The screen on the Fitbit sense is beautiful, bright, and easy to see. And for some reason, if it’s not bright enough for you, you can max out its display in the watch’s settings. Swiping through the different screens is pretty intuitive to find what you want to do.The Fitbit AppThe Fitbit app is super intuitive and easy to use. The main screen is “Today,” and defaults to a few main metrics underneath: floors, miles, calories, and zone minutes. Click on any of them, and you’ll get more details on your numbers for each. Don’t want to see one or more of them? You can edit this screen and make any of the metrics go away. Underneath that, you’ll see a whole slew of other data, including health metrics, stress management score, sleep, readiness, exercise, skin temperature, and resting heart rate. Click on these, and you get more info on each. It’s worth noting that you need a Fitbit Premium subscription, which costs $10 a month, to unlock what it refers to as “advanced insights.” This includes breakdowns of your stress management and sleep scores, as well as skin temperature and daily readiness, among other features. The Exercise ScreenOne place I snagged, though, was the Exercise screen. Fitbit can track your workout through about 40 modalities, including common ones like running, strength training, spinning, walking, and bike riding, as well as slightly more off-the-grid options, like kayaking, indoor climbing, and surfing. Fitbit will automatically select the last three you chose to remain on the front of its Exercise screen, but there’s no way to manually configure that screen to the top three fields you want there. I was able to do that with the original Sense, and I spent a lot of time poking around the watch and the app to see if there was a way to do that on version 2, but no dice.Courtesy of authorThe Workout ScreenThere are three data sections on each Workout screen, and you can customize which fields you want to see in the settings section of each modality. For instance, if I’m running, I can select “distance” and “time” to be the top and bottom stats—those which stay the same throughout the workout—while you can swipe through the middle metric, cycling through things like pace, average pace, steps, or heart rate. As a runner, I really wish there was the option to have a fourth metric visible here: I like to see time, distance, pace, and heart rate when I’m running without having to swipe for it. This isn’t as big a deal in other modalities, like strength training, where pretty much the time and heart rate are all I’m looking for.AccuracySteps: I found the Sense 2 very accurate as a pedometer when counting daily steps: One day, my Sense 2 watch buzzed as I hit my step goal (10,000 steps) going up my apartment stairs, and my Garmin vibrated about five seconds later when I hit the top, telling me the same thing.
38 Best Holiday Gifts in 2022, According to SELF Editors: Etsy, Amazon, Nordstrom, Hugimal, Uncommon Goods
With the holidays officially here, the pressure’s on to find thoughtful, unique gifts for loved ones that aren’t just variation of what you’ve gifted before. Here at SELF, we’re always looking for the best gifts (seriously—it’s a full-time job), which is why we understand uniquely why it’s so tough to find a gift that’s as amusing or as practical as your friend or family member may desire.To help you avoid the stress of shopping for presents (and that last-minute scramble), we’d love to share with you the best gifts we as editors have given, received, or are planning to give—as well as gift ideas that we’ve noticed our readers buying this Christmas season. From functional wellness gifts and fitness gifts to longer-lasting subscription gifts, we’re pulling out all the stops to surprise our loved ones with things they’ll remember for years to come. Below, find the greatest gifts that SELF editors have given and received, gift-worthy products we’ve written about, and the best gifts of 2022 that our readers are shopping. Here’s to hoping you have a holiday season that is as merry as it is meaningful.For more present picks, check out all of the best gift ideas of 2022.The Best Gifts We’ve Given and ReceivedFrom customized loungewear and recipe books to beer-making kits and subscription gifts, here are some of the favorite gifts that SELF editors have given and received over the years.EtsyCustomy Tee Personalized Pet SweatshirtOne of the best gifts I’ve ever given is a personalized pet sweatshirt for my mom. A few years ago, I would have called clothing with your cat’s face on it tacky at best, but that was before I met Christofur, our quarantine Siamese with whom we’re both deeply in love. Last Christmas, I was trying to think of a Christofur-related gift for my mom and came across an Etsy shop that makes tasteful (dare I say stylish) pet-portrait tees and sweatshirts and I was instantly sold. I sent the shop a photo of our boy and they sent me a sketch to approve before printing it on the sweatshirt. The shop is no longer open, but this one is very similar, and—I can’t believe I’m saying this—I think I’m going to add a matching sweatshirt to my wishlist this year, so I can snuggle with Christofur when we’re apart. —Cathryne Keller, SELF associate wellness director
AmazonFujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant CameraI’m a big fan of instant cameras, especially for commemorating any sort of special event. Sure, I take photos with my phone, but there’s nothing magical about taking a bunch of pictures you can easily go through and delete later—and there’s everything magical about hitting a button and having a real, tangible photo in your hands that you can’t delete, no matter how terrible or amazing it is. I own two Fujifilm cameras (the smaller one that’s excellent for bringing to parties) as well as this retro-looking model that shoots wider pictures. I love this for portraits, as it’s great for closer-up pictures that show detail (versus landscapes). I brought it with me on a trip a few years ago, and after seeing how much my friend liked it, bought one on Amazon and had it shipped to her as a wedding gift. She uses it all the time, including on a trip to Kenya over the summer, and I love that we’re both creating memories that we can share with each other and our friends and families (instead of just texting). —Malia Griggs, SELF commerce editor
