Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Optimizing women’s health and well-being throughout their lifespan by integrating sex and gender concepts into clinical care, research and education. The Office of Women’s Health at Mayo Clinic is dedicated to improving the health of women through advancements in education, research and clinical practice. This blog features articles from the top women’s health experts at Mayo Clinic. Load More Stories

Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Optimizing women’s health and well-being throughout their lifespan by integrating sex and gender concepts into clinical care, research and education. The Office of Women’s Health at Mayo Clinic is dedicated to improving the health of women through advancements in education, research and clinical practice. This blog features articles from the top […]

WELLNESS An Expert-Backed, Foolproof Guide To ‘Going Dry’ For A Month How to cut down on everything from sugar to alcohol to social media. Gemma HartleyOn Assignment For HuffPost 370 I love making New Year’s resolutions, but all too often, the thought of carrying on habits for a whole year intimidates me (and ultimately leads to me abandoning those lofty goals). So this year, I decided to go for a total reset, but only for a month. I figured having that light at the end of the tunnel would help me get through the difficult times during a very dry January. No alcohol, no TV, no social media, no added sugar ― all at the same time. I realized these habits were interfering with my mood, my productivity and my mental and physical well-being. After eschewing TV for a while last year, I was back to bingeing Netflix shows, frittering away the otherwise productive writing and reading time I would have in the evenings. My social media consumption was way out of hand, and it continually put me in a bad mood and wasted an enormous amount of time. The food I was putting into my body, especially throughout the holiday season, was making me feel like crap. And despite saying I only drank on the weekends, it was unlikely my husband and I wouldn’t crack open a bottle midweek. The toll these vices were taking on my mental health wasn’t just in my imagination, either. Research suggests binge-watching TV is linked to poor sleep and insomnia, and social media use can cause increased feelings of loneliness. Consuming too much sugar can lead to heart disease, liver disease and diabetes. And other research shows alcohol can negatively affect your mental and physical state. Quitting these habits cold-turkey seemed like my best bet to start the new year off on the right foot. Here’s why I’m planning to kick these habits for a month, along with expert guidance on how you can do it, too: Alcohol brazzo via Getty Images While imbibing in moderation isn’t necessarily bad (somestudies even suggest a tiny bit of alcohol may be linked to some health benefits), drinking in excess is always destructive. “Alcohol depletes a broad range of vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, proteins and minerals from your body,” explains Dr. Carolyn Dean, a physician and nutritional expert. Dean says too much alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns, and though it may decrease stress in the moment, it can potentially lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, making stress harder to handle in the long term. Not to mention the hangovers the next day that drinking may cause. To take a booze break, consider what might tempt you and work to avoid it. For me, I canceled my wine club order for the month, convinced my husband to go dry with me and decided to go to bed earlier ― since temptation tends to strike at night. “With any resolution or goal, it’s important to identify what might ‘get in the way,’ so consider the obstacles,” says Julia Colangelo, a licensed clinical social worker and solution-focused therapist. Here are some other tips and guidance on how to take a month off alcohol. Television tommaso79 via Getty Images My late-night TV habit sometimes involved three straight hours of “The Crown” (and usually some wine and chocolate to pair with it). I’d look up, realize it was nearly midnight, and then stumble off to bed. Then, not surprisingly, I’d have trouble sleeping. Amy Sunderman, director of science and innovation at Swanson Health, says that all that blue light can do real damage to sleeping patterns. “Studies have shown that too much blue light exposure can disrupt our circadian rhythm, especially if we’re exposed to blue light sources at night, because blue light suppresses melatonin,” she explains. Obviously, I’d still need some screen time, but ditching the nighttime Netflix was a good start. “While it isn’t possible to avoid blue light altogether, you can take steps to protect yourself from the dangers of blue light,” says Sunderman. She suggests setting a “lights out” time in the evening for your devices, and limiting any screen time that isn’t directly for work. Here are some other tricks for taking a digital break. Social Media mikroman6 via Getty Images Kelsey Torgerson, a licensed clinical social worker and anxiety expert at Compassionate Counseling St. Louis, warns that excessive social media use ― to the point where it feels like you have to check it ― can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety. “We’re still in the New World when it comes to looking at the long-term effects of social media,” says Torgerson, “but we do know it’s not healthy to stare at screens for too long, that frequent phone usage before bed impact sleep habits, that our posture is a lot worse when we’re hunched over a phone, and that it can lower our mood.” In addition to all that, I also knew I was wasting an enormous amount of time scrolling through social media. I would check my phone for messages or the time, and mindlessly click on Instagram without a second thought. Torgerson says that quitting cold-turkey is no easy feat, but she suggests focusing on the positive, like how much time that will be saved and diverted to healthier habits (for me, that will mean reading more). “Through the new year, make sure that your resolution to use less medicating behavior is really specific,” says Torgerson. “You want your goals to be S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive.” Here are some signs it might be time to take a social media sabbatical. Sugar CocoSan via Getty Images I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and the effects of too much sugar are starting to catch up with me. I’m facing down some pretty hefty dental bills from cavities, and I’ve noticed how bad my mood swings are when I don’t get my “fix” first thing in the morning by heaping white sugar into my tea. I decided to make a conscious effort to avoid added sugar completely, whether it be in my morning pick-me-up or just in packaged foods I buy in the grocery store. However, this can be a more difficult task than many realize. (My method of total sugar annihilation has already left me plenty cranky.) So it should be noted that there are also benefits to just pulling back on sugar without completely eliminating it. “When it comes to added sugar, you don’t have to cut it out completely,” says Toby Amidor, a registered dietician and nutrition expert, and author of The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. “The 2015 to 2020 dietary guidelines for Americans set a limit for added sugar and recommend no more than 10 percent each day. That’s 200 calories, or about 12 teaspoons, for a 2,000 calorie diet.” For those ditching all the added sugar like me, Amidor suggests making sure you have some healthy swaps on hand for when cravings strike, and being vigilant about reading labels for hidden sweeteners. “Sugar can be listed on the ingredient list under different names, including glucose, brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, raw sugar, sucrose and molasses,” Amidor says. Here are a few other things you should know about cutting out sugar. Don’t Lose Hope If You Can’t Completely Commit skynesher via Getty Images I’m all-in on my reset, but eliminating all your bad habits completely doesn’t have to be the answer. Cutting back can work just as well, as long as you’re clear on your intention. Research shows that setting out to achieve smaller, more attainable goals in different categories may increase your motivation to achieve loftier ambitions. “Instead of saying ‘I’m going to stop eating sugar,’ look at what amount you can decrease in this first week and then keep tracking it,” says Torgerson. “For media, recognize that utilizing your phone and computer is a part of your life, so figure out where you can decrease the usage.” “Then, remember that it’s OK to slip up! It’s hard to change ingrained behaviors. Relapse is part of the process. So be gentle with yourself.” Download ALSO ON HUFFPOST BEFORE YOU GO PHOTO GALLERY 100 Ways To De-Stress MORE:TelevisionHealthSleepNetflixSocial Media An Expert-Backed, Foolproof Guide To ‘Going Dry’ For A Month 370 CONVERSATIONS

