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The solution: The important tools are patience and persistence: Most people have to try a few potential fixes. Snoring tends to be related to loose tissue at the back of the throat that partially blocks your airway when you’re lying down. Breathing makes it flap like a tarp on a car in the wind—sleeping on your back makes it worse.
To get a back-sleeper to turn over, “use the tennis ball trick,” says Shelby Harris, Psy.D., a sleep psychologist in Westchester, NY. Here’s how: Sew a small ball in the pocket of a T-shirt and wear it to bed backward. The discomfort will train you to sleep in a different position. Or ask your dentist about getting a mouth guard that stops tissue at the back of the throat from blocking airflow.
If your snoring disturbs other people’s sleep, if you pause in your breathing, or if you’re sleepy during the day even after a full night’s rest, you might have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea happens when your airways become completely blocked during sleep. The gold standard remedy is a CPAP machine—you wear a mask that delivers continuous air pressure to keep your airways open.
2. The problem: tossing and turning
The solution: Although you can’t prevent a partner from moving around, you can minimize the effects. Certain beds reduce the reverb, or motion, you feel from the tossing. Consider two twin mattresses with a mattress connector, Harris says. A bed without coils, like a foam one, may also help. “Some people even put large pillows between partners,” she says. Or consider sleeping separately. Some couples create nighttime wind-down routines, starting out together then retiring to individual rooms. “It takes away any resentment and can make a big difference,” Harris says.
3. The problem: I can’t fall asleep
The solution: Many people expect to go from a day of flying at full throttle to a complete stop on command, says Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona. But even fighter planes decelerate before touching down. Do the same for yourself by establishing a bedtime routine that signals to your brain and body when it’s time to release the energy of the day. The most crucial step: Disconnecting from screens at least an hour before bed. The light they emit (even in nighttime mode, some research recently discovered) suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep.
It’s OK if it takes you a while to get situated and comfortable when you get into bed, but if you’re tossing for 20 minutes or more, get up and do something relaxing in dim light. Staying awake in bed creates what experts call learned insomnia, which means you’re learning to associate the bed with restlessness and frustration.
4. The problem: I wake up and can’t fall back asleep
The solution: Lingering in bed agitated is what keeps you awake, Naiman says. Though it’s normal to have four or five “microawakenings” throughout the night, the problem is when you become alert and then stress about it. If that happens, get out of bed without looking at the clock and leave the frustration behind.
Try to turn your attention away from the fact that you’re up. Instead, tap into whatever will calm you: knitting, focusing on your breath, progressively tensing and relaxing your muscles (start at your toes and work up to your head). When you start to feel sleepy, get back in bed.
5. The problem: I don’t have enough hours in the day
The solution:Not getting enough sleep actually makes you less effective, so as tough as it is, try to let go of the mindset that running on few hours of sleep means you’re hard-driving and productive. Your body loves consistency, so decide on a bedtime, set an alarm for 30 minutes before to start winding down, and manage your schedule around that. Think about what might be optional (that half hour of online solitaire?) and also about efficiencies. For example, try cleaning for 15 minutes a day rather than staying up an hour late on Thursday.
Other than waking up feeling refreshed, there are a few ways to know if you’re sleeping long enough. You shouldn’t feel prone to doze off while in a car stopped in traffic for a few minutes, in a public place like a theater, in the car passenger seat for an hour, or while reading or watching TV.
Looking for more advice for getting adequate sleep and feeling your best? You can also try a temperature-regulating mattress, weighted sleep mask, or weighted blanket to relax and fall asleep faster.
Ariana Grande just joined Ryan Murphy’s The Prom, and now it might have the most famous people in one movie ever
Ariana Grande is officially making her return to the screen. The “Thank U, Next” singer has joined Ryan Murphy’s The Prom, which will feature a huge, star-studded cast. Big Little Lies co-stars Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina, Keegan-Michael Key, and Andrew Rannells have already signed on. According to Deadline, the American Horror Story creator, who worked with Grande on Scream Queens in 2015, will release the Broadway musical film adaptation as part of his five-year deal with Netflix—which already includes the TV shows The Politician, Ratched, and Hollywood.
In The Prom, Grande is set to play a closeted popular teenager named Alyssa, who’s dating her classmate Emma Nolan, in a story which “centers on four down-and-out theater actors who head to Indiana, where they help a teen whose prom was canceled when she tried to bring her girlfriend as her date.”
It’s unclear who will play Emma, but the film will have a “nationwide search led by casting director Alexa Fogel” to cast the role. As for the rest of the cast, Streep will play Dee Dee Allen, Corden will star as Barry Glickman, Kidman as Angie Dickinson, and Rannells as Trent Oliver. Meanwhile, Awkwafina will take on the role of publicist Ms. Sheldon, and Key is set to play Streep’s love interest, Principal Hawkins.