EtsyClaire Magnolia Recipe Card BinderI’ve actually received and given this gift; it’s a beautiful recipe binder that I’ve filled twice now with all of my family’s best recipes. When I moved into my own apartment, I wanted a way to keep track of all of my mom’s dishes so I could recreate them in my new kitchen. Then, when my cousin got married this fall, I bought another and added recipes from my family, her parents, our grandma, and others, so that she and her partner could bring some of our family into this new one she was starting. —Eliza Laycock, SELF social producer and editor
Brooklyn Brew ShopBrooklyn Brew Shop x TALEA Beer Making KitMy partner loves to work with his hands, and he also enjoys craft beer. This kit gave him and his roommates a fun project to do on the weekend; they loved the sense of accomplishment when they drank the finished product, and it was actually palatable. —Sarah Madaus, SELF commerce writer
EtsyThe Nuu Shop Custom Embroidered Varsity CrewneckI love Etsy for its wide selection of personalized gifts. I recently gifted this minimalist crew neck to my brother for his birthday and customized the print with the name of his university. I also got one for myself and it’s easily become a staple sweatshirt in my wardrobe this fall. —Jenifer Calle, SELF senior commerce editor
Harry & DavidHarry & David Fruit of the Month ClubIt’s the gift that keeps on giving! When I was in college living in a dorm room and eating every meal at our dining hall, my mom got me a three-month subscription to Harry & David’s Fruit-of-the-Month. The joy that this box of fruit brought me was unparalleled. I’d get winter citruses delivered to the mail room from January to March, and they were always so fresh and delicious. I love subscription boxes as gifts because each month is a new surprise and you get to try out all sorts of things! —Laycock
AmazonPickled Stamps Custom Return Address StampWhen I became a homeowner, I wasn’t expecting any sort of a housewarming gift, let alone a personalized one. But my good friend, unprompted, sent me a very thoughtful present that I never would’ve thought of for myself: a custom return address stamp. She got to choose from a bunch of styling options (and for me, sent a floral design). It’s an affordable, sweet way to celebrate anyone’s new space, and I use it any time I send a letter. —Griggs
Alluring BodyAlluring Body VVS Diamond Nose StudI’d wanted to get my nose pierced for probably a solid decade at the time, but I just wasn’t able to pull the trigger. My then-boyfriend (and now-husband) gave me the best possible gift: a gift card to the piercing place, knowing that it would give me the not-so-subtle push I needed. I ended up getting it done and loving it—especially after it healed and I was able to switch out the piercing to this really delicate stud. —Christa Sgobba, SELF food and fitness director
AmazonDewalt 20V Max Cordless Drill KitMy dad gave me this Dewalt drill when I moved into my new apartment, and it has made all of my home projects so much easier. I also just feel more like an adult now that I have a drill—and a solid, heavy-duty one at that. —Madaus
HugimalHugimal Charlie the PuppyThe Hugimal Is basically a weighted blanket in stuffed-animal form, and I’m giving the bear model (so cute!) to my friend’s toddler for Christmas this year. They’re marketed as a stress relief product for kids and adults, and I honestly may have to get one for myself, too. I was skeptical at first, but they do, indeed, feel like you’re getting hugged. I may not be a stuffed-animal adult, but I’m definitely a needs-a-hug adult. —Keller
A Few of Our Editors’ Favorite Gift-Worthy ProductsAs editors, we’re lucky enough to try a lot of different products—many of which are meh, but a few of which really stand out in their ability to soothe, organize, and ultimately add joy to our lives. Below, you’ll find some of these products (as well as its accompanying reviews), all of which would make excellent holiday gifts for your loved ones (or birthday, anniversary, and anytime, too).Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyNekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back MassagerThe magic is in the massager’s shape, particularly the handle straps. With the massager resting on your shoulders and your hands or forearms looped through straps, you can hold it in place, maneuver it to the perfect spot, and adjust the pressure by pulling it against your body. As for the actual massaging, it’s done with eight kneading massage nodes, and the intensity is adjustable between three-speed levels. Using this bad boy is part of my nighttime routine several times a week, and it never fails to loosen me up and chill me out. —Anna Borges, former SELF senior health editor, in a review
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyApple Watch Series 8From the SELF 2022 Home Fitness Awards: “It might be easier to list the things this watch doesn’t do, versus the things it does—that’s how extensive the features are. In addition to numerous workout modalities—everything from indoor and outdoor runs to kickboard swimming, yoga, HIIT, and more—this watch comes with improved battery life, crash detection, temperature sensing for deeper insights into menstrual cycle tracking, and more detailed sleep stages. If you’re already living in the Apple universe with an iPhone, the watch feels like a bit of a no-brainer.”