WELLNESS An Expert-Backed, Foolproof Guide To ‘Going Dry’ For A Month How to cut down on everything from sugar to alcohol to social media. Gemma HartleyOn Assignment For HuffPost 370 I love making New Year’s resolutions, but all too often, the thought of carrying on habits for a whole year intimidates me (and ultimately leads […]

So THAT’S Why You Feel Sick After Taking Vitamins Nothing like a side of nausea with your nutrients. By Lindsay Holmes yorkfoto via Getty Images 340 26 A daily multivitamin or supplement may give your well-being an extra boost, but if you’ve ever swallowed one and felt sick right after, you know it’s hardly a pleasant experience. It can even make you want to ditch the regimen altogether. Taking certain types of vitamins may cause a range of gastrointestinal issues, according to Dr. David Poppers, a gastroenterologist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. It isn’t unheard-of to experience abdominal pain or discomfort, queasiness or diarrhea. There are a number of factors that could contribute to these stomach issues when it comes to your vitamins or supplements. Below are a few reasons they may be making you feel ill: You’re taking vitamins on an empty stomach. Vitamins that are more acidic in nature ― like vitamin C or folate ― may cause nausea if they’re consumed on an empty stomach, Poppers told HuffPost. “There are some buffering effects when vitamins are taken with a snack or a small amount of food,” he said, adding that some nutrients are even better absorbed when they’re taken with some grub. However, some supplements may be better off consumed on their own. “Fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A, D, E and K, unlike some others, may be better absorbed when not taken with food,” Poppers said. There’s a lot of iron in your pill. Multivitamins that contain a lot of iron (like a prenatal vitamin) or iron supplements themselves can cause nausea, according to Dr. Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. This is especially true if you’re taking them outside of a meal. “Iron is interesting in that it’s best absorbed on an empty stomach, but it’s hardest to take on an empty stomach because of the nausea,” Hensrud said. “I tell people that it’s better to take it with food than trying to take it on an empty stomach, being miserable and then deciding after that not to take it at all. It might decrease the absorption a little bit but it’s better than nothing.” You’re taking vitamins with other medications. You might want to look to your medicine cabinet. “Vitamins are like medications in that they can have interactions with each other and other medications you’re taking,” Hensrud said. “It’s very important to review the combinations with doctors to make sure there are no harmful interactions that could interfere with efficacy.” Some research suggests that multivitamins could cause side effects when taken at the same time estrogen levels are elevated (which could happen with birth control), Hensrud added. Talk with your doctor about all medications you’re taking ― including those added nutrients. The timing of when you’re taking vitamins might be off. “It’s important to discuss with an expert the timing of these vitamins,” Poppers said. “They can complement each other and they can also sometimes interfere with the absorption of one over the other.” For example, iron is better absorbed when taken with vitamin C, Poppers explained. Taking iron with calcium, however, may have the opposite effect. The label on your vitamins should provide directions for taking them, along with details on ingredients, manufacturing and the percent daily value for that nutrient. Check the information before taking it to see what else you should know. Additionally, both Poppers and Hensrud emphasize that it’s imperative you chat with your doctor before starting a daily vitamin or supplement routine, and alert them if you’re experiencing any side effects. People can typically get their recommended daily amount through a proper diet. Most people don’t need a ton of added nutrients unless they’re deficient, Hensrud said. A simple blood test conducted by a physician can determine what vitamin deficiencies you might have, and your doctor can recommend the best course of action based on that, Poppers explained. “Like most things related to your health, taking vitamins can be very complex,” Poppers said. Download ALSO ON HUFFPOST BEFORE YOU GO PHOTO GALLERY 100 Ways To De-Stress Lindsay Holmes Deputy Healthy Living Editor, HuffPost Suggest a correction MORE:DrugsDietsBirth Control VitaminsNew York University So THAT’S Why You Feel Sick After Taking Vitamins 340 26 CONVERSATIONS

So THAT’S Why You Feel Sick After Taking Vitamins Nothing like a side of nausea with your nutrients. By Lindsay Holmes yorkfoto via Getty Images 340 26 A daily multivitamin or supplement may give your well-being an extra boost, but if you’ve ever swallowed one and felt sick right after, you know it’s hardly a […]

