Success doesn’t come to you… you go to it.

2020 has without a doubt, been a tough year. For several, teleworking and enforced lockout constraints contributed to tension and isolation. A fresh toll on our mental health is not just the second increase in infections. In the EU study, over half of all employees are negatively affected by work-related stress. Here are some guides that might help you in this pandemic time researched by ketamine therapy Chicago, IL.
Set boundaries around COVID-19 news
Checking coronavirus news alerts excessively will leave you stressed and emotionally drained. Try to make a deliberate effort to detach and develop healthy news habits: toggle off news app push alerts, scan trustworthy outlets for accurate facts, and set regular times for news checking (i.e. once in the morning and evening). To address any questions you may have and to stop nervous thoughts going unchecked, watch the news with others. A further tip is to search in the midst of the pandemic for optimistic, uplifting stories and good news. Your morale and health can be improved by celebrating positive stories.
Follow an everyday routine
In the midst of chaos, coming up with a structured schedule for and day with clear limits between your working and private life can give you a sense of control. Try to break your day into small activities and make sure you build time from doing your interests or exercising to spending time with your kids or pets to do things you enjoy. In addition, set a daily work routine: take frequent breaks, leave your lunch desk, and have a specified time to sign off. Additionally, concentrate on having enough sleep and eating nutritious meals daily.
Exercise
Physical exercise, particularly if you are feeling depressed, can do wonders for your mental health. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), or a combination of both if you are very inspired. That is as little as fifteen minutes a day! The WHO recommends these fitness tips for working out at home:
Take brief active breaks during the day: short sessions of physical activities will keep you occupied from performing domestic chores to playing with your kids.
Join an online exercise class: There is a vast range of online exercise courses thanks to the internet, many of which are free and can be found on YouTube.
Walk: this tip may be easy, but it's still successful. Rolling around will help you stay healthy even at home. For example, if you've got a call, stand or walk around instead of sitting down.
Stand up: To decrease your sedentary period, the WHO advises standing up every 30 minutes. Try setting up a standing desk if you are working from home. Monitor cognitively stimulating behaviors during leisure time: reading, board games or puzzles.
Relax: Exercises in meditation and breathing will help you deal with stress better.
Be an empathic and empathetic team worker
Be clear about your expectations during your job, particularly if you are a manager. Promote and model flexibility and consider the additional needs of workers, such as careful obligations while operating from home.
In distressing situations, experts say that supportive contact within the team is key. It is necessary to:
Discuss and agree on performance metrics and goals in advance (both at individual and team level);
Be specific about work schedules (especially for employees who might not be available for certain periods of the day to work) and let colleagues know what works for you and how to suit the schedule;
Recognize the importance and supportive nature of teams to create resilience and help people in dealing with times of uncertainty, especially in taking decisions.
To protect the mental health and well-being of workers during the pandemic, it is important to ensure frequent, responsive and two-way contact with the team to make mental health a natural part of these discussions and to note the importance of self-care.
Work-life equilibrium is critical
With the second wave of diseases, for the near future, it looks like we will have to telework. For their well-being, some individuals find working from home helpful. Yet working from home brings its own challenges for others. Longer working hours, alienation from peers, virtual connectivity difficulties and technical obstacles can all make us feel more and more depressed. Fear of illness, work security issues or continuing income add up to the causes of poor mental health. The possibility of burnout rises as the boundaries between work and home life blur.
It can have a huge effect on your mental health to let your work life take over your personal life. For you and your friends, make sure you set clear boundaries between work and private life (if you have management responsibilities). When your living room has become your office, it can be difficult to feel like you've really left work. Set defined hours for the end of the working day, put away visual reminders of the working day (e.g. laptop, work papers), switching off work-related alerts during working hours, get out for a stroll and switch off with enjoyable activities and hobbies. Disconnecting from your office physically and giving yourself the opportunity to relax and heal after a day's work would help your stress levels and assist you in the long-term to be more productive.

About this site

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.

Feed Display

24 June 2021

  • Just the Facts, Please: How Do You Treat Eczema Blisters?

    The blisters on a piece of bubble wrap equal fun — especially if you like going for that satisfying pop. But eczema blisters? Not so much — especially when they itch or burn. Argh! 

    Dyshidrotic eczema (aka pompholyx) is often the culprit behind those fluid-filled bubbles. The eczema blisters tend to show up on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet.

    Triggers, like irritation from sweat or an allergy to metal, can cause a flare of tiny (but fierce) bubbles that lead to peeling, cracked, and inflamed skin as they heal. Flare-ups are more common in hot weather, but they can occur at any time in response to a trigger (including stress!).

    And when a flare occurs, you might feel eager to get some relief ASAP. Here’s what to know about treating eczema blisters and healing your inflamed hands and feet. 

    How do you treat eczema blisters?

    When it comes to treating eczema blisters, you can try some DIY methods at home for itch and irritation relief. But a dermatologist can also suggest medical solutions if DIY techniques just don’t cut it.

    At-home treatments

    Adjusting the water temperature of your shower or bath is an easy way to get relief from eczema blisters. Hot water might feel cozy on cold hands and feet, but it can make skin conditions worse — not exactly what you need if you’re dealing with an eczema flare. So, if you’re experiencing dyshidrotic eczema blisters, wash with a lukewarm temp instead.

    You might also need to swap out your soaps and bathing products, depending on what you use. Opt for a sensitive skin cleanser that’s free of irritating soaps, fragrances, and dyes, which can otherwise lead to eczema flares. Towels can be rough on blisters, too. So, gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing away moisture after a shower.

    If itching or burning is bothering you, apply a cold wet compress for 15 minutes after washing a few times a day to get relief. Afterward, slather on a moisturizer with ceramides or barrier repair cream with dimethicone, a moisturizing substance that creates a protective barrier while still allowing skin to breathe, per the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

    Applying a topical steroid cream can also help fight itch, irritation, and inflammation from eczema blisters, and help your skin heal. They’re typically used just for a short period during a flare. You can grab a steroid cream over the counter, or a doctor may prescribe a stronger one.