Nordstrom / Amanda BaileyDyson Airwrap Gift SetThe Dyson Airwrap Complete is a multi-styling at-home hair tool that can create a variety of looks based on the attachments (and techniques) you use. Now that I own one, I can’t imagine paying to get a blowout again. In fact, I now like the way my hair looks after an Airwrap session more than it does when I get it professionally done. —Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF’s associate director of special projects
AmazonW&P The Popper Microwave BowlThe Popper is a small, soft silicone bowl with a vented lid. On the lid itself is a slight indentation, which cleverly holds exactly the amount of popcorn kernels that will fit, popped, within the bowl (so that I don’t have to use a measuring cup). Once I’ve poured the right increment into my bowl, I stick on its lid, put it in the microwave for about two minutes, and, presto, I have fresh popcorn that snugly fits inside my bowl. This useful gift is just what I needed for the days when I’m craving an afternoon snack or nibble to pair with Netflix. —Griggs
Our PlaceOur Place Mini Always PanThe Our Place Mini Always Pan is the same as its larger counterpart, except with a diameter of 8.5 inches and a total length of 16.9 inches. It comes with a built-in spoon rest (plus a beechwood spoon that nestles perfectly), a spout, and a longer stay-cool handle. It’s lightweight like the original, heats quickly and efficiently thanks to its aluminum construction, and has the same nonstick ceramic coating. I cook nearly every day, and this pan has helped me whip up citrusy pork tacos, pancakes, apricot and chickpea tagine, scrambled eggs, brown butter gnocchi, and more. It boils, sautés, braises, sears, and strains as well—if not better—than my original Always Pan. —Madaus
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyTherabody Theragun MiniFrom the SELF 2022 Home Fitness Awards: “Theragun offers a unique percussive massage (read: rapidly tapping or lightly hitting your muscles) that’s designed to break up tightened fascia and ease sore muscles. The end result is similar to what you might get after a good foam rolling session, but the massage itself will obviously feel totally different. The Theragun Mini packs the same punch as its larger counterparts, but comes in a smaller package with an easy-to-hold angular shape.”
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyTrade Coffee SubscriptionTrade Coffee is a company that offers a curated coffee subscription service that focuses on connecting coffee drinkers with coffee roasters located throughout the United States. Flexible with both pricing and scheduling, a Trade Coffee subscription also helps support local roasters and their communities. It’s a good fit for coffee enthusiasts who like to make their coffee at home but may be interested in exploring different roasters located throughout the country. —Brittany Natale, SELF freelance writer
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 ProI was really excited to test and review these earbuds. At around the same price as the AirPods Pro and Pixel Buds Pro, the Samsung Buds 2 Pro fall into a competitive space and land somewhere in the middle. They’re more advanced than the Pixel Buds Pro and they feel better in my ear than the AirPods Pro. It comes with great ANC quality, and smart earbud features like Intelligent Conversation Mode and Voice Detect. —Calle
NordstromSlip Pure Silk Queen PillowcaseNight after night, my skin and hair literally glide over my Slip silk pillowcase instead of catching, which used to happen quite often when I slept on cotton pillowcases. These days my hair feels way less dry and is definitely more manageable thanks to this wonder-working silk pillowcase; I even invested in the matching eye mask. —Tiffany Dodson, former SELF commerce writer, in a review
AmazonMaxi-Matic HyperChillerFolks, I can say that this is my final iced coffee maker. I brew my hot coffee, pour it directly in, let it sit there for less than a minute, and ta-da, out comes iced coffee. Magic. Honestly, I’ve considered buying a second one just so I can have a dedicated chiller for coffee and one for alcohol to cut down on how often I have to wash it. It is that good. —Borges in a review
BokksuBokksu Classic Gift BoxI was sent a package from Bokksu, a Japanese snack subscription service. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was delighted to find the box stuffed with goodies sourced directly from snack makers in Japan. The snacks ranged from savory (tiny pickled plum-flavored potato sticks, crunchy edamame crackers, roasted sesame-seed rounds) to sweet (a pear and cheese biscuit, handmade yuzu-sake hard candies, freeze-dried strawberries filled with chocolate, matcha chocolate stick cakes, and more). There was even a genmaicha brown rice green tea. My favorite aspect of the Bokksu box was that there were a few samples of each of the 15 snacks, leaving enough for me to send my parents too. —Griggs