Lauren Rearick On Assignment For HuffPost Lauren Rearick is a freelance writer based in Western Pennsylvania. She has written for Teen Vogue, Reader’s Digest, CNN Opinion, Hello Giggles and others. She also founded a music blog called The Grey Estates. You can reach her at laurenr024@gmail.com or on Twitter @laurenelizrrr

Lauren Rearick On Assignment For HuffPost Lauren Rearick is a freelance writer based in Western Pennsylvania. She has written for Teen Vogue, Reader’s Digest, CNN Opinion, Hello Giggles and others. She also founded a music blog called The Grey Estates. You can reach her at laurenr024@gmail.com or on Twitter @laurenelizrrr

WELLNESS What’s The Deal With Depression Naps? They may seem good for you, but they’re far from it. By Lauren Rearick Adam Kuylenstierna / EyeEm via Getty Images 3.1k Spend some time scrolling through your social media feed and you’re likely to come across the term “depression nap.” Like its name would suggest, a depression nap is a period of time where someone takes a lengthy snooze in order to shy away from unwanted emotions or symptoms associated with their depression. It’s a largely internet-created phenomenon, with the sleeping trend gaining popularity among those on social media, according to Michelle Drerup, director of behavioral sleep medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. me waking up from a depression nap and walking past a mirror pic.twitter.com/v5uI4Bqvte— Rachel Whitehurst (@RachLWhitehurst) January 7, 2018 It’s the exact habit that Nina Braca turns to when she feels upset or frustrated. Although the 23-year-old New Yorker started taking naps as a means of coping before the term was popularized, she continues to rely on napping when she wants to avoid a period of problems or thinking. Braca estimates that her naps last two to four hours, and mainly occur on weekends when she isn’t working. “I started feeling abnormally tired when I started taking antidepressants about six years ago,” she told HuffPost. “I would come home, nap for two hours, do some work and then go to sleep. I was very depressed then and sleeping was a way to ignore everything.” The idea of taking extended naps to avoid unwanted feelings is why Trey Longo takes depression naps, too. The 24-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, said his naps last for an average of four to six hours. Like Braca, he uses the time to withdraw from unwanted feelings. “The biggest benefit of depression naps is that they allow me to escape negative feelings associated with myself due to depression,” he said. “I use it as an escape from the things I can’t do because of my depression.” Are Depression Naps Useful? Despite their reliance on depression naps, both Braca and Longo said they know it’s not a long-term means of treatment. Braca said napping is the “best way to pass the time” but acknowledges she is using sleep to avoid her problems. Longo agreed, noting that although he is able to escape his problems with napping, the mental respite is only temporary. While it may seem like a means of coping with the illness, experts warn that those taking frequent, extensive naps are likely masking a much larger problem. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a brief nap here and there, but a depression nap may not be as helpful to your mental health as its popularity would lead you to believe. is it ok to take a depression nap at 8pm? asking for a friend— do i want to (@dietoday_) January 3, 2018 According to Adriane Soehner, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, the fleeting nature of social media’s self-prescribed way of coping is what makes the treatment problematic. A few hours of shuteye may help for a time, but whatever one wishes to avoid with napping will still be there upon waking. “It would bewonderful if we could sleep away depression, but we all know that’s not the case,” Soehner said. “Napping every now and then isn’t much of a concern if your sleep is healthy and you’re mentally healthy, but in the case of depression, it’s something you want to keep an eye on.” There’s no denying that napping can be used as a form of coping, Soehner said, but it’s how the coping mechanism is used that matters. She explained that people can turn to naps when they’re feeling bored or want to avoid activities they dislike. Others, including those with depression, can use naps to escape their feelings or negative thoughts. But, when naps start to interfere with regular sleep or occur for multiple hours of the day, that’s when one should reconsider this form of coping. How Depression Naps Aggravate The Condition The reality is that this technique is doing more harm than good. Extended naps can alter a person’s overall sleep patterns. Disrupted sleep cycles can make depression worse, Soehner said, and in some cases the need to frequently nap can stick around even when depression gets better. According to Drerup, it’s worth talking to a trusted doctor about your napping patterns if you begin to notice that you have trouble falling asleep at night or if you have trouble staying asleep. “While naps are meant to be restorative and energizing, depression naps can actually be an unhealthy way of dealing with feelings, becoming a kind of defense mechanism and avoidance,” Drerup said. “They may wake up feeling guilty and more overwhelmed that they have the same things to do but less time to do it now. It’s very important for people to be able to tolerate their feelings and practice healthy coping skills that combat depression.” If you start to become concerned about the frequency of your napping or you notice you’re napping more, Drerup suggests keeping a sleep log. She also recommends only taking short “power” naps of 15 to 30 minutes. It’s not unordinary to feel fatigued if you have depression, Soehner said, but instead of turning to naps, those with the condition should try doing something that keeps them engaged. She suggests playing a fun game on your phone, going for a short walk or just stepping outside to see the sun. Drerup also recommends finding a support group, exercising, watching things that make you feel good, spending time with a pet or expressing yourself through art, music or writing. Most important, chat with a professional if any depression symptoms, like excessive sleep or fatigue, are interfering with your daily life. “If you’re taking frequent depression naps, it’s certainly worthwhile to bring that up to your doctor, especially if you’re feeling particularly distressed or the naps are impairing you,” Soehner said. “If you begin missing work or school or family and friends start to raise concern about how much you’re sleeping it’s generally a good idea to seek a little more help.” Download ALSO ON HUFFPOST BEFORE YOU GO PHOTO GALLERY Celebrities On The Importance Of Mental Health Lauren Rearick On Assignment For HuffPost Suggest a correction MORE:SleepMental HealthDepressionMemes What’s The Deal With Depression Naps? 3.1k CONVERSATIONS