    Medical treatments

    Need something more? Get in touch with a dermatologist. A course of specialized UV light therapy sessions in the clinic a few times a week, over the course of several weeks or a few months, could help ease irritation and reduce how often you get eczema blisters.

    Prescription medications may also help in some cases. If sweating is the irritant or trigger to blame for your flares, a prescription antiperspirant, or even targeted botulinum toxin (BOTOX) injections, could keep moisture from being such a B-word to your skin.

    Some meds used to treat atopic dermatitis may help with eczema blisters, as well. Creams like pimecrolimus and tacrolimus can help control overactive inflammatory processes that may otherwise lead to those itchy eczema blisters.

    In severe cases, topical or oral steroids, immunomodulators (taken by mouth or given as an injection), or other medications may be the right treatment for eczema blisters. Talk with a doctor to see if stronger medications are the right option for you.

    Lifestyle changes

    Mini lifestyle changes can also help while you wait for other treatments to kick in. Rings can trap wetness, which is no good for eczema blisters, so if you have dyshidrotic eczema on your hands, you may wish to temporarily skip wearing all those cute rings you bought on Etsy — or just remove them when washing so that your fingers have a chance to dry thoroughly.

    Consider investing in a pair of cotton gloves, too. No, you don’t have to go around looking like you’re prim and proper all day — although you can if that’s your jam. Just wear them to bed after slathering your hands with cream to lock moisture in. As a bonus, you’ll wake up with smooth cuticles.

    When you’re working through your Saturday chore list, like scrubbing the shower, protect tender hands with latex-free gloves. Or, hey, just skip the chore and do it another time — eczema blisters are as good an excuse as any to push off annoying cleaning tasks.

    And in cold or wet weather, bundle up with some cute mittens for added protection.

    Is it OK to pop eczema blisters?

    Nope. Those eczema blisters might practically be begging to be popped — but resist the urge to squeeze, poke, scratch, or do any other kind of damage to the bubbles. Opening a blister can increase the risk of contracting a skin infection.

    If you’re prone to scratching, keep your fingernails short. That way, you might be less likely to scratch (or do quite as much damage when the itch becomes irresistible). Wearing gloves at night can also keep you from clawing in your sleep.

    Sometimes larger eczema blisters will form, which can make it annoying or even impossible to do certain things (like type at a keyboard). If you have one that’s bothering you or interrupting daily activities, your dermatologist can safely drain it so that you can find relief. A derm might also give you a steroid injection to halt the itch, so you can focus on the more fun parts of life.

    What is the fluid in eczema blisters?

    The fluid inside an eczema blister is called a serum. Your body pulls the fluid from neighboring tissue to cushion and protect the irritated and inflamed skin underneath the bubble.

    That fluid can actually tell you a lot about what’s going on in the bubble. Normally, eczema blisters are filled with watery, transparent fluid. However, if the blister leaks pus that’s thick, cloudy, or stinky, you may have an infection. Ditto if the affected area is swollen or crusting, or you’re experiencing pain or a fever.

    Those are all signs to talk with a doctor and potentially get some antibiotics to clear up the infection.

    What is the fastest way to cure dyshidrosis?

    Doctors have yet to find a cure for this type of eczema. That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to having flares for months on end, though. Treating eczema blisters can often provide lots of relief — pretty fast, too!

    In some cases, you may be able to treat eczema blisters quickly at home with methods like over-the-counter steroid creams, washing and moisturizing, and eliminating triggers.

    Keep in mind that stress can be a trigger for eczema blisters, so if you’ve had a recent uptick in school, work, or life pressures, seek out ways to regain a sense of calm when you can — like meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques. If you know you have other triggers, like certain metals, see what you can do to reduce your exposure.

    The occasional flare may resolve itself in a few weeks with DIY methods. But if you’re dealing with flare after flare, battling some brutal blisters, or feel like these symptoms are getting severe, talk with a doctor. There are other options in the form of targeted treatments or prescription meds that could offer more relief.

    tl;dr

    Blisters are characteristic of a dyshidrotic eczema flare. The tiny bubbles often appear on your hands or feet, and they usually itch or burn (or both).

    If you have a flare, it’s best to avoid disturbing the eczema blisters. (That means no popping!) Instead, focus on ways to soothe and protect your skin, boost your skin barrier, and minimize exposure to triggers until the flare resolves.

    Connect with a doctor to get things checked out right away if you’re dealing with a flare that’s particularly severe or if you have symptoms of a skin infection. They can also see if prescription meds or other treatments might provide even more relief from your eczema blisters.

  • What the Craquele Is Asteatotic Eczema? The Full Guide

    As if eczema doesn’t suck enough on its own already, there are more than 10 types of this irritating skin condition that can have you wanting to peel your skin off. One of them, asteatotic eczema, is the stuff of dermatologists’ nightmares.

    Asteatotic eczema 101

    Everything you need to know about asteatotic eczema in one place.

    What is asteatotic eczema?

    Asteatotic eczema is pruritic or itchy dermatitis that causes the skin to flake, scale, and crack. Eventually, the skin can bleed and become hella painful.

    Causes

    Dry skin that lacks the correct balance of moisture can trigger asteatotic eczema. Various things can cause this water shortage, including:

    • thyroid issues
    • malnutrition
    • medications
    • dry air

    Symptoms and clinical features

    Asteatotic eczema shows up as reddish/purple, scaly, flaky, cracked skin. When the skin cracks, fissures or openings form along lines, forming a lacy pattern.

    Treatment

    You can treat asteatotic eczema with:

    You can also whip up some colloidal oatmeal, and use natural oil supplements like coconut oil.

    Nicknamed eczema craquele for its dry, cracked appearance that resembles crazy paving, asteatotic eczema can be itchy, painful, and can even cause bleeding when it becomes severe. It usually affects older folks, but it can still occur in much younger people.