Grande will also reportedly produce the film’s soundtrack with Murphy and her manager, Scooter Braun, which means fans will not only get to watch her show off her Broadway musical talents, but they’ll get brand new songs as well.
Murphy first announced he was adapting the popular musical into a Netflix movie back in April, but little did we know it would be jam-packed with stars.
“THE PROM is one of the most uplifting, heartfelt and special musicals I have ever seen on Broadway. It’s truly an original that celebrates the underdog and says in a loving spectacular way that LGBTQ rights are human rights. I feel a special connection to it because it’s set in Indiana, and that’s where I grew up, too,” he wrote at the time. “I’m thrilled to announce I’m turning it into a MOVIE EVENT for Netflix.”
Off-the-shoulder dresses are the effortless bridal trend you’ll see at every summer wedding
Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses have become one of the most ubiquitous trends of the year, thanks to their summery, always effortless vibe. From red carpet attire to casual-wear, the trend’s power is only growing, and we’re not even a little mad about it. This, of course, includes wedding dress trends, too. The off-the-shoulder look has made its way into bridal collections lately, and Karlie Kloss veritably won the trend yesterday, June 24th, when she posted a photo of one of her wedding dresses (a Western-inspired Jonathan Simkhai maxi) that featured a super-low, off-the-shoulder neckline.
A post shared by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on Jun 24, 2019 at 9:16am PDT
From flowy, bohemian bridal dresses to more intricate lace numbers, there’s no wedding dress style that isn’t enhanced by swooping it off the shoulder. Browse some of our favorite off-the-shoulder wedding dresses on Instagram, and shop our top picks below.
Trump tried to discredit E. Jean Carroll’s rape allegation by saying “she’s not my type,” and Twitter is calling him out
Trigger Warning: This post discusses sexual assault and rape allegations.
More than a dozen women have accused President Donald Trump of sexual assault or harassment over the course of the last few years, and on June 21st, journalist and former advice columnist E. Jean Carroll alleged that he raped her. Trump has now dismissed Carroll’s accusations, calling her a liar and arguing that he couldn’t have raped her because she was not his “type.”
New York magazine published an excerpt from Carroll’s upcoming book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal in the June 24th issue. In her essay, Carroll claims that Trump raped her in a dressing room in Bergdorf Goodman in New York. She writes that she was 52 at the time and that she told two close friends but was afraid to report the incident to police.
Trump has categorically denied all sexual misconduct allegations against him, and his reaction to Carroll’s account was no different. In a statement to New York, the White House wrote that Carroll’s story had been “created simply to make the president look bad.” Trump then went on to accuse Carroll of lying in a June 24th interview with The Hill, arguing that he didn’t rape the writer because he wasn’t attracted to her. (Never mind the fact that rape has nothing to do with attraction.)
“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type,” Trump said. “Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”
Carroll herself has spoken out about Trump’s attempts to discredit her, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “I love that I’m not his type.”
She went on to point out that Trump has denied every accusation of misconduct against him.
“He’s denied all 15 women who’ve come forward,” she said. “He denies, he turns it around, he threatens, and he attacks.”
It’s worth noting that Trump has used the “not my type” argument before. According to The New York Times, he said that one accuser would “not be my first choice” at a 2016 campaign event. And Twitter users jumped to point out that Trump’s argument seemed like an indictment, not a defense.
She’s not my type =/= I’m not a rapist. It implies that if she were his type, he would rape her.
The “she’s not my type” defense against a rape allegation is of course repugnant on every conceivable level but also not particularly strategic, since what is being implicitly acknowledged is that should she have been his type, he might well indeed have raped her.
Some discussed the violent misogyny at work in this “defense.”
Trump believes that it is an insult to Carroll to say that she is not his type because he thinks it would have been flattering for a woman to be raped by him. The assumption is that value and worth are bestowed on women by men’s sexual attraction to them, violent or otherwise. https://t.co/Wnrou4eWVz
It’s infuriating to hear the president use misogyny to dismiss rape allegations, but at this point, it’s not surprising. Carroll is the latest woman to say that Trump attacked her, but she is far from the first. When are we going to start taking these allegations seriously?
How fashion brands led by women of color are redefining “nude” to push diversity forward
Multi-industry mogul Rihanna made history earlier this month when she became the first black woman to head a luxury fashion line in Paris. At a hypervisible celebrity level, the wrinkles of industry-wide racial discrimination seem to have smoothed, yet women of color across the board still struggle to see themselves represented in the clothing options available to them online and in brick-and-mortar retail stores.