WELLNESS What’s The Deal With Depression Naps? They may seem good for you, but they’re far from it. By Lauren Rearick Adam Kuylenstierna / EyeEm via Getty Images 3.1k Spend some time scrolling through your social media feed and you’re likely to come across the term “depression nap.” Like its name would suggest, a depression […]

27 Perfect Tweets About Whole30 That Will Make You LOL “The only Whole30 I want to participate in is eating a whole 30 cookies.” By Lindsay Holmes 6.4k If you’re doing Whole30, you’re already aware of the struggle involved. If you know someone doing Whole30, you’ve likely heard about the struggle. The diet plan, which focuses on consuming more whole foods, has grown in popularity over the past few years. Whole30 lasts ― you guessed it ― 30 days, and includes foods like eggs, vegetables, fruit and meat (there’s also a vegan version). Alcohol, sugar, dairy, legumes and grains are not compliant, meaning some condiments and even pickled vegetables are forbidden. Whole30 has received both praise and criticism. Fans say the food plan can lead to more energy and feeling better overall, and may help with weight loss (although it is not marketed for that). Others say Whole30 can be too restrictive and could mess with the body’s microbiome. The bottom line is Whole30 can be a challenge for anyone. If you’re on the journey (or even if you’re not), we rounded up some hilarious tweets to make you laugh ― and hopefully ease the pain. Starting whole 30 tomorrow so saying goodbye to everything I love by dumping two cups of sugar into a bottle of beer— Taylor Kay Phillips (@TayKayPhillips) January 8, 2018 Whole30 Day One: Forgot I was on Whole30 Put a gummy bear in my mouth Spit it out in a panic— Casey LeVie (@caseylevie) January 9, 2018 First day of Whole30 and I am doing great pic.twitter.com/kfluGXsmp5— Laine Sanburg (@LaineSanburg) January 9, 2018 Second day of whole 30. Whithering away but still don’t have abs. Grumpy, may cry at the site of French fries. Not going well— mar (@mardewall) January 4, 2018 Me reading labels at the store #whole30#JanuaryWhole30 Day 2 going well so far. pic.twitter.com/UtYClEBiUj— Lourdes Rincon (@Lou_rincon) January 2, 2018 I just want Mexican. Chips and salsa and queso and fish tacos and refried beans and fajitas and enchiladas and chimichangas and burritos and more chips and salsa and queso and fried ice cream. Save me @Whole30 Jesus.— Criminelle Law (@CriminelleLaw) January 6, 2018 "This Whole 30 thing isn't so bad." *Sees a Pizza* "I must eat that entire pizza." *Sees a cake* "Chocolate…must…ganache…delicious…in my mouth." *Sees a pig* "I will kill you, cure you in brown sugar for 3 days, and dunk you in butter, meat."— Andrew (@golarion) January 9, 2018 Day 3 of Whole 30 and I’m either detoxing from sugar…. or dying. One or the other. I’ll keep you posted.— Allison Fallon (@missallyfallon) January 5, 2018 After running our dishwasher 4 times in 3 days, I've started to view the @whole30 as a challenge to become the most efficient dish loader in the world pic.twitter.com/5jhWuYhjmM— Kayla Dobson (@kaydob31) January 3, 2018 What if someone did Whole 30 and didn’t tell ANYONE?— Valerie Catrow (@ValerieCatrow) January 2, 2018 New mantra: If you can’t handle me on day 4 of @whole30, then you don’t deserve me when tiger blood kicks in. #januarywhole30#crankyAF— Dolly (@dollyswholelife) January 4, 2018 Quick. I need someone else in the entire United States not to be on whole 30 right now besides me.— Lisa Whittle (@LisaRWhittle) January 6, 2018 i want bread so bad i think my head is gonna explode #whole30— Catherine Manzanares (@catherineapples) January 9, 2018 Seven days into Whole30, and the scale says I've lost six pounds, but my heart says I've lost a lot of good opportunities to drink wine, so here we are.— Justin Kirkland (@justinkirkland4) January 9, 2018 When the cashier at Trader Joe’s says wow really stocking up the kitchen and it’s really just enough food to get you through one week of @whole30. #whole30life— Dan Syde (@dansyde) January 7, 2018 There is no quiet way to eat carrots 🥕 #whole30pic.twitter.com/LvtwhtCc8o— Alexandra (@TheAlexandraRC) January 9, 2018 whole 30, day 7: pic.twitter.com/XbWM3tij8B— Petty Mayonnaise (@carlysintothat) January 9, 2018 My second time doing Whole 30 really is going well so far, despite what the jar of Nutella in my bed may suggest— Peter LaPrade (@PeterLaPrade) January 5, 2018 The only whole30 I want to participate in is eating a whole 30 cookies.— Isabelle Finley (@BelleFin_) January 8, 2018 You know the @whole30 struggle is real when your fiancé says he’s leaving you for bread 😂 #whole30— Maura Sage (@MSage09) January 9, 2018 there are not enough ways to eat eggs to get me through whole 30 breakfasts if i eat another egg i’m going to scramble myself— Brenn Busker (@jessbrennbusker) January 9, 2018 Look, do your Whole 30, whatever, but don’t you try for ONE SECOND to convince me spaghetti squash has anything to do with pasta.— Lauren Morrill (@LaurenEMorrill) January 3, 2018 My professor spent 20 minutes (yes 20) about pizza and the different styles and delicious toppings. "I love whole30" I say to myself as I pick at my protein salad— Kayla Mason (@KKantstopme) January 9, 2018 Day 9 of #Whole30 and someone brought homemade cornbread into the office. This is my favorite bread type. There is even whipped honey butter. HOLD ME BACK.— Blaire Bender (@blairebender) January 9, 2018 Everyone I know is doing whole30 for January and I’m over here like yeah im already a whole30 lbs overweight from the holidays thx— Jonathan Liff (@jliff_) January 8, 2018 The worst part of the new year is the Whole 30 crowd reheating their fish and brussels sprouts in the microwave— Katie Stone (@KatieStone42) January 3, 2018 What I learned from my first week of #Whole30: 1) Everyone lied, drinking water does not stop cravings. 2) Sugar in fruit is not the same as a brownie or Oreo. 3) I need to add a lot more brownies and Oreos to my regular diet.— Cierra (@cierraruhnay) January 8, 2018 Jokes aside, there is one vital note: It’s important to talk to a doctor before doing any major overhaul to your eating or lifestyle habits, including trying out Whole30. What works for someone else, whether that’s this diet plan or another one, may not work for you. If you do decide you want to go on a Whole30 plan, checking in with a professional can help you do it as safely as possible. Good luck ― and may your bread cravings be minimal. Download ALSO ON HUFFPOST BEFORE YOU GO PHOTO GALLERY 100 Ways To De-Stress Lindsay Holmes Deputy Healthy Living Editor, HuffPost Suggest a correction MORE:United StatesHealth And MedicineDietAmerican Cuisine 27 Perfect Tweets About Whole30 That Will Make You LOL 6.4k CONVERSATIONS

