Weekly Newsletter

How to break from perfectionism and busyness!

Learn why more people are feeling the pressures of perfectionism, why night workers are at greater health risk and how to better enjoy your free time.
An Asian woman in a tunnel wearing a backless t-shirt has her back to the camera and throws her white hair into the air, with her arms extended outward.

Maybe you’re very aware of your perfectionist tendencies. Maybe you already suspect our workaholic culture is to blame. Or you know they’re the reason why you’re always so busy. Or maybe, like your humble newsletter author, you won’t suspect you even are a perfectionist until you read the first featured article below.

No matter which way you totter, we hope this week’s findings ease the self-criticism + encourage you to embrace a touch of self-indulgence instead.

Now, languidly stroll your fingers down into…

  • The Checkup: feelings + rest + food + words
  • Relief: perfection + night work + busyness
  • Healthcare: menopause + sterilization + anti-aging pills

The Checkup

The Perfection Trap

Smiling Black grandmother and her adult daughter and granddaughter sitting together at a table at home playing cards in a room with wide windows with greenery outside.

Perfectionists will be the first to tell you they’re not perfect. And according to new studies, there are plenty of perfectionists to ask.

Of the several types of perfectionism that have skyrocketed in the last few decades (yes, there are several types), socially prescribed perfectionism has risen the most. Rooted in the belief that others expect you to be perfect, experts attribute the jump to social media advertising + influencers, increased parental pressures + super-competitive schooling. The endless treadmill of not being good enough means we lose joy in the process of… everything. Instead, we become our own worst critics.

To learn coping mechanisms that’ll help you break the cycle, head to the New York Times.

Midnight Oil (burns)

Peaceful portrait of a gay couple sleeping on bed during the morning.

A study tracking 7,000 Americans across three decades revealed how daytime vs. nighttime work hours affect health and longevity.

Only 25% of study participants worked “traditional” 9-5 hours. The remaining 75% worked night + rotating shifts. Because the latter sacrificed sleep to make a living, they experienced more stress + had poorer health outcomes (like diabetes and depression) by age 50. Black men and those with lower education were most affected, routinely working night shifts + regularly sleep-deprived.

For more details, head to NPR.

How to be Less Busy

A modern country kitchen with open shelves, a wood countertop and a woman walking by in a blur.

According to The Atlantic, we can’t always blame the fact that we’re too busy! on our jobs or perfectionist tendencies. Sometimes, we do it to ourselves.

Most of us get antsy if we have free time. And Americans tend to associate busyness with high social status—on social media, the more we see people do, the more successful we presume they are. So to (psychologically) avoid angst + compete with others, we overschedule.

The kicker is most of us would feel more fulfilled if we had hours of ample time to spend on preferred activities. (Like, nine hours a day.) But because of those fears + beliefs, we fill unexpected empty minutes with mundane tasks (like answering emails) instead of something fun (like reading a book or taking a quick walk).

Curious to test your fear of idleness or want to break from the busyness? Read the article for more fun.

Healthcare 411

Out of touch on menopause: experts respond to the Lancet’s ‘over-medicalization’ claims (Ms.) Rebutting a Lancet series claiming that menopause is currently over-medicalized, 250+ medical experts clarify that copious data shows that over 70% of people go through menopause with untreated symptoms, hot flashes are not psychological, and hormone therapies can be instrumental for healthy aging. It’s a brilliant letter. Have a read.

More young people choosing permanent sterilization after abortion restrictions (NBC). A study of data analyzed after abortion restrictions went into effect shows an increase of 58 tubal ligations and 27 vasectomies per 100,000 outpatient visits nationwide. It may not look like fear triggered a significant jump—until you see it on a trend graph. Want to start or reconsider hormonal contraception? Start a $15 online birth control consultation.

Social media claims this FDA-approved pill can slow down aging. Can it? (HuffPost). Rapamycin is an antifungal medication FDA-approved for organ transplants + some cancer therapies. It inhibits mTOR, a protein that controls cellular metabolism + the immune response, which can cause inflammation + tissue scarring + contribute to aging. Years ago, studies showed the life span of mice on rapamycin increased by 14%. But no drug studies have been done on healthy humans. An immunosuppressant, it also comes with several side effects and health issues. Read the article for better science-backed ways to improve your longevity.

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