The manifestation of “nude” in fashion is narrow. Nude usually denotes a pale beige tone, implying, problematically, that lighter skin is the default. For decades, women have walked into stores looking for nude stockings, only to find two shades of light and dark, which completely ignores the range of skin tones in between. This lack of representation within every tier of the fashion industry—fast fashion, department stores, online stores, social media marketing—speaks to a nasty assumption that women of color (WOC) don’t have enough spending power to motivate brands to redefine “nude.”
But a handful of fearless WOC entrepreneurs have founded brands that make products specifically for women of color looking for nude clothing and accessories to match their skin tone.
These women embody that Solange “F.U.B.U.” experience of being so fed up with trying to fit into the options available that you have to step in and make everything your damn self. The strides from brands like Nubian Skin, which sells underwear and hosiery, and Kahmune, which sells luxury shoes, to offer a wide range of skin tones have been celebrated, but most consumers have no idea how much harder these founders have to work within the constraints of a multi-billion dollar industry not designed for their participation.
Nubian Skin made waves when they launched in 2014, landing features in Teen Vogue, HuffPost, and Cosmopolitan. I reached out to its founder Ade Hassan to learn more about the hurdles the brand has faced while trying to serve four different dark shades of nude.
“Fabric and components not coming in our colors is a definite hurdle,” Hassan said. “It means our costs are higher and we have to have everything—from our fabrics, to our hooks and eyes, and straps—made to [match] our specific colors, which most brands don’t even have to think about.”
Jamela A. Acheampong, founder of Kahmune, was fixated on finding the highest quality leathers for her shoe line, which features, not one, not three, but 10 different shades of nude. Shoppers can also order individual leather swatches to make sure they are ordering the correct shade. “When I say I spent hours settling on my 10 shades, I mean hours!” Acheampong told me. She and her team studied the diverse undertones of skin tones across the world and met with numerous leather suppliers to find the right combinations of color, quality, and comfort.
“Nude,” as it pertains to white or light-skinned women, has been developed for centuries and made into an industry standard. Designers looking for a pale beige “nude” are instantly offered that option by fashion industry suppliers, while those who want to offer a diverse range of nude have to jump through incredible hurdles.
Having to develop your own materials and components from scratch means meeting increased purchasing minimums, delays in the design process, and hiring more team members to manage the extra work.
We were shook (and proud) when we learned that Beyonce often asks to be paid in equity, but most of us don’t know what this actually means in the context of the fashion industry. Working toward “equity” means fighting to make sure that every woman of color involved in the making of the end product is compensated according to the value that she brings to the brand.
In 2017, T-shirts sold by the Women’s March, emblazoned with phrases such as “Feminist AF” and “The Future is Female,” came under fire for their questionable manufacturing process. The shirts were made by Gildan, a company with an alleged history of profiting from sweatshop labor in Central America. What use is diversity if brands are manufacturing clothes irresponsibly, which, in turn, hurts people from marginalized communities?
Nonetheless, WOC-led brands like Proclaim continue to push the conversation forward by proactively solving the problems that make the fashion industry inequitable for marginalized communities. Proclaim makes a line of nude lingerie that is ethically produced in Los Angeles, and the material for the collection is made from recycled plastic bottles.
South Asia-born, St. Louis-raised founder Shobha Philips shared the importance of this ethos with me. “I knew that to create a collection that addresses the lack of diversity in fashion,” she said. “I couldn’t also be complicit in an industry that notoriously exploits the hard work and resources of people of color.” When brands exploit labor and environmental resources in the name of representation, they continue a vicious cycle of poverty for the workers—typically grossly underpaid women in impoverished countries—who are making their products.
“Intersectionality” is another co-opted buzzword that some feminists may not actually understand.
Working toward “intersectionality” means speaking up for marginalized identities who occupy multiple spaces of marginalization. Religious identities and plus-size women, for example, are excluded from the conversation of diversity. For example, Inayah is a London-based brand that caters to Muslim women’s conservative needs, with modern abaya designs that easily rival any contemporary women’s brand. The brand makes a line of hijabs in different shades of nude to complement different skin tones within the community. Its incredible presence in the fashion industry gives Muslim women all over access to modern, en vogue pieces to help them express themselves.
A post shared by INAYAH (@inayahc) on Jun 10, 2019 at 12:00pm PDT
NuNude also centers intersectional representation. The brand offers a range of fashionable two-piece sets, sportswear, underwear, and outerwear in multiple shades of nude. Since its launch, NuNude has prioritized casting diverse models like Fats Timbo, a model born with achondroplasia or dwarfism, and plus-size influencer Queen Mojo. NuNude is one of a select few brands that are working overtime to cast models of different ages, sizes, and abilities. Brand rep Joanne B. Morales shared that NuNude’s marketing campaigns are heavily rooted in community.
“Our events help us understand what is needed and what problems need solving. We use real data from our community to design our products and sizing charts,” Morales told me.