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyEmber Temperature Control Smart Mug 2As someone who is very, very passionate about hot drinks, I was honestly thrilled to be gifted an Ember Smart Mug a few Christmases back. I never would have bought a pricey, Bluetooth-enabled, self-heating mug that comes with its own charger/coaster for myself, so it felt extra special to receive. And, like the best thoughtful gifts, I actually use it on a regular (daily) basis. —Sara Coughlin, SELF senior commerce writer
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyKindle Paperwhite 8 GBThe Kindle Paperwhite is light enough to effortlessly balance in the palm of my hand and is also good on the go, since it’s thin enough to slide into my purse without taking up much space. Although it’s a slender electronic device, the Kindle is highly durable. It’s waterproof and it has expertly survived multiple accidental drops out of my slippery fingers. The Kindle’s helpful anti-glare screen ensures I don’t struggle while reading for long periods and it has an easy-to-use interface. This tablet gets major props for not only saving me time and energy but also shelf space. —Dodson
LaylaLayla Weighted Blanket (20-Pound)If you’re looking for a weighted blanket that is soft, versatile, easy to keep clean (it’s machine-washable!), and very, very effective at delivering on the promise of cocooning you away from the world under a solid mass of coziness, the Layla weighted blanket is my recommendation. —Borges
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyMaude VibeIf you’re skeptical of vibrators, I promise, that the Maude Vibe is an excellent, easy-to-use vibrator for beginners as well as anyone with a nightstand stuffed with sex toys (bonus: It’s under $50). I find myself more often than not reaching for the Maude, as it provides a “wowza” feeling that my fingers just can’t—or another human, for that matter. —Griggs
CameoCameo Gift VideoIf you’re surrounded by people who always say they “don’t want anything” for a gift, Cameo is your solution. You can find celebrities of every stripe on the platform, ready to record a personalized video message just for your giftee (even better, a Cameo file won’t end up as clutter in their home). I gave my partner a Cameo from Mick Foley, hardcore wrestling legend, a few years ago and I’m still trying to top that gift. —Coughlin
The Best Gifts of 2022Now that we’re deep into gifting season, our commerce team has gotten a peek into the gifts that our readers are shopping. These are some of the top-clicked and purchased products—just in case you’re in need of some inspiration.AmazonBindle Bottle (24 oz.)A great gift for fitness and wellness enthusiasts alike, this clever insulated water bottle has a secret compartment for them to stow their keys, cash, earbuds, and more (meaning they can go hands-free).
BombasBombas Gripper SlippersThese fleece-lined toe-warmers are the perfect combo of your favorite socks and slippers (meaning you won’t slide around when wearing them).
NordstromNordstrom Moonlight Eco PajamasOur readers (and editors) love the soft, stretchy material of this PJ set. It doesn’t hurt that their button-down style dresses them up, nor that they come in a range of patterns and colors.
The Birthdate Co.The Birthdate BookThe friend who tags you in astrology memes will be over the moon about this customized birth chart, which comes in the form of a highly fancy bound book.
AmazonWthn Prosource Fit Acupressure Mat and Pillow SetFor the friend or family member with a tense back and shoulders, gift this acupressure mat, which is covered in nodes that increase circulation after they’ve laid on it for at least 10 minutes.
CourantCourant Mag:2 Essentials Wireless Charging StandHere’s a techie gift: a stand that wirelessly charges their phone and AirPods simultaneously—and that also acts as a stand for their FaceTime calls and TikTok videos.
EtsyCara Concept Live Edge Solid Wood Bathtub TrayThis gorgeous bath caddy elevates any bathtub and is the ideal surface for the essentials needed for a self-care soak.
Uncommon GoodsUncommon Goods Mindfulness Card SetIn this card deck are a series of present-minded prompts that guide the recipient towards mindful moments.
AmazonQubii Photo Storage DriveNot only does this handy device act as a phone charger, but it also backs up their phone and its photos at the same time.
HuckberryFlikr Fire Personal Concrete FireplaceAll this countertop fireplace requires is rubbing alcohol and a match to create a cozy little fire for a s’mores-stuffed date night.
AmazonKitchen Gizmo Snap N Strain StrainerThis silicone strainer clips onto any pot to drain water and is so much more space-efficient than a colander.
PhilipsPhilips SmartSleep Therapy LampFor the decidedly not morning people in your life, consider a sunrise alarm clock, which gently rouses them with the glow of a sunrise (and sounds of nature, if they want). It has a sunset setting for before bed, too.