    No one welcomes the kind of scaly fissures that asteatotic eczema causes. So we’ve outlined some critical deets about what exactly it is, what causes it, and how you can send it packing.

    Nevena1987/Getty Images

    What is asteatotic eczema?

    Asteatotic eczema is a type of itchy atopic dermatitis that causes dry, scaling, and inflamed skin. Docs also call it eczema craquele or cracked skin.

    Typically, it first shows up as dry skin. As it gets worse, your skin might crack and scale in particular patterns.

    The symptoms break out on the lower legs, back, trunk, and arms. Asteatotic eczema most commonly shows up in the winter, when skin is at its driest. Though it can affect anyone, older adults most commonly receive diagnoses of asteatotic eczema due to the effects of aging and dehydrated skin.

    Pictures

    Recognizing the patterns of asteatotic eczema and how they look can help you link up with the right treatment. Here’s a picture slideshow that might help.

    Asteatotic Eczema

    Asteatotic eczema is a form of dermatitis that occurs due to extremely dry skin. It presents as very dry, cracked skin which commonly affects the lower extremities.

    Aiman Khair/Shutterstock

    Asteatotic Eczema

    Asteatotic eczema is a form of dermatitis that occurs due to extremely dry skin. It presents as very dry, cracked skin which commonly affects the lower extremities.

    maruco/Shutterstock

    Asteatotic Eczema

    Asteatotic eczema is a form of dermatitis that occurs due to extremely dry skin. It presents as very dry, cracked skin which commonly affects the lower extremities.

    Siriporn prasertsri/Shutterstock

    Asteatotic Eczema

    Asteatotic eczema is a form of dermatitis that occurs due to extremely dry skin. It presents as very dry, cracked skin which commonly affects the lower extremities.

    Specht S, Persaud Y. Asteatotic Eczema. [Updated 2020 Nov 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. [Figure, Eczema, Craquele. Contributed by DermNetNZ] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549807/figure/article-20893.image.f1/

    Causes

    The most widely recognized cause of asteatotic eczema is the loss of water from the top layer of skin called the stratum corneum. This happens when genetic, environmental, or physical factors trigger an oopsie in the skin’s protective barrier.

    We rounded up the most common causes, outlined in research from 2020 (ugh, that year) and 2016 (OMG that sucked, too).

    Low humidity

    If you live in areas or climates with lower humidity, asteatotic eczema might become a thing for you. It most often pops up during winter months when the air is dryer and you’re running that heater indoors. Using a dehumidifier or heating fan in your home may also lead to asteatotic eczema. 

    Location also plays a role, as living in typically dry and desert-like areas or high-altitude zones may mean you develop asteatotic eczema more readily.

    Age

    Folks over 60 years young are at a higher risk of experiencing asteatotic eczema. Their sweat glands are less active. Upside: Less sweaty. Downside: Drier skin.

    Infants and toddlers also commonly experience different types of eczema. Their skin dries quickly and is extremely sensitive.

    Malnutrition

    No, malnutrition is not the same as starving. Believe it or not, it’s totes possible to be malnourished and eat three decent meals a day. Malnutrition actually means an imbalance or deficiencies in specific nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, or energy.

    So if you fill up on nothing but Sour Patch Kids three times daily, you’re probably not going to get a wide enough nutrient profile.

    You could develop asteatotic eczema if:

    • Your diet doesn’t provide everything you need.
    • You’ve got gastrointestinal issues, like malabsorption, that stop you getting enough nutrients from the food you eat.
    • You experience weight loss due to an underlying health condition or an eating disorder.

    Certain medications

    Some meds can trigger asteatotic eczema. Oral retinoids and diuretics, in particular, can dry out your skin, and summon the eczema demon.

    Retinoids are chemically related to vitamin A and regulate skin growth. Diuretics make you pee out more water, which can dry out your skin.

    Drugs used in hormone replacement therapy may also cause asteatotic eczema.

    Excessive bathing and use of soaps

    If you like nothing more than a long, relaxing soak in a scalding hot bath, beware. Frequent baths in hot water draw moisture out of the skin and could lead to asteatotic eczema. Some soaps and detergents also have this effect, as many of them contain degreasing agents.

    Additionally, overly fragrant soaps and lotions (think Old Spice) may also irritate your skin if it’s already dry and cracked.

    Underlying malignancy

    Occasionally, asteatotic eczema has links to conditions like lymphoma, leukemia, and solid organ tumors.

    Researchers don’t know whether the conditions themselves cause asteatotic eczema or if their treatments contribute to the cause. Nevertheless, there have been cases linking one to the other.

    Thyroid links

    Another underlying condition associated with asteatotic eczema is hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. The authors of a 2016 case study concluded that myxedema (severe hypothyroidism) and asteatotic eczema can be found hanging out in your body.

    In many cases, docs treat hypothyroidism with diuretics, protein inhibitors, and hormone replacement drugs. Both underactive thyroid and its treatments could trigger a bout of asteatotic eczema. 

    Symptoms and clinical features

    Asteatotic eczema first rears its itchy head as plain ol’ dry skin. As the dermatitis gets worse, your skin becomes itchy, flaky, scaly, and inflamed. If your skin is pale, it may appear red or deeper in color. People with darker skin might find that it appears ashy. Cracks can appear and open up as the skin loses more water.

    When this happens, the affected skin develops a pattern that looks like crazy paving or a cracked river bed. These cracks and patches appear sore and irritated, and your skin may crack so severely that it seeps or bleeds.

    In some cases, the skin may itch so badly that you can’t stop yourself scratching until it bleeds, leading to yet more skin breaks and — oh, joy of joys — scabs.

    Asteatotic eczema typically affects the lower legs, back, tummy, and sometimes the arms. However, it can show up anywhere, like that ex you never wanted to see again.

    On your toes

    If your toes or fingers are dry and cracked, it could be asteatotic eczema or pompholyx eczema.