27 Perfect Tweets About Whole30 That Will Make You LOL “The only Whole30 I want to participate in is eating a whole 30 cookies.” By Lindsay Holmes 6.4k If you’re doing Whole30, you’re already aware of the struggle involved. If you know someone doing Whole30, you’ve likely heard about the struggle. The diet plan, which […]

Refinery29, Contributor The #1 new-media brand for smart, creative and stylish women everywhere. A Week In Somerville, Massachusetts, On A $90,000 Salary 01/10/2018 05:29 pm ETUpdated3 days ago Welcome toMoney Diaries, where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar. Today: a regulatory affairs manager who makes $90,000 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on movie snacks. Occupation: Regulatory Affairs Manager Industry: Biotech Age: 37 Location: Somerville, MA Salary: $90,000/year Bonus: ~$8,000 to $15,000 year-end bonus Partner’s Salary: $45,000/year Paycheck (2x/month): $2,251. This includes taxes, $200/month FSA, and medical, dental, and vision insurance for my partner, Eric* and myself. Check From Eric: $1,428.80 Monthly ExpensesHousing Costs: $1,300/month to rent a one-bedroom apartment with a yard, deck and driveway. (Free parking is a major bonus.) Our apartment is very, very cheap in part because the unit shares utilities with the other tenants (one-third us, two-thirds them), meaning we have less control over our costs. Loans: $100/month for husband’s car loan. I finished paying off my student loans last year. Partner student loans are also $0. All Other Monthly ExpensesTransportation: My employer subsidizes my monthly T pass and I pay $40 each month (taken from my paycheck). Netflix: $10 Invisalign: $133/month (for 18 months) My Cell Phone: $50 Partner’s Cell Phone: $15; he’s on his family’s plan. Car Insurance: $120 Internet: $45 Electric: $37.30 Gas: $38.64 Groceries: $415 Amazon Prime: $100/year Gym: $25 (work subsidized) 401(k): $276.93/week from my paycheck and company matches 6 percent. I save for Eric’s retirement too as he has no benefits. Check To Eric: $980 Day One 6:40 a.m. — It’s Friday so I’m allowed to work from home, one of the perks of my smaller biotech company. Everyone in my department works from about 6:30/7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m./4 p.m. so I’m up early with my coffee and cereal. I love my job; a couple of years ago I switched careers and got a salary bump. Because I graduated prior to meeting Eric, I used my salary to pay off my grad student loans last year. I’m also adding to our house down payment fund using my raise. Paying 20 percent on a condo or house around here costs at least ~$120,000, so despite our income, we struggle to meet our financial goals. I’ll pay two-thirds of the mortgage payment due to my higher income but we just throw everything we can into the down payment fund at this point. I log into my credit card account and pay the monthly balance. We put everything on our cards to get points and cash back! $1,130 12 p.m. — I make a turkey sandwich and eat an apple, and remember to write Eric my monthly check ($980). Our financial situation is probably the most controversial part of our relationship (aside from the polyamory) as we maintain separate finances aside from the house and retirement funds. When we moved in together, we worked out how much we each spent; the check covers my half of the household costs for the month. It also takes into account that I pay for half his insurance since I have him on all my insurance (health, dental, vision, life, disability). Since Eric and I are married, people think maintaining separate finances mean we are selfish or juvenile. But we don’t want to juggle multiple accounts, watch our balances, and check in all the time about spending. We both know how much we have in our accounts all the time, but it takes all the accounting headaches out of the finances to keep them separate. 4 p.m. — After work, my close friend comes over for a bike ride on our town bike path. We stop for oatmeal cookie ice cream ($4.75) and water ($2.25) during our ride, then end at her house where several other close friends come over. We order eggplant and pepperoni pizza (my part is $10) plus I buy wine for the group ($11.99). I ride my bike home; I always bike, walk, or take the T. $28.99 Daily Total: $1,159 Day Two 7 a.m. — I get up early and do our laundry, which costs $2 for each load on our second-floor landing. I save $1 on some of the dryer loads by hanging up my work clothes. I find they last longer that way. $5 12 p.m. — Eric and I take a long bike ride and stop to buy groceries for lunch (pork chops and quinoa and carrots) at home. Eric is a fantastic cook, so it’s not a hardship to eat in. $17 2 p.m. — Eric takes the car to the mechanics. I’m like a 1950s housewife when it comes to the car; it’s totally Eric’s domain. It’s embarrassing but I justify it with the fact that I rarely drive. Because of that, I pay for one-fifth of the maintenance and gas, and nothing for the monthly car payment or insurance. (It was $120 and dropped a ton when we got married, so I save Eric money.) The maintenance check costs $313, and my share is $62.60. $62.60 6 p.m. — Today is date night with a new guy I’m seeing. Somerville has a polyamorous community, and my goal is to have a permanent relationship with one or two other people aside from Eric. I broke up with an LTR partner recently so unfortunately, I’m back in the dating world. I’m not sure this will turn into anything, but we’ll see. I walk into the square, which is conveniently close to nightlife, and we meet at one of the classier places for dinner. Good conversation, but I don’t think I’m feeling it with him. At the end, I offer to split the bill but the guy insists; I know he makes a lot more than me so it’s fine. We walk around the square and have fun pointing out how old we are compared to the college kids. He told me a story about being confused about Venmo, and I laugh since I still write checks like an 80-year-old. We grab drinks at another bar and I pick up the tab this time. I walk home around 1 a.m. $27.16 Daily Total: $111.76 Day Three 10 a.m. — Eric and I get up and eat bacon, eggs, and toast at home, then take a long hike. We swing by Starbucks after and I pay. It’s kind of a waste of money, but I love my chai tea. $8.45 6 p.m. — My Starbucks pastry tides me over until Eric makes an early dinner of spaghetti, homemade meat sauce, and broccoli. He always makes enough on Sundays for either his lunches or our dinner until Wednesday, which saves money. We head out to our local indie theater in the square to see Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, a movie about a poly family. I pay for tickets ($20) and snacks for us ($9), and we love the movie. It makes me sad about not having another partner though. Eric doesn’t care; he’s not dating and hasn’t in years, so he’s not as wistful. We fall into the odd category of being a poly-monogamous couple, which is unusual. We started off both being poly but Eric hates dating and decided to quit. He’s too introverted for it to be fun for him, which I get because I hate dating too, but I have always loved being in a serious LTR with a couple of people so it’s worth dating to get back into a triad. $29 Daily Total: $37.45 Day Four 5:40 a.m. — Coffee and cereal at home. Since it’s Monday, I take the T to the office at 6:45. I know I’ll be I’m hungry later this morning, so I go to the corner café and get a muffin ($3.20) which is pretty much a daily thing. I also pick up a fruit cup for later ($2.65). $5.85 11:30 a.m. — Lunch at the office cafeteria, which is pretty outstanding. I always get a sandwich and a yogurt and either a granola bar or