If you feel like your stress has been next-level lately, you might find a tiny bit of comfort in the fact that you’re definitely not alone. According to the American Psychological Association’s 2022 Stress in America report, concerns about money and global uncertainty, to name two huge factors, have spiked personal stress to sky-high levels in the US.Part of the reason we’re all so unnerved: 87% of respondents agreed that “it feels like there’s been a constant stream of crises over the last two years” (understatement) and 73% reported that they feel “overwhelmed by the number of crises facing the world right now.” And on top of an ongoing global pandemic, ever-upsetting news cycles, and rising gas and grocery costs, many of us are also still dealing with common daily-life stressors like family, career, and relationship drama. There’s no quick-fix way to make stress disappear, of course. (And if it’s a chronic issue that’s preventing you from living a fulfilling life, talking to a professional may be the best way to relieve some of the pressure and improve your well-being—more on that later.) But there are expert-backed stress-relief activities you can experiment with when you’re feeling overwhelmed.By drawing from research on psychology practices including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and meditation, you might be able to build a kit of coping tools that work for you when life becomes too much. Below, two licensed therapists share their favorite strategies for getting short-term relief from stress and anxiety. What is stress, exactly? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, stress is your body’s reaction to something that’s happening to you or around you. An important presentation at work, a hectic and noisy commute, or even a date with someone you’re excited to meet can all put your body on notice that something big is happening, which can activate your fight-or-flight stress response.1 A stressor can be a one-time thing (like an upcoming exam or turbulent flight) or a long-term occurrence (in the case of a chronic health condition, for example, or an overwhelming job).Stress is a bit different than anxiety, though, which many of us are also familiar with. When you’re stressed out, your physical symptoms will usually naturally resolve once the stressor goes away. Anxiety, on the other hand, which is your body’s internal reaction to stress, might not dissipate so quickly. Even when there isn’t an immediate physical or emotional threat, anxiety is a psychological state that tends to linger. Some physical symptoms of both stress and anxiety include:An elevated heart rate Increased blood pressureHeadacheRestlessness or insomniaRacing thoughts or worry No matter how your stress manifests, if it starts to feel overwhelming and you’re looking for relief, consider trying some of these expert-backed stress-reduction strategies for relaxing your mind and body:Stress-relief activities that actually workCount down to get grounded.When your internal pressure is high, tuning into your external environment is one stress-relieving practice that might help you feel a bit more chill. Rhayvan Jackson-Terrell, LCSW, wellness director at NYC Health and Hospitals and a telehealth therapist, tells SELF that she often recommends the “5-4-3-2-1 method” to her clients as a mindfulness activity designed to get you out of your head and into the present moment.
Your TFL band can also become overused if you spend a lot of time sitting, especially in positions that involve good amounts of both hip flexion and hip abduction—say, sitting on the couch with your knee pulled up toward your chest on the outside of your shoulder, says Lakes. What are symptoms of a tight IT band?Most often, people with ITB syndrome feel a sharp pain on the outside of the knee just above the kneecap when they bend or straighten the knee, says Lakes. Sometimes, IT band knee pain can travel up the thigh to the hip, according to Cedars-Sinai, a nonprofit academic healthcare organization. So yes, considering your IT band for hip pain is a thing.Some people only have this pain when they work out, especially when they run. (That’s why IT band stretches for runners is super important!) But others may have pain outside of exercise, per Cedars-Sinai. How do you treat IT band pain?To treat IT band pain, you want to loosen up the front of the hip as well as strengthen both the glute medius and glute minimus muscles, says Lakes. For some people, stretching alone can resolve the IT band pain, says Lakes, but since that’s not the case for everyone, it’s important to consider both approaches.You can loosen up the front hip, and thus achieve better flexibility, by foam rolling, applying heat, and/or stretching. And you can strengthen the glute medius and minimus by consistently doing exercises that target these muscles. (You may also consider a mini-band workout that targets your smaller butt muscles).If you have IT band pain, it’s also important to scale back the activities that are causing the pain. Try running or cycling shorter distances, and if you still have pain, stop these activities completely, suggests the National Library of Medicine. At that point, you may want to check in with a doctor or physical therapist to get evaluated and prescribed a personalized treatment plan. How often should you stretch your IT band? You can do IT band stretches as often as every day, says Lakes. Strength exercises should be done a little less often–say, three times a week—since you’ll need time for your muscles to recover and build back stronger. If you’re a runner, Lakes recommends doing strength exercises before you run since they can help properly prime your muscles for the activity. To keep things even, try to do IT band stretches and exercises on both sides of your body, even if your IT band pain is only on one side, says Lakes. That said, if you’re really limited on time, you can just focus on working the side that’s in pain, he adds.Quick caveat: Depending on the severity of your IT band pain, the below iliotibial band stretches and moves may not be enough to alleviate your symptoms. Seek help from a doctor or from physical therapy if you have any of these symptoms for a month: feelings of tightness, pulling, clicking or snapping on the outside of the knee when you walk, climb stairs, or transition from sitting to standing (and vice-versa), says Lakes.The ExercisesDirections: Do the stretches (first three moves) as often as you’d like, holding each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. Do the strength exercises (last five moves) several times a week, aiming for four sets of 15 repetitions each.