    This type of eczema begins with a burning sensation then forms painful, inflamed, water-filled blisters. They may even become infected if you’ve been scratchin’ more than a 90s Hip-Hop DJ. So watch out for ouchies on your tootsies.

    When the blisters pop, the skin dries out excessively, leading to the appearance of the fissures you can see in asteatotic eczema.

    On ears

    Asteatotic eczema may affect the entire ear or specific areas. The National Eczema Society describes it as “an extremely irritating, and, at times, painful condition.”

    In more severe cases, you could lose skin, your ears can become very sore, or you may find that your outer ear becomes infected. This can then spread to the inner ear, which… yeah. Ow.

    Treatment

    A doctor or dermatologist needs to examine your skin and diagnose you before they can prescribe treatment for asteatotic eczema. In some cases, they may need to take a biopsy. You’ll need to keep in regular contact with your healthcare professionals to see how your treatment is going, and so they can make any adjustments to your regimen.

    The main goal of treatment is to provide ample hydration to the skin. Healthcare professionals may suggest the following treatments:

    You can usually use a combo of topical emollients and steroids. You can also take other measures to reduce the risk and severity of asteatotic eczema, like taking fewer baths, minimizing your use of harsh or super fragrant soaps and detergents, and using a humidifier during dryer months.

    Slathering on moisturizers right after a bath while skin is still damp can also be helpful.

    Home remedies

    Aside from prescription creams and steroids, you’ve got some options to ease your uncomfortable asteatotic eczema symptoms at home.

    • Colloidal oatmeal. You’ll need to get your hands on some whole oats that still have their bran coat. Grind up some uncooked oats in a food processor, then use the powder in a bath, not too hot! You can also find creams and other products containing colloidal oatmeal.
    • Natural oils. You can use plant oils like sunflower seed, olive, and coconut oil to apply to your sore skin after a shower to lock in that precious moisture.
    • Fatty acids. Taking a supplement containing evening primrose, borage, or blackcurrant seed oil might ease eczema symptoms.
    • Acupuncture. Some people find that acupuncture can help with the itchiness associated with asteatotic eczema. But it won’t treat the condition itself, just how it feels.

    Takeaway

    Asteatotic eczema is an itchy and potentially painful skin condition that leads to cracks, fissures, and bleeding.

    This type of eczema most often affects older people and happens as a direct result of water loss in the skin. Various things, like dry air, certain meds, and some medical conditions can trigger asteatotic eczema.

    Thankfully, there’s a ton of treatments available for asteatotic eczema. You can find both prescription and natural options that’ll combat the scratchiness, and help your skin to chill the f*ck out.

  • Measuring Moving On: How Long Science Says It’ll Take to Get Over Your Sh*tty Ex

    To steaming heck with your sh*tty ex. You’re better than them, and you can do better than them. You know full well that they never deserved you. But you can’t seem to let go of the good times. So how long will it be before you can get over them? Does science actually have an answer? And how can you speed up the process?

    How long are the average post-breakup blues?

    Post-breakup sadness can last a while. Breakups are significant life events that, in one study, increased self-reported depression scores in people who’ve recently experienced one. It’s more than reasonable for the uber-sadness to stick around for a spell.

    Researchers have tried to work out the average time between relationship cut-off and care-free frolicking. Unfortunately, the only definitive answer love nerds have come up with is “everyone heals at their own pace.”

    Science is so unsure that it’s resorted to quasi-philosophical gumpf like “there are many factors to consider,” “there’s no answer, but there are actions you can take to find contentment again,” and “every person and relationship is different. Cheers, science. Very helpful.

    If you were expecting hard numbers you’re out of luck. For scientifically-backed fortune cookie advice on how to help your broken heart heal quicker, however, you’ve come to the right place.

    Mourning the end of a relationship takes time. If some toxic asshole has broken your heart and you’re sick of missing them, here’s the 411 on how long it’ll take (and how you can speed it up).

    Hernandez & Sorokina/Stocksy United

    Have I taken too long to get over my ex?

    There’s no set time frame for mourning former beaus. Some move on the second they’ve walked out the door, others can be clinically depressed for years following a breakup.

    There are no rules about how long you should grieve a relationship.

    Whether you’re sad about your ex for 5 months or 5 minutes, it’s completely normal.

    Anybody saying you’ve spent too long (or not long enough) can go run backward naked through a field of cacti.

    Only you know when you’re ready to move on, and anybody else’s opinion is irrelevant (unless they’re genuinely concerned about your mental well-being). If you’re done being sad about your ex and their stupid face, but need a little help finding inner peace, you might find the info below super helpful.

    Is there an average time it takes to get over a breakup?

    Nope. It’s literally so varied the science boffins can’t even make a graph about it.

    Common schoolyard/office watercooler wisdom is that it takes half the time you were in the relationship. But if you want proof that this is bullish*t, take a look at cruise ships full of newly-divorced silver foxes and foxettes making bang time without a thought for their once-spouse of 50 years.

    Further proof takes the shape of every teenager that spends 4 months crying over a 2-week relationship that culminated in an awkward fumble in the back of a movie theatre.

    Plenty of science folk have tried to work out an average. The reason we don’t have one is that none were successful, not because they haven’t tried.

    The (and we use this term loosely) “science” trying to measure breakup timescales

    One commonly referenced “study” is actually an online poll conducted by a research company (so it’s not even science). It suggested a 3.5-month average, with divorce breakups closer to 1.5 years. But this shouldn’t be taken to heart because:

    1. It comes from a marketing company, not scientists.
    2. The implication that marriage automatically means a relationship is more emotionally significant is bollocks.

    In terms of actual science, 2007 was a big year for measuring breakups, even though it was a while ago. One study of college students found an 11-week average based on the demographics of the participants. College is a romantic and emotional microcosm though. It would be scientifically irresponsible/logically ridiculous to suggests this represents the general populace.