cookie. I used to be great at bringing food into work when I made less money, and this has become my biggest indulgence. I just don’t make an effort anymore to pack food. Our household takeout food budget, which includes lunches like this, is shamefully higher than our grocery bill. Inertia gets me every time though. $10.47 5 p.m. — I’m heading home and I’m starving. Eric took the spaghetti to work for his lunch for the week, and he’s working late today. I’m too lazy to cook, so I get us burritos from our local place. Eric thinks I’m a hero for getting him a burrito even though it’s cold by the time he gets home. We have this quasi-embarrassing habit of eating in front of the TV and watching Netflix until I fall asleep, which is exactly what we do tonight. $19.04 Daily Total: $35.36 Day Five 5:40 a.m. — Coffee and cereal at home. I’m a creature of habit. I get to the office two hours after I get up; it was pouring so my walk to the T and the ride to my office were unpleasant and slow. I never take cabs or Uber though; they add up way too fast! When I walk into the corner café, the ladies get me a muffin as I walk up to the counter without me asking. I’m a baller. $3.20 11:30 a.m. — Lunch at the office cafeteria. Today’s total is less since I’ve skipped the cookie. I know there’s a social hour at work this afternoon and it’s always loaded with food. At social hour two hours later, the catering is on point and I shamelessly grab food and leave it on my desk for later. I’m so proactive. $8.23 3 p.m. — My ortho takes my monthly payment out of my FSA account for my Invisalign. My teeth were always straight as a kid but they shifted as an adult. Since my work pays for a portion, plus I have adult orthodontics insurance coverage for the first time, I decide to get them. I’m on month four of an 18-month payment plan, no interest. My one regret is not getting this done prior to my wedding three years ago, but I couldn’t justify the expense back then.5 p.m. — I’m home and find out Eric has to work late tonight. I’m sort of annoyed I didn’t know that before, because I could have either cooked or gotten a pizza instead of burritos yesterday. I get us a pizza and a salad. We’re usually way better at cooking dinner, partially to offset the amount Eric and I spend on lunches at the office. $21.94 Daily Total: $33.37 Day Six 5:40 a.m. — Coffee and cereal at home. I go into the office, but no muffin today since I’ve stored pastries from yesterday’s social hour at my desk like a squirrel. I score at lunch too because there’s leftover catering which is pretty common in this office. I grab a sandwich and OJ and congratulate myself on being frugal. 5 p.m. — I have a couple of items to return at Ann Taylor. With my new job comes a wardrobe upgrade since the dress code is way fancier. I’ve spent about $600 or so on clothes in the past several months, which is much higher than my usual budget. I take the T to Harvard Square and learn my items are in final sale mode and I can’t get the full value back. Instead, I get $50 in store credit and then decide to check out the sale rack and buy a dress ($65 minus the $50 credit). $15 6:30 p.m. — I catch the T home, although I could walk. As luck would have it, a friend is on my train and I take it as a sign that we should get dinner together. She just moved into my neighborhood and is demonstrating why I like my area so much — I run into friends a lot in my small-big city. She offers to split the bill, but I know she makes far less than me so I pick up the check for dinner plus drinks. She doesn’t know how much I make and I prefer to keep it that way. My income seems high on paper, but really isn’t that great given our area and our crappy college housing. I don’t like telling people what I make because it gives them the wrong idea. A lot of people don’t know the income disparity between Eric and me and assume he makes a similar amount as I do, if not more; people estimate our discretionary income as way higher. $67.30 Daily Total: $82.30 Day Seven 6 a.m. — I struggle to get up, feeling nauseous. I eat coffee and cereal at home and can’t finish it, which is a major red flag since I am always hungry. I believe (and also can’t believe) that I’m hungover from last night even though I drank so little. I rarely drink hard liquor anymore though, and our after-dinner whiskey drinks might be the culprit. I make it halfway to the train and decide to abort my trip to work. I swing by our local bakery on the way back to my place and get fortifications for the day, a piece of blueberry coffeecake and an apple croissant. I have conference calls from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a small break, and I nurse the coffee and coffeecake at my home desk. $6.49 1 p.m. — Since I wasn’t planning on being home, I need to run across the street to get lunch as we have no food at home. Eric will go grocery shopping tonight on his way home from work, but in the meantime I grab a tuna sub. It will last me two days since it’s huge, so it’s a pretty cheap lunch. $8.98 4 p.m. — Done with work for the day and contemplating heading back into work for the company’s weekly free happy hour. Decide against it because I could run into my bosses, which is a shame because the amount of food at happy hour is always enough to make dinner out of. Last week was Indian themed happy hour and they had samosas, rice, chickpea curry, beef curry and chicken tiki masala. 4:15 p.m. — We’re visiting my cousin who lives in the Upper West Side of NYC in a couple of weeks. I check out the plane, Greyhound, and Amtrak options, and end up getting Eric and I Greyhound tickets. Travel is one of the ways I splurge now that I make more; recently I treated Eric to a weekend in D.C. since I was at a work conference. My meals were being comped, and he could use my hotel room. I bought Eric’s plane ticket and a lot of the food, but we don’t spend money like crazy. It was still a relatively cheap vacation. $136 5:30 p.m. — Eric arrives, grocery bags in hand. (They cost $132, but that is covered in my monthly check to Eric.) I help him unload it and I give him extra gas money, as he’s done more errands this week than usual for us. He cooks chicken and rice and veggies, and we unwind to some Netflix. $30 7 p.m. — Seeing new guy again. Eric and I were discussing his pros and cons, and I think I should give him another shot. He seems nice, and he’s clearly looking for something serious. One of the downsides of being poly is that some people think it’s like swinging or always casual, and for most poly people, it’s not. Many people aren’t just trying to sleep around, and you have to sift through people who are. I meet New Guy at a bar that has outdoor seating and I get a Dark and Stormy. It’s unseasonably warm so we have a great time sitting outside and the date goes better than last time. Maybe New Guy is going to be Future Guy. I walk home at 10 p.m., which I can do since my neighborhood is safe and full of people at this time of night. $12 including tip Daily Total: $193.47 *Name has been changed for anonymity. Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women’s experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29’s point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior. Related: How To Divvy Up Finances In A Long Term Relationship Related: Why I Regret Plucking My Unibrow Related: How The End Of Net Neutrality Will Affect You Related: Meet The Coolest 7-Year-Old On Instagram Related: Here’s What People Who Get Raises & Promotions Always Do Download MORE:Personal FinanceHome Buying And SellingHousehold FinanceApartmentsBudget A Week In Somerville, Massachusetts, On A $90,000 Salary CONVERSATIONS