The good news, according to Dr. Bobby, is that situational rage is the least complicated type of misdirected anger to work on. “The first step is recognizing, I’m not myself right now; I’m going through something difficult that’s making me think and feel in angry ways,” she says. “Instead of following your feelings, it’s much more helpful to say to yourself, I’m not going to get tricked into believing this narrative is true.”Take this scenario: You’re healing from a surgery and the pain is making you irritable to the extent that it’s clouding the lens you view life through: A slightly messy home looks hopelessly squalid to you. Whether or not you’re partly to blame for said disarray, you’re now furious with your partner for “never” cleaning up. Dr. Bobby recommends asking yourself, “How are my emotions coloring this story?” before you accuse your partner of chronic disrespect, which will likely leave them hurt, confused, and/or defensive.In other words, rewriting your anger-provoking narrative may create some space between you and the hot feelings that seem to be whispering, “Slam the cabinet doors real loud and just go OFF!” in your ear.Examine the patterns you learned from your family.The behavior and beliefs you’ve learned from your family of origin can majorly inform how you handle most things, including anger. “When we’ve watched them either raging or bottling stuff up and then exploding, we unconsciously absorb that as how to be in the world—particularly in relationships,” Dr. Bobby says.This can be uniquely complicated for those raised within a non-Western family culture, Siddiqi says. “A lot of first-, second-, and third-generation children grew up in families where anger wasn’t really talked about because it was a collectivist culture,” she explains. “It was never about their individual needs, but about what’ll keep the family unit happy.”Ultimately, Siddiqi says, this can lead to “a lot of cognitive dissonance” and pent-up frustration that people never learned to express directly. “Some clients that I work with will be totally fine with their parents on the surface, but actually be really angry at them about something and then take it out on their partner,” she explains.Siddiqi works with clients from a variety of cultural backgrounds to help them unlearn family-modeled patterns of destructive behavior through reflection and devising new “scripts,” meaning clearer language that lets them express their true emotions. “You’d be surprised at how many times people tell me, ‘I want to express my anger, but I don’t even know what to say,’” she says. “A lot of people don’t have the emotional education to know the difference between healthy and defensive words, or that a ‘you’ statement versus an ‘I’ statement can have a really big impact on the other person.”For example, when you’re asking for that alone time after work, Siddiqi recommends saying something like, “When I come home, I need time by myself before I share about my day. I feel overwhelmed when you ask me a lot of questions at once. I’d like to talk in 15 minutes so I can decompress. Does that sound reasonable to you?”
If taking a few deep breaths simply isn’t cutting it (you know, when you’re super ticked off), you can still use the power of your lungs to your benefit. Atmakuri recommends exhaling forcefully (think a dragon breathing fire), sighing loudly, exercising in a way that gets your heart rate up, or just crying it out to expel the negativity.6. Consciously think about anything else.Once you reflect on your anger and start to process or release it, you might realize you’re upset about something that’s actually pretty trivial—say, your partner is running a few minutes late. In this scenario, Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and the author of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety, turns to something she calls the “mental shortlist” technique.The practice involves focusing on other thoughts whenever you’re tempted to stew about something that’s truly insignificant—a “nothing burger,” if you will. So, in the case of your slightly tardy partner, your “mental shortlist” might include things like catching up on reading, sorting through pictures on your phone, listening to that podcast you’ve been meaning to catch up on, or anything else that will force you to redirect your thoughts intentionally. Or if you want to give things a positive spin, it could involve “brainstorming gift ideas for your [partner] or conversation topics you’re excited to discuss when they arrive,” Dr. Carmichael says.If you find yourself constantly irritated over “nothing burgers,” though, that’s worth paying attention to. “You may want to do a deeper dive to see if there’s something bigger that’s bothering you and resulting in irritability,” Dr. Carmichael notes.7. Physically adjust your body to temper your emotions.Therapists are no strangers to the mind-body connection, a concept that often comes up in their personal approaches to frustration. For example, when she’s swirling in her angry thoughts, Wang adjusts her facial expressions and hand positionings. Specifically, she turns to a dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) technique called “Willing Hands and Half-Smiling.” For “willing hands,” she places her arms alongside her body, keeping them straight or bent slightly at the elbows. She then turns her hands outward, unclenched, with her fingers relaxed and palms facing upward. To practice “half-smiling,” she tries to relax her face, letting go of her facial muscles and tilting the corners of her lips upward, adopting a serene facial expression. “It’s very difficult to stay angry with ‘Willing Hands and Half-Smiling.’ I can feel the tension and energy lift off me when I practice these skills,” Wang says.8. Give your body the attention it deserves.“Emotions live in our bodies,” Wang stresses. “So, when I feel irritated, my initial thoughts are: Have I eaten? Am I hydrated? Do I need to take a nap? Most of the time, I feel better when my physical body is taken care of.” When you nurture your body, you’ll also nurture your mind and give it the support it needs to cope with the stress of anger.To better learn about her own body’s needs, Rachel Weller, PsyD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, turns to a mindfulness skill called body scanning. It involves relaxing in a comfortable position while noticing external sensations (like sounds and odors) and observing your breath. Then, starting from the top of your head, mentally scan your body—section by section—while acknowledging how each part is feeling. Are your eyes heavy? Is your neck tense and achy? Is your stomach rumbling? As Dr. Weller explains: “Tuning into our physical sensations, like muscular tension, breath, pressure, and tingling, often allows us to increase the connection between our brains and bodies.” This, ultimately, can help you uncover the deeper meanings behind fiery emotions—anger and everything in between, she says. After all, she says, “Our bodies often hold facts that our mind is unable to discover.”Related:
Early on in her career as a hammer thrower, Janee’ Kassanavoid learned a simple yet important lesson from her coach, Greg Watson. The equation for power, he told her, was work over time.Kassanavoid keeps this physics lesson in mind each time she competes in her chosen sport, which, as legend has it, originated thousands of years ago in Ireland when a Celtic warrior grabbed a chariot by its wheel and tossed it airborne. Over the centuries, the hammer throw has evolved into the Olympic sport it is today—perhaps not as recognizable as other track and field events like, say, the 100-meter dash, but still staggering in the mastery it requires to perform at the top level: Strength, precision, speed, and force remain just as important in the sport’s current day as it did in its earliest folklore iteration. In order to perform at the pinnacle, Kassanavoid has to move quickly, precisely, and forcefully to transfer energy from the movement of her body to the weighted ball of the hammer, giving it power to travel hundreds of feet. First, she takes a deep breath, then steps into the ring. She winds up, swinging the heavy ball—the one used in competition weighs about nine pounds—several times on its long wire. Then, she spins around and around to build velocity before letting go of the grip at just the right moment to send it sailing. Her longest, personal-best throw is 78 meters, more than three-fourths the length of a football field (and the six-farthest throw, ever, in the event).Watson’s pronouncement about power also had another meaning, one that became more clear to Kassanavoid as she progressed as an athlete. The more work she puts in each day, week, and year, the greater the payoff. With time, all that would combine into a moment that would allow her to really shine.The road there, though, hasn’t been smooth: In college, she coped with multiple injuries and surgeries that impeded her progress. And then when things were looking up a few years later, Kassanavoid missed the Olympic team by just two inches at the 2021 US Olympic Track and Field Trials. But in 2022, after eight years of dedicated effort, Kassanavoid has clearly come into her power. At the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, this summer, Kassanavoid won bronze. In doing so, she’s believed to be the first Native American woman to earn a medal at the prestigious event, as NBC Sports reported. She went on to win the NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association) Championships in the Bahamas in August. “All I wanted was to come back completely strong and different, and be one of those athletes that was going to continue to break barriers,” Kassanavoid tells SELF. “I want to show up, I want to work hard, and I want to make history.”As National Native American Heritage Month draws to a close this week, Kassanavoid continues working hard to make history not only in track and field, but on a broader level as well—she wants to inspire more young indigenous girls to find their own spot in sport, too. And she’s using her platform on social media, where she has amassed over 575,000 followers as @naethrowsheavyrock on TikTok, to help spread that message. By posting her successes like medal ceremonies and podium topping along with the less glamorous parts of sport (including a wipe-out or two), she takes pride in providing an inside look at the what’s involved in getting to the top. And by posting nods to her culture and heritage, she’s hoping the next generation of athletes can envision themselves there, too.A Legacy of StrengthKassanavoid grew up in the small town of Lawson, Missouri, with three older (and also athletic) siblings. From an early age, she dabbled in everything from cheerleading and gymnastics to soccer and softball.
Shopping for the perfect holiday gift for coworkers can be tricky, especially if you don’t know them super well outside of your nine-to-five. Alternatively, if you work from home, it’s possible you’re not as tight with your team as you would be if you all worked together in one office. Fortunately, though, these factors won’t deter you from finding the best gifts for coworkers.Whether you’re searching for a fun white elephant present or a more general Christmas gift, we’ve got you covered with the best gift ideas for coworkers. For example, if you need a present for the office holiday party or Secret Santa gift exchange, consider something practical (like water bottles, coffee mugs, or notebooks). Or, if you’re shopping for a specific coworker who is more like your work bestie, feel free to think outside of the box a bit by treating them to a thoughtful, creative gift they didn’t even know they needed. And if you’ve waited until the last minute to get a gift, just snag something from Amazon to take advantage of fast, free shipping (assuming you’re a Prime member, of course).To help you find the best gifts for coworkers, we scoured retailers like Amazon, Etsy, and Uncommon Goods. Be it tech gifts, skin care gifts, self-care gifts, or just genuinely great stocking stuffers, options truly abound. Best of all, you don’t have to shell out a small fortune in order to find an excellent coworker gift: All of these gift ideas clock in at under $25.For more present picks, check out all of the best gift ideas of 2022.