    Researchers tried to figure out in another 2007 study if breakups were as distressing as people expected, or if they fall into the “actually, that wasn’t so bad” category. Findings suggest breakup pain isn’t as bad as we expect pre-split, and we get over bad partners quicker than we predict.

    Obviously, this is only one study. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the opposite being true on occasion. You’ve probably experienced a breakup that hit you harder and for longer than expected.

    So what’s the tl;dr? There’s no real scientific answer for how long it takes to get over a breakup. You do you.

    How to hurt a heart: Factors affecting breakup recovery

    Part of the reason there’s not much breakup science knocking about is that there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence. Scientists like solving the mysteries of life. Proving what everybody already knows is boring for them.

    However, the lack of lab facts doesn’t leave us in the dark. Relationship and breakup counseling is a thriving industry, and there are tons of books about it. The advice and guidance of these books and therapists/counselors do seem to work for some people.

    We don’t have much proof in the way of lab coats and Bunsen burners science, but that doesn’t mean humans are clueless when it comes to breakup blues. Folks have been f*cking and ch*cking since the days of caves and mammoths. By 2021, we know a heckin’ bunch about what makes hearts break harder.

    Level of commitment

    It’ll come as a shock to nobody that long-term, committed relationships are harder to get over. Not all relationships are created equal, after all.

    Ending a casual fling prompts internal existential questions like “Oh, darn, who am I going to go to the Dave Matthews Band concert with on the weekend now?” It may sting, especially if you’re the dumpee rather than the dumper, but casual breakups don’t tend to have major ramifications through your life.

    The end of a committed relationship can ruin everything. Breaking up is a very different experience when you’re leaving the person you live with, for example. Walking away from years-long partnerships can mean losing friends, living arrangements, or contact with their family (who by this point may also feel like your family).

    Letting go of a relationship into which you’ve invested literal years of your life is hard. The prospect of starting again can be overwhelming for some folks. Having your future life plans torn to shreds can really make a dent in your mental health.

    So yeah, for a bunch of obvious reasons, level of commitment directly impacts moving on.

    Infidelity

    Do you know what also makes getting over a break-up hard? Cheating. Being cheated on doesn’t make you feel good (shock). The bitter taste left by unfaithful partners can take a long time to fade.

    Trust is an important relationship foundation. Creating trust means being emotionally vulnerable around your S.O. and showing them an intimate side to your personality few get to see. Your partner also gets to see you nekkid if they play their cards right. That’s a big deal for many people.

    Loads of peeps don’t like showing their naughty bits. For every friend you have that can’t keep their shirt on after a beer, you have another who needs to talk to themselves in the mirror for half an hour before getting changed in front of their spouse.

    Emotional and/or physical intimacy is a huge trust fall for some people. A betrayal of that effort by their partner can be devastating. Even if you’re not one of those peeps, having your trust broken hurts. It can leave you feeling ashamed, confused, or stupid for opening up that much to another person. Infidelity fully sucks.

    It’s not just cheatees that feel pain — the cheater gets a rough deal in terms of breakups, too (although one brought on by their own actions). Throwing away years of happy partnership by following an impulse with a stranger leaves many folks feeling not-too-great about themselves. Just… keep it in your pants next time.

    tl;dr: It can be harder to get over Cheat-o-flavored splits because you’re having to heal pride and shattered trust on top of everything else.

    Relationship quality

    Every new relationship is a risk of future heartbreak. We get into them anyway ‘coz the healthy ones make us feel all warm and happy inside.

    Unhealthy relationships, as you know if you’ve ever been in one, do the opposite. They make you feel crappy. It’s natural to feel relieved instead of upset when a less-than-functional relationship dies. Hell, if a relationship goes far enough south, ending it can be a one-way ticket to Cloud 9.

    On the flip side, if you weren’t at each other’s throats 24/7 or using screaming to communicate, it can be harder to bounce back. As a general rule, the end of happy relationships puts you in a low mood longer than unhappy ones.

    Dumpee or dumper?

    Whether you were chucked or did the chucking plays a big role.

    Breaking up with somebody isn’t a pleasant experience (unless you’re a sociopath) and can leave you hurting, but the emotional ball is in your court. Initiating a break-up gives you time to mentally prepare for post-partner life. You have a chance to reach emotional peace with the situation, weigh up your options, and set the time/place of the “it’s over” conversation.

    Usually, the dumpee didn’t make the decision to end the relationship. Unless they suspect something is up, the end is an unexpected sledgehammer blow. Confusion and rejection compound the pain they may already feel after their partner leaves.

    Dumpees may take longer to pick themselves up again (although not always). This doesn’t mean dumpers always call time on shared life and stroll away whistling a merry tune. Deciding to end a relationship is often an unwanted, last-resort decision.

    However, most folks would agree having a breakup inflicted on you is more painful than inflicting one on someone else.

    How to recover faster from a breakup

    Bad news time: there’s not much you can do to recover from a breakup faster. Some things might help, but none of them are guaranteed to work.

    The best approach is to avoid beating yourself up and allow your heart time to heal. You’re already sad, so making yourself sad about being sad will just make you sad². Nobody wants to be sad².

    Activities that are good for working through depression help. Taking steps to combat the physical symptoms of break-up pain helps you feel more in control. And a better mood makes finding positivity easier.

    Here’s some ways to do it:

    • Take a Goldilocks approach to sleep. Breakups can have you sleeping too much or not enough. Doing what you can to get a restful night’s sleep has all sorts of mood-lifting benefits which will probably help make your break-up blues less bluesy.
    • Eat in moderation — but forgive lapses. “The boy made the girl sad so she’s eating ice cream lol” is a common movie and TV trope. Breakups can mess with your eating in a not-funny way though. Losing your ex can leave you with some under- or overeating habits that make your bad mood worse. It’s proven that food and feelings are linked, so chowing down on some good-vibe superfoods could make the suckiness less sucky. If you do find yourself reaching for the Haagen-Dasz though, no judgies.
    • Burn calories for dopamine. Your instinct might be to curl up on the couch and watch “Gilmore Girls” until your butt fuses to the cushion and you become a couch/human hybrid. But hibernating might not be the best course of action. One study suggests that exercise can help for depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescents. Getting some motion in your moping could help shorten it.
    • Make platonic people time. Jumping into a romantic relationship to get over a different relationship generally isn’t healthy (casual rebound sex notwithstanding). Just because you’ve lost your romantic partner doesn’t mean you’re alone though. Platonic intimacy has a host of feel-good benefits. They might not fill the hole your ex left, but spending time with close friends can make your ex’s absence feel less all-encompassing.