Refinery29, Contributor The #1 new-media brand for smart, creative and stylish women everywhere. A Week In Somerville, Massachusetts, On A $90,000 Salary 01/10/2018 05:29 pm ETUpdated3 days ago Welcome toMoney Diaries, where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during […]

Refinery29 The #1 new-media brand for smart, creative and stylish women everywhere. Refinery29 is the leading digital-media company focused on women with an audience of 27 million monthly uniques on its website and a global reach of 225 million across platforms. Through a variety of lifestyle stories, original video programming, and social, shareable content across all platforms, Refinery29 provides its audience with the inspiration and tools to discover and pursue a more independent, stylish, and informed life. Load More Stories

Refinery29 The #1 new-media brand for smart, creative and stylish women everywhere. Refinery29 is the leading digital-media company focused on women with an audience of 27 million monthly uniques on its website and a global reach of 225 million across platforms. Through a variety of lifestyle stories, original video programming, and social, shareable content across […]

Refinery29, Contributor The #1 new-media brand for smart, creative and stylish women everywhere. The Real Reason Your Hands Are Always Cold Essentially, your hands are kept warm thanks to your body’s circulatory system. 01/10/2018 05:31 pm ETUpdatedJan 11, 2018 PHOTOGRAPHED BY JULIA ROBBS. As the “bomb cyclone” known as winter storm Grayson descends upon the east coast, your hands might be feeling a little colder than usual. But if, in general, you feel like your hands are somehow always inside their own personal ice buckets, you’re not alone. It turns out that having perpetually cold hands is a pretty common complaint. And, luckily, it’s probably not something you need to worry too much about. But it is annoying. Essentially, your hands are kept warm thanks to your body’s circulatory system. Warm blood is sent all the way from your heart down to your fingers, and more blood means more warmth. But if you’re out in the cold or if someone sneakily left a window open in your office, your body’s thermoregulation techniques might kick in. One of those strategies is to constrict your blood vessels, which keeps more blood near your core in order to protect your vital organs, says Natalie Evans, MD, at Cleveland Clinic. But the result is that your poor fingers lose some of that warmth. And, as Albert Ahn, MD, an internist at NYU Langone Medical Center explains to Buzzfeed, some of us are just simply more sensitive to those environmental changes than others, which means we’re left with cold hands more often — even when our coworkers couldn’t care less. However, in some cases, having cold hands when it’s not cold out could be a sign of something more serious going on. For instance, Reynaud’s disease causes your blood vessels to randomly contract — technical term: vasospasm — which causes the affected area to turn white and feel cold. Although it’s uncomfortable, Reynaud’s usually isn’t dangerous. But it may be a side effect of another issue (e.g. lupus or thyroid disorders). So if you notice any changes in the color or texture of your skin along with a feeling of coldness, definitely ask your doctor about it. And, of course, if you’ve been out in very cold temperatures for a long time, your cold hands could be suffering from the early stages of frostbite — if that’s the case, please get that checked out. The rest of us, though, should probably just invest in a pair of texting gloves. By: Sarah Jacoby Related: How To Divvy Up Finances In A Long Term Relationship Related: Why I Regret Plucking My Unibrow Related: How The End Of Net Neutrality Will Affect You Related: Meet The Coolest 7-Year-Old On Instagram Related: Here’s What People Who Get Raises & Promotions Always Do Download MORE:Health The Real Reason Your Hands Are Always Cold CONVERSATIONS