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Hailey Bieber shared a photo of herself on her Instagram story Monday, drawing attention to what she says is an apple-sized ovarian cyst. “I don’t have endometriosis or PCOS but I have gotten an ovarian cyst a few times and it’s never fun,” she wrote, joking that the cyst is “not a baby.”Bieber explained that the cyst is causing all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms. “It’s painful and achey and makes me feel nauseous and bloated and crampy and emotional,” she wrote.An ovarian cyst is exactly what it sounds like: a fluid-filled sac in or on an ovary. Most people with ovaries will develop an ovarian cyst during their lives, per the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). These cysts usually form during ovulation (when the ovary releases an egg), and most of the time they’re small and generally harmless. Though most ovarian cysts don’t cause major issues, some can cause immense pressure, bloating, swelling, and pain if they get big enough, per the NLM. Usually, ovarian cysts simply go away on their own, but in some cases, surgery might be needed to treat it—say, if the ovarian cyst ruptures, as SELF previously reported. “We often see someone come to the ER at night with terrible pain that came on all of a sudden during intercourse from a ruptured ovarian cyst,” Alyssa Dweck, MD, FACOG, a New York-based gynecologist, previously told SELF. Symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst run the gamut but can include dull or sharp pain; a heavy feeling in the abdomen; fever; vomiting; pain during or after sex; weakness; referred shoulder pain; quick breathing; chilly, clammy skin; and abnormal vaginal bleeding.Again, ovarian cysts can happen to anyone with ovaries and are pretty common, but certain health conditions may cause them to develop more frequently in some people, per the US Office on Women’s Health (OASH). These include pregnancy, PCOS, and endometriosis—all of which Bieber ruled out in her Instagram story—as well as severe pelvic infections.This isn’t the first time Bieber talked openly about her health this year: In March, she was hospitalized with stroke-like symptoms, as SELF previously reported. At the time, she said on her Instagram story: “They found I had suffered a very small blood clot to my brain, which caused a small lack of oxygen, but my body had passed it on its own and I recovered completely within a few hours.” The reason for the blood clot was originally unknown, but Bieber eventually shared it was caused by something called patent foramen ovale (PFO), for which she underwent surgery. In late April she shared that she was recovering from the procedure “really well, really fast.” In her recent post about her cyst, Bieber offered a word of encouragement to her Instagram followers. “I’m sure a lot of you can overly relate and understand,” she wrote. “We got this.”Related:
Recognizing similar experiences in your past can be illuminating, Dr. Chu-Peralta adds. For example, if the last time you experienced chronic headaches and self-recrimination was when you were a kid with a hypercritical parent, it may be that feeling angry at yourself at work is a response to an equally fault-finding boss. Identifying these connections can help you begin to see the anger for what it is: a maladaptive coping mechanism that it’s time to let go of. If you try to dismiss the rage or white-knuckle your way through it, on the other hand, “it will often come back twice as strong,” Dr. Chu-Peralta says.If you can’t stop dwelling, try temporarily distracting yourself.While ignoring your feelings can be disastrous in the long-term, in the short-term, shifting your focus may help you get some perspective—and give yourself a break. Martin suggests harnessing the power of distraction, since merely interrupting a self-critical thought can often shut it down. “If you’re ruminating, try going for a walk, doing a crossword puzzle, or listening to your favorite playlist or podcast,” she suggests. It sounds simple, but it’s often enough to make a real difference, according to Martin, since rumination—the act of replaying negative thoughts on a loop—typically yields diminishing returns. The more you mull, the less helpful your thoughts become.Once you’ve halted the negative thought and have enough distance to look at your anger objectively, Martin advises that you then ask yourself a simple question: “Is it possible that I’m exaggerating my misdeeds or inadequacies?” Often, the answer will be yes, it is indeed possible. Another helpful question: “Even if I did really screw up, does beating myself up right now teach me anything new about the experience?” Nearly always, the answer will be a resounding no. This exercise is another way to put your self-directed anger in perspective.Resist the urge to keep score.“Try not to search for whatever the ‘ultimate truth’ of the situation is,” Dr. Chu-Peralta says. “Don’t try to determine who was right and who was wrong, including yourself.” You may think that identifying the rightful source of blame will finally adjudicate the issue, “solving” it somehow and allowing you to move on. You may also think that somehow if you dig deep enough into that long-ago occurrence, you’ll find the objective evidence that you are, in fact, a terrible person. But all this incessant judgment does is keep you pinned to that long-gone situation you can no longer change.Say you’re stuck on a friend breakup from several years ago. You said some things you regret. She said some things you hope she regrets. Either way, you have convinced yourself the friendship’s downfall lies on your shoulders. You ask yourself: Who was really at fault? Who was the villain? Who was the wronged party?But here’s what’s actually important, according to Dr. Chu-Peralta: Even if you could answer these questions definitively, which you can’t, the answers would likely have little impact on how you feel. Who cares if she said three unkind things and you said four? Either way, the net result is the same. What matters, then, is how you move forward—not how you interpret (and reinterpret, and keep reinterpreting) the past.Acknowledge your mistakes—to yourself or the person you hurt.Martin puts it succinctly: “If you’ve actually harmed someone else, make amends if you can.” Of course, there’s a difference between true misdeeds and those you’ve inflated or even imagined. But for all practical purposes, that difference may not matter. If you think apologizing might help you to stop engaging in self-directed anger, and if you think you really did cause harm, it’s worth the effort, Martin says. It may mean more to that person than you anticipate.