    How to kick-start moving on

    There’s a common theme to the above:

    Good, well-intentioned self-care can get the healing started and make it faster (maybe… again, everybody is different).

    Cultivating a healthy outlook on the breakup is important. This isn’t easy, but having a proper understanding of your emotional response is the first step toward changing it.

    Mindfulness meditation and CBT techniques are great for this. Your aim is to develop a balanced perspective of the situation. Teach yourself to accept big feelings are natural and that it’s OK that you’re in a less-than-stellar place.

    From there you can start to find positive distractions and heal.

    Am I over that sh*t-head yet?

    Answer these questions:

    • Can you remember the good times you shared with your ex without feeling pain?
    • Can you do shared activities or go back to date locations without wanting to curl up in a ball?
    • Do you feel like a complete person, rather than one half of an incomplete duo?
    • Can you look at a photo of your ex without getting emotional?
    • Is the need to scratch the itch in your NSFW areas greater than your aversion to dating?

    If you answered yes to most of the above then congratulations, there’s a strong chance you’re over your ex. You may not be permanently over them (breakup pain isn’t constant — it can peak and trough), but you’re at least on the path to happier days.

    tl;dr

    There’s no definite answer on how long it takes to get over someone. Or how much a break-up hurts.

    There’s a bunch of factors that make getting over someone easier/harder — but then again everybody is different, so you may find the opposite to whatever the popular consensus is to be true.

    There’s nothing you can do to definitely make getting over someone easier or faster. But there are some things you can do to feel less miserable in general that may help.

  • Deodorant for Eczema: 12 Best Picks for Your Pits

    Does eczema have you down in the pits? Lots of folks who have eczema or other skin conditions experience flare-ups in their underarm area.

    This can make shopping for deodorant a total downer. But don’t worry! We’ve got your pits covered with the best deodorants for eczema.

    How we chose eczema-safe deodorants

    Folks with sensitive skin know ingredients matter, like, A LOT. We picked products that contain moisturizing ingredients to help soothe dry, scaling, cracked, or irritable skin. We also tried to avoid products that contain known irritants like metals, formaldehyde, parabens, unnatural fragrances, and alcohol (ethanol).

    We also factored in:

    • price
    • customer reviews
    • sustainable packaging

    Pricing guide

    This price guide will help you pick the best deodorant for your skin and your budget.

    • $ = under $10
    • $$ = $10–$15
    • $$$ = $15.01–$20
    • $$$$ = over $20

    Best antiperspirants for eczema 

    Best overall: Dove Advanced Care Sensitive Antiperspirant Deodorant

    Price: $

    This antiperspirant formula was designed with sensitive skin in mind by keeping the drying power of aluminum without the irritation. It’s made with one-quarter moisturizers and is alcohol- and fragrance-free. That means it won’t sting any scaly eczema patches and is safe to use right after shaving.

    PSA: Again, this deodorant does contain aluminum, which can be irritating. But many people swear the moisturizers help ward off irritation for smooth, stink-free pits.

    Buy Dove Advanced Care Sensitive Antiperspirant Deodorant online.

    Best sport: Vanicream Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Clinical Strength

    Price: $

    Not all deodorants are designed for a hardcore sweat sesh. But this one is, thanks to its clinical-strength formula. It contains no botanical extracts, which is great news for folks who have severe skin sensitivity. While it does contain aluminum, it doesn’t have any preservatives, fragrances, or dyes.

    Buy Vanicream Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Clinical Strength online.

    Best deodorants for eczema

    Best scented: Secret Aluminum-Free Deodorant with Essential Oils

    Price: $

    If you want to smell like a garden, this blend of lavender and lemon will keep your pits protected without the irritating aluminum. It’s also crafted with essential oils as its main fragrance and uses tapioca starch to absorb sweat. Despite its fab fragrance, it’s free from parabens and dyes.

    Buy Secret Aluminum-Free Deodorant with Essential Oils online.

    Best natural: Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant

    Price: $$$

    This deodorant is formulated with 25 naturally derived ingredients to stave off stench and soothe sensitive skin. And you don’t have to worry about any unsavory ingredients — it’s aluminum-, fragrance-, paraben-, and cruelty-free.

    Buy Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant online.

    Best long lasting: Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant

    Price: $

    This no-nonsense stick offers odor protection without aluminum. We also love that it’s vegan and free from artificial preservatives.

    FYI: It comes in eight different scents (including unscented).

    Buy Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant online.

    Best deodorants for sensitive skin and eczema

    Best eco-friendly: Bai-Li Natural Deodorant

    Price: $$

    Pamper your pits with this luscious stick. It’s a bomb blend of shea butter, coconut oil, candelilla wax, and essential oils. The plastic-free packaging is shipped in a 100 percent recycled padded envelope. You also get to choose from among five different fragrance blends.

    Pro tip: They offer a monthly subscription.

    Buy Bai-Li Natural Deodorant online.

    Best paste: Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream

    Price: $$$

    Get ready to meet your dream cream. This deodorant will soothe stressed skin while keeping B.O. at bay. It has mandelic acid, which is known to kill bacteria without harshing your skin’s vibe. It also contains a concentrated shea butter that can bolster your skin barrier.

    Buy Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream online.

