6 min read

Issue #4: Bedtime revenge, butt cream, Naomi Osaka, and flashing lights lights lights

Hi there nesstie,

Revenge bedtime procrastination. In Chinese, it’s called ‘bàofùxìng áoyè’, which translates to ‘retaliatory staying up late.’ That captures the vibe quite well. Bedtime procrastination is when you’re staying up late by choice knowing full well it’s going to mess with your morning. It turns into revenge when it’s done as an act of protest because your days are dominated by responsibilities that take away from your downtime.

If you wake up, walk from your bed to the couch, work wild hours (and deal with whatever other burdens life throws at you), and then walk back to bed, you might want to clock in a couple hours of TV or gaming or whatever guilty pleasure feeds your soul. If you recognize the habit and want to break it, medical experts shared some tips with SELF.

If you WFH, get creative with a commute. That can be a neighborhood stroll in the AM or any other movement away from your screens before the workday starts. Create a more realistic to-do list and trim down where you can, so that it’s not taking up your entire day. If you do stay up later, choose activities that self-soothe without sacrificing your wellness. (i.e. limited screen time and limited alcohol.) Set a bedtime alarm, and if you don’t fall asleep right away, don’t reach for the screens, try a stretch or some meditation. And think about talking to a therapist.

Here’s to less revenge and more ZZZs,

Melanie, editor at The Nessie

A baker’s dozen

The case for hiding likes. And butt cream. The health benefits of a hot tub. Apparently this healthier (Insta trendy) cereal tastes “legit good”. Reassessing boundaries as we go from online to IRL. Re-learning how to date. Seven podcasts to help you reenter society with a sense of calm. And how to soothe your pet when you do. Depression is as old as Mesopotamia. Listening to your body when you’re burning out. These ZenBooths are BS. But BYOB (building your own bouquet) is not. The power of old family photos.

Nostalgia, browser-sized

For those nostalgic for the days when browsing the web wasn’t feeding hoards of personal data to a select few social media giants (and also... AIM away messages), then you’ll surely remember StumbleUpon, a website where you smashed that ‘Stumble’ button to discover random new websites.

A curiosity for new experiences is a gateway to joy. And that’s what the spirit of Stumbled is about. It’s like the little sibling of StumbledUpon with a commitment to “anything interesting, weird or astonishing; websites of exceptional quality, sites to kill time or learn something new.” No clickbait, no duds. In a few clicks, I landed on a thoughtful essay on screenshots, a collection of decades-old Ikea catalogs, animated knot-tying tutorials, a 2014 Atlantic article on Netflix genres, an app that lets you add ingredients you have to generate recipes you can make, and some lovely as heck falling sand game.

It’s effectively letting someone else go down internet rabbit holes for you, but rather than end up on your usual newsfeeds or some place littered with chumboxes or listicles, it’s more mindfully curated.

In the wild

Storytelling as an act of care

Letting your mind wander to an imaginary world might actually be an effective tool for pain relief. Scientists in Brazil wanted to test that hypothesis, so they took a group of 81 children admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) in Sao Paulo—all of which were experiencing similar health issues—and split them into two groups. One was read a 25-30 minute children’s tale, the other was tasked with solving fun riddles. The researchers tracked their cortisol and oxytocin levels, hormones linked with stress and empathy, respectively. The kids also reported their level of pain before and after their activity and shared their impressions of people and things related to the experiment (i.e. nurse, hospital, pain, book).

Both groups had a positive experience, but the storytelling group was nearly twice as impactful. Their oxytocin levels rose nine times, cortisol levels dropped around 60 percent, pain scores dropped about 2.7 points (on a scale of 1 through 6), and kids had a more positive association to topics, like hospital.

What this means is that transporting yourself to an experience outside of your own has the power to ease your pain, both physically and psychologically. The study, while limited in scope, suggests the power of getting lost in a short story, and just scratches the surface on how narratives can shape our welfare.

A four-day workweek is good for the planet (and your wellbeing)

Platform London, an environmental collective in the UK, released a report that explores the carbon footprint of a four-day workweek. The TLDR… a shorter work week is not only better for our mental health, but it’s a sweet deal for the environment.

Platform found that if the UK adopted a four-day work week by 2025, carbon emissions would drop more than 20 percent. That’s because shutting down a workspace for an entire day means less electricity consumption and likely less cars on the roads, as people don’t have to drive to the office. Also, many activities linked with time off are more sustainable. Things like choosing to walk over drive, hanging outside, and just generally wreaking less havoc on the planet.

Naomi Osaka is protecting her peace

The women's tennis champion announced in an Instagram post that she wouldn’t be partaking in any press conferences or answering any questions from the media during the French Open. She made the decision to protect her own mental health. The organizations that run the Grand Slam tournaments responded by fining Osaka $15,000 for not adhering to her contractual obligations. She has since withdrawn from the tournament.

To view Osaka’s decision to withdraw as an act of indignance would be to overlook the deeper and more powerful statement she was and is making by prioritizing her mental health rather than blindly accepting the system’s status quo for how it treats professional athletes, especially women of color. Osaka was open and honest about her struggles and her needs, and was ultimately punished in return. It illuminates where there are fractures in the athletic world. Osaka’s choices and transparency serve to show others that success doesn’t always look like winning the game, it can look like changing it.

Let’s get physical

A nutritionist, or a nutrition coach, is a wellness expert with a deep understanding of food—how we digest it, how our body processes it, our relationship with it, how it makes us feel, etc. It’s important to note that nutritionists may or may not have a PhD or credible training, so it’s worth researching their background! Not everyone needs to see a nutritionist, but there are a number of reasons why you might want to consider one: you experience gastrointestinal issues, you have dieting, emotional eating or eating disorders, struggle with your weight, learned of a new health issue, or just generally want to feel physically better.

(Bonus tip: be gentle with your teeth)

Flawless pixels, but make it affordable

Fancy, legit Ring Lights can cost over $100. There are definitely more affordable ones on Amazon, but it can be tough to cut through the noise and figure out which one will actually thrive during your Zoom calls. If you’re continuing to work remotely post-vax and still haven’t invested in good lighting, the Strategist recommends a desk lamp that actually doubles as a makeshift Ring Light.

It’s called the TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp, which doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like Ring Light, but it comes backed with a solid endorsement, costs $40, and serves more than one purpose.

The cool down

Reiterating our gratitude for Naomi Osaka who powerfully spoke up about her mental health and modeled what it looks like to prioritize your wellbeing.

And thank you to Prince Harry for helping to destigmatize conversations around suicidal ideations.

Thankful for Yasmine Jameelah’s initiative to create a wellness collective for Black women.

Chispa and BLK, dating apps for Hispanic and Black singles respectively, are letting users display badges with their vaccination status, letting singles know where prospective dates stand but also cultivating education to combat vaccination hesitancy. This is important work!

Capital A Appreciation for veteran and former engineer Michael Nicoletti, whose homemade hearing aid was granted limited approval by the FDA.

Dr. Dinee Simpson is just one of 10 Black, female transplant surgeons practicing in the US, and she started a program to help more Black patients receive organ transplants. She’s literally a life-saver, and she’s closing an important gap.

Shout out to these small business owners who continued to thrive in the face of the pandemic.

We love to see Paxton and his new puppy Marvel, both with limb differences, start a beautiful friendship.

Is someone in your community stepping up and showing up in a way deserving of acknowledgement? Have a friend or loved one who impressed you with an act of self-care? We want to hear about them! And they might be featured in next issue’s cool down.