Refinery29, Contributor The #1 new-media brand for smart, creative and stylish women everywhere. The Real Reason Your Hands Are Always Cold Essentially, your hands are kept warm thanks to your body’s circulatory system. 01/10/2018 05:31 pm ETUpdatedJan 11, 2018 PHOTOGRAPHED BY JULIA ROBBS. As the “bomb cyclone” known as winter storm Grayson descends upon the […]

The 6 Relationship Problems Millennials Bring Up The Most In Therapy You’re not alone. By Brittany Wong lorenzoantonucci via Getty Images 390 Finding love ― and sustaining a relationship ― has always been hard, but it’s a little more complicated for millennials. “Unlike previous generations, millennials have grown up in a world full of dating apps. Gone is the day of simply meeting and marrying the boy or girl next door,” said Tara Griffith, a therapist and the founder of Wellspace SF, a San Francisco community of licensed therapists, nutritionists and certified coaches. “The sheer amount of choice present in today’s dating scene can make commitment even harder for a generation who has been conditioned to have it all.” Below, Griffith and other therapists share the most common relationship concerns they hear from patients in their 20s and 30s. “Millennials often fall victim to decision paralysis. In the information age, the dating world is shaped by a plethora of platforms to search for ‘the one.’ This can often lead to the choice paradox and feeling extreme anxiety and fear of missing out by choosing the wrong person. Instead of feeding into the anxiety around searching for the right partner, I help clients refocus on being the right partner. When you redirect your energy into being the kind of partner you would want to have, you can energize the piece of puzzle you have control over. This often relieves some of the dating anxiety and allows you to grow by sharing yourself.” ― Liz Higgins, a couples therapist in Dallas who works primarily with millennials “During their 20s, many millennials are choosing to prioritize other facets of life such as education, career, travel or life experiences before they settle down with a partner. Some find a partner later in life, when they’ve already created independent identities, careers, and sources of income. It’s also much more acceptable to have children without being married. Some millennials don’t see much benefit from obtaining a marriage certificate and potentially complicating things. Others may also devalue marriage due to being raised in a broken home themselves.” ― Tara Griffith “Text is the primary mode of communication for millennials but so much gets lost in translation. Interpreting tone or intention based on nothing more than a word or a piece of punctuation is frustrating at best and disastrous at worst. In addition, many of my clients drive themselves crazy trying to craft the perfect text response and ultimately waste immense amounts of time and energy. The majority of our messaging comes through non-verbal communication like tone, facial expressions and body language, so millennials (and all people, for that matter) would be better served by communicating by phone or face to face.” ― Jess Hopkins, a certified life coach who works with millennials in Los Angeles, California “A lot of millennials are starting to see friends get married and even have kids, but they themselves are perpetually single. Even though people are often marrying and settling down later, it still bothers a lot of millennials that they either can’t find a relationship or don’t feel ready for one.” ― Rachel Kazez, a Chicago therapist and founder of All Along, a program that helps people understand mental health and find therapy “Many of the younger couples I see bring up finances as an area they want to explore, especially before marriage. Money can often signify control or a power imbalance, which are both undesirable qualities in relationships. People don’t want to feel controlled, judged, or dependent when it comes to finances. What works best is to explore financial expectations, playing out scenarios (for example, what would it look like if one partner were to be a stay at home parent while the other worked?) and discussing boundaries. Many couples have found that it works best to have their own bank account with one merged couple account. What’s most important is that each unique couple find out what works best for them and their relationship goals.” ― Liz Higgins “I’ve seen so many straight millennial women complain that they’re ready for a serious relationship, but their boyfriends still want to ‘hang with his boys’ and play video games. She wonders if he will ever grow up and if she should stay with him and wait for him to change his behavior and make her his number one priority or simply move on with her life.”― Joyce Morley, a marriage and family therapist in Decatur, Georgia To read about what big life issues millennials complain about in general, head here. RELATED STORIESThe 6 Things Millennials Bring Up The Most In TherapyThese Are The Best And Worst Cities To Live In If You're 20-Something11 Illustrations That Sum Up How Exhausting Modern Dating Can Be11 Annoying Things People Say To Couples Who Get Married Young Download ALSO ON HUFFPOST Brittany Wong Relationships Editor, HuffPost Suggest a correction MORE:Arts And EntertainmentPsychologyMarriageDatingChicago The 6 Relationship Problems Millennials Bring Up The Most In Therapy 390 CONVERSATIONS

The 6 Relationship Problems Millennials Bring Up The Most In Therapy You’re not alone. By Brittany Wong lorenzoantonucci via Getty Images 390 Finding love ― and sustaining a relationship ― has always been hard, but it’s a little more complicated for millennials. “Unlike previous generations, millennials have grown up in a world full of dating […]