    Best moisturizing: Hello Fragrance-Free Deodorant with Shea Butter

    Price: $

    This fragrance-free stick is free from parabens, aluminum, talc, baking soda, and dyes. The arrowroot powder helps absorb moisturizer while the shea butter keeps your skin hella hydrated.

    Bonus: It’s vegan, and the packaging is 100 percent recyclable.

    Buy Hello Fragrance-Free Deodorant with Shea Butter online.

    Best luxury: Aesop Spray Deodorant

    Price: $$$$

    Want designer armpits? Try this spendy spray from Aesop. It’s formulated with essential oils and zinc ricinoleate to help mask odor without drying you out. Reviewers love the signature earthy scent.

    Buy Aesop Spray Deodorant online.

    Best unscented: NATIVE Unscented Sensitive Deodorant

    Price: $$

    This unscented stick is all about the coconuts. It’s formulated with caprylic triglycerides, an oil that’s derived from coconuts. It also contains coconut oil, which is rich in fatty acids that can replenish moisture. And unlike some other natural deodorants, it won’t leave a gritty residue behind. 

    Buy NATIVE Unscented Sensitive Deodorant online.

    Best men’s deodorant for eczema

    Best natural: Briogeo B. Well Tea Tree + Eucalyptus Clean Natural Deodorant

    Price: $$$

    This plant-based pit stick is 99 percent naturally derived. The tea tree oil boasts natural antimicrobial properties. While this might not help you ditch the itch 10/10, it might chill out your pits a bit. It also contains coconut water to help calm cranky skin. 

    Buy Briogeo B. Well Tea Tree + Eucalyptus Clean Natural Deodorant online.

    Best for dry skin: Old Spice GentleMan’s Blend Deodorant

    Price: $

    Get ready for odor and sweat protection without aluminum, dyes, parabens, or heavy perfumes. The wild sage scent is super soothing and gender-neutral. Peeps also love that it contains aloe, which can help keep your skin hydrated and might reduce redness and irritation.

    Buy Old Spice GentleMan’s Blend Deodorant online.

    How to shop for an eczema-safe deodorant

    When shopping for the deodorant of your dreams, look for products that contain eczema-friendly ingredients like these:

    • Shea butter. This emollient can help repair skin and prevent future flaking.
    • Mandelic acid. When used correctly, this acid can kill bad bacteria without irritating sensitive skin.
    • Tea tree oil. Studies show this oil has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. So it might help reduce irritation and itching.

    Here are some ingredients to avoid:

  • Everything You Need for an Insta-Worthy Picnic This Summer

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidelines for fully vaxxed peeps: no more masks or physical distancing — with a few exceptions.

    As the world slowly gets back to normal, we’re all itching to make the most of it. But many restaurants still aren’t at 100 percent capacity and trying to find an outdoor patio with enough space for you and your besties on the fly is near impossible. Sooo what’s a post-quarantine social butterfly to do? We have just the thing.

    A picnic is a perfect way to take advantage of gorgeous summer weather and you can have one on a whim. All you need is your posse and the right accessories to make it happen.

    Enjoy a festive AF outdoor feast with your crew that’s worthy of gracing your Insta timeline. Feel like an influencer for a day and give your picnic a major glow-up with these must-haves, recipes, and tips for a perfect day.

    Illustrations by Maya Chastain

    Setting the scene: Picnic must-haves

    Here’s everything you need for an IG-worthy picnic extravaganza.

    A super cute water-resistant picnic blanket

    Whether you’re lounging on grass, sand, or dirt, you’ll need something between you and the ground for comfort’s (and cleanliness) sake. This adorable citrus-themed blanket from Society6 will keep your bum dry and sand out of your skivvies.

    It has a UV-coating to prevent the design from fading, and the polyester material is easy to wipe down. The blanket is also water-resistant, so you can lay it down on damp grass without a prob. 

    A roomy picnic basket that gives off rustic vibes

    If you’re going for the traditional picnic look, this romantic wooden basket is cute AF. It features a fabric-lined interior and has enough plates and cutlery for you and your three BFFs — or a double date. 😏

    Inside there’s also a stainless steel corkscrew for popping open some bubbly, a wooden cutting board, wine glasses, and classy cotton napkins. All the dinnerware is dishwasher-safe, so post-picnic cleanup is a cinch.

    An all-in-one picnic backpack for traveling light 

    If a rustic picnic basket seems too cumbersome to lug all the way to the nearest park, consider this stylish yet practical option that’s a lot more portable.

    Hop on your bike with this insulated picnic backpack in tow — it carries enough lunchtime supplies for up to four peeps and comes with stainless steel cutlery, plastic wine glasses, cotton napkins, and plates. It’s also equipped with a picnic blanket so you can carry everything you need right on your back. A roomy, insulated compartment keeps food and drinks cold for hours. 

    A cooler to maintain the chill

    These canvas coolers from Food52 are functional and adorable. And they’re eco-friendly, too!

    Pop some ice packs inside, and the lining will help keep your beers or La Croixs cool until you’re ready to crack ’em open. The striped canvas exterior is bright and cheery and ultra-durable. You can bring this cutie to a picnic, but it’s also versatile enough to tag along wherever you’re heading for the morning or afternoon — beach, farmer’s market, or backyard BBQ

    A snuggly spot for wine

    This handy carrier fits two bottles of wine and features a leakproof, insulated design. The thick padding keeps glass bottles snug as a bug. A strap and handle make the tote easy to carry whether you’re walking, biking, or taking public transit to your go-to picnic spot. The durable fabric keeps your drinks safe wherever you go, so no need to worry about ripping or tearing. 

    Tunes to set the mood

    TURN. IT. UP.

    What’s an outdoor picnic without some beats to set the scene? This portable speaker is small but mighty, pumping out your fave Spotify playlist without skipping a beat. It has 12 hours of playtime (perf for all-day fun) and is waterproof up to 3-feet deep, so you’re covered whether you bring it to the park, the pool, or the lake.

