the temperature, where you were, what kind of activity you were doing. Also record your symptoms and approximately when they started and stopped.
All that information will give the doctor clues about whether it’s EIB. Also let them know if you’ve ever been diagnosed with asthma or have recently had any illness that could be related to your symptoms. Since your doctor may conduct an exercise challenge, dress for breaking a sweat.
While you might expect to be a little (or a lot) breathless during your workout, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) can put a real cramp in your exercise plans.
Watch for coughing or wheezing that starts a few minutes into your workout and gets worse after you stop. A doctor can use lung function tests to confirm whether it’s EIB and prescribe inhalers or daily medications for prevention and treatment.
The most important thing to remember with EIB is for your physical and mental health, keep exercising!