    It’s Bluetooth-enabled and can even connect to other JBL speakers to take the party to the next level. The best part? It comes in a ton of colors — and you can even design your own on JBL’s site. Just make sure whoever connects has good taste in music. 😛

    Games to keep the party going

    In these almost-post-pandemic times, you’ll probably have plenty of stuff to talk about with friends you haven’t seen in a while. But you can still have a bit of extra entertainment on hand. Mix fun and food with this foodie chessboard where cheese bites double as chess pieces. 🧀 🧀🧀

    If chess is a bit too cerebral for your taste, just flip the board over to reveal a backgammon board. Not into board games? No worries, skip the games and use it to serve alllll the cheese

    Another fan fave to consider is a Mexican train dominoes set. The dominoes are waterproof and heavy enough that they won’t blow away — plus, it’s fun for both kids and adults. You decide how long the game goes depending on how many rounds you play.

    A portable grill for on-the-go cooking 

    If you want to go all out and cook while you’re out and about, invest in this portable grill and whip up some burgers.

    If you’re planning an evening picnic, the BioLite also doubles as a fire pit. It produces hyper-efficient flames, so you’re not choking on smoke and rubbing your eyes as you peer into the flames. And, get this, it’s also Bluetooth enabled, so you can control the flame size with your freaking phone.

    A shelter to keep the sun from ruining the fun

    The sun gives us life, BUT it can also really eff up your skin. Too much of it can cause heat stroke and rapidly turn a refreshing picnic spread into a melty pile of unappetizing slop

    Plopping down your picnic blanket in a wide-open field can be freeing. When the sun’s beating down on you though, you’ll start to feel the heat — literally.

    A shelter like this pop-up shade tent is lightweight and easy to transport. You can use it with or without stakes, depending on the wind sitch. It snaps open with a toss, and voila! You’ve got an instant shelter for naps and snuggle sessions.

    Let’s eat (and drink): Picnic-friendly recipes to try

    A picnic without food? Yeah, bye. We’re going home.

    The whole point of a picnic is enjoying tasty finger food with your fave people. Here are a few picnic-friendly recipe ideas for your next al-fresco dining experience.

    Sandwiches galore

    There’s a reason sammies are the quintessential picnic food.

    • No melting? Check.
    • Eatable with one hand? Absolutely.
    • Easy to put together on a whim? Hell yes.
    • Portable? You betcha.

    Whether you’re going for deli meat delights or prefer to keep it veg-centric, keep those sandwiches simple. Slice them into bite-sized pieces that are perfect for sharing. 

    Here’s a vegetarian-friendly salad sandwich recipe to try:

    Ingredients

    • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
    • 2 tablespoons of mayo
    • 1/2 teaspoon of your fave mustard 
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste 
    • Your fave bread

    Toppings (optional)

    • Sprouts
    • Tomato
    • Lettuce
    • Chips (who doesn’t like a bit of crunch?)

    Smash those chickpeas with a potato masher or other comparable utensil. Mix in the mayo, mustard, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Then scoop the mash onto sliced bread and add optional toppings.

    Charcuterie board

    Skip the chess-playing and use the cheeseboard listed above for your mini picnic charcuterie spread. Ideas for what to include:

    All these components are easy to toss into a picnic basket or backpack. And don’t forget to pair your beautiful board ingredients with wine. 🥂

    Corn salad 

    Corn is the it-girl of summer veg and has a short in-season period, so take advantage of it and buy fresh corn from the farmer’s market for this recipe. Of course, frozen corn works too.

    Make this salad ahead of time and transport it in your backpack or basket in a leak-proof food storage container. This yields about six servings, but the recipe is easy to double. It pairs well with burgers, sandwiches, and pretty much anything on the grill.

    Here’s an amaze go-to secret corn salad recipe that’s always a hit at summer BBQs.

    Ingredients

    • 4 cups of corn (frozen or fresh)
    • 1 cup of cucumber, diced (preferably seedless)
    • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
    • 3 tablespoons butter (preferably half-salted)
    • Salt and pepper

    The key to this corn salad is slightly charring and caramelizing the corn. Melt butter in a cast-iron pan and add the corn. Continue stirring the corn and cook until you start to hear the kernels making a popping sound.

    Transfer the cooked corn to a large container or bowl. Add in the diced cucumber, crumbled feta, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine.

    You can also add other in-season veggies you have on hand, like diced zucchini or tomatoes.

    Tips for picnic success

    Here are some tips for having a fab time at your next picnic:

    • Prep as much as you can in advance. Avoid a morning scramble and prep salads and sandwiches beforehand. If they sit in the fridge overnight, they’ll be easier to keep cool on the go.
    • Freeze water bottles. Toss some water bottles into your freezer and use them as ice packs. When you’re done eating and the bottles eventually melt, you can use them to hydrate after a game of frisbee in the park.
    • Have a trash plan. Don’t assume there’s a bin nearby. Bring a trash bag in case you need to haul out your waste.
    • Forget the ice cream. We know it’s the ideal summertime dessert, but it’s going to melt all over you, and you’re going to feel like an idiot for attempting the impossible.
    • Don’t try to make everything from scratch. It’s OK to pick up premade foods and desserts for your picnic. Focus on enjoying the experience! And, don’t be afraid to share the prep work. Ask one friend to bring the wine, another to bring the cheese, while you get the cold cuts. You’ll each have to lug around less.
    • Check the weather. Sure, it’s sunny now, but what about later today? Check the weather forecast to avoid surprises.
    • Mad for melamine. If your picnic basket or bag doesn’t come with dinnerware, go for melamine or enamel. These materials are lightweight, reusable (yay for the planet!), and durable.
    • Choose a smart spot. You can picnic anywhere, but if you’re going to be drinking wine coolers and eating tasty goodies, there’d better be a bathroom nearby… just sayin’.

    Now that you’re all equipped, it’s time to call up your buds and plan a picnic in the park. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as the sky is clear, it’s always a good day for a picnic. ☀️