Ultimately, WOC-led brands work twice as hard to pinpoint the needs of the communities they serve, often with half the recognition of white counterparts. This sociopolitical diligence is rarely seen with brands who do not center the needs of communities of color.
A post shared by N Ü N U D E - (@nunude_official) on Jun 1, 2019 at 4:03am PDT
As a woman of color who worked for a few years in fashion production, I was left starry-eyed and optimistic by incredible entrepreneurs willing to take on the work of creating products by us, for us. Fashion brands are swinging the pendulum toward inclusivity, and I ain’t mad at it.
What’s actually enraging, however, is the slow movement of legacy retail brands when it comes to providing intersectionality and equity in their (lukewarm) efforts to become more diverse. Change needs to trickle down from the top leaders in the industry willing to take some financial L’s and risks to meet the often underestimated buying power of women of color. We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere.
How to recognize the signs of commitment phobia right away, so you can avoid a broken heart
You meet an amazing person online/offline. You dig each other’s vibe, so you arrange a date. While you understand not every love connection is actually a valid one, most of us plod through the awkwardness that is dating because we’re looking for someone who wants a relationship. So when we find someone we click with, we tend to believe we’re headed toward the “C” word—commitment. However, here’s a harsh #truthbomb: not everyone who wants to date is looking to commit. Now, you might think you can recognize a Mr. Big when you see one. I mean, everyone but Carrie could see he was the biggest commitment-phobe in N.Y.C. But, the truth is, if we’re really into someone, it’s harder to spot the “I don’t want to give us a label yet” signs of commitment phobia right away.
While the extent of commitment phobia varies from person to person, generally, “commitment phobia is a term used to describe people who experience a very real, often overwhelming sense of anxiety or fear around commitment,” Kari Tumminia, an international dating and relationship coach, tells HelloGiggles. “Commitment phobias become very apparent in romantic relationships, but it can also affect a person’s ability to commit to anything that leaves them feeling trapped and tied down, such as signing a lease, accepting a job offer, or even being able to maintain close, platonic friendships.”
If you’re looking for a committed relationship, then you want to avoid a potential partner who’s, well, avoidant. Here are some of the signs of commitment phobia to look out for.
Backing out of plans last-minute.
You set a date, but you just got a text saying, “Sorry! Something came up! Maybe we can reschedule?”
“If your date kept rescheduling your first date, it may be a sign of commitment phobia,” Celia Schweyer, a dating and relationship expert at DatingScout.com, tells HelloGiggles. “Your date may even have canceled at the last minute of the agreed date. This is because a person who has commitment phobia has a hard time deciding whether they ‘can’ do it. They want to have a relationship but get freaked out when they already have it or by even the thought of it.”
They don’t pay much attention to you.
Is your date keeping eye contact with you or are they constantly referring back to their phone?
“On a first date and potential early stages, you can tell if someone’s commitment phobic due to their lack of attention on you,” Dr. Tricia Wolanin, a California-based clinical psychologist, tells HelloGiggles. “If they are interested, they will be engaged, which includes eye contact and mutual conversation. If they want to commit, they want to get to know you, and therefore will be inquisitive. Commitment phobes will be distracted, look at their phones, look at other people, and not ask you reflective questions (after you ask questions to them).”
They use non-committal language.
Is your date using vague language when talking about the near future, even if the conversation is not about you or your relationship status at all? That’s because a commitment-phobe doesn’t tend to use committed language for any aspect of their life.
“On the first date, listen for non-committal language in their life in general. ‘I might,’ or ‘Maybe I’ll…’ vs. ‘I’m going to,'” says Dr. Saniyyah Mayo, a licensed marriage and relationship therapist and author. This kind of language will give you insight into how much follow-through they actually have.
And, yes, making plans for dates in advance will also feel like pulling teeth. Adds Tumminia, “The person may not always give you an outright no, but they’ll often use open-ended language that leaves all of their options way open.”
Were they blowing up your phone yesterday with sweet nothings but silent or boring today? That’s because commitment-phobes are pros at sending mixed messages, i.e. coming on strong and then changing their level of interest or excitement later. “This happens because the person with commitment anxiety wants to experience connection and intimacy, but when push comes to shove, the actual act of commitment (like buying the concert ticket or even talking engagement rings) triggers a sense of panic and they’ll quickly flip,” says Tumminia.
Which is why it’s important to recognize that people’s behavior in communication says so much about them, says Schweyer. “When they can’t be consistent, and when they send you mixed and confusing signals, you might be signing up to become someone’s part-time lover.”
They won’t follow up post-date.
It’s been days since your awesome date. You’re pretty sure you both had a good time, so what’s the deal?
“People with commitment phobia will tend to let long periods of silence go between connections. It feels safer for them to avoid initiating too much contact, and they’ll have no problem letting you do the romantic work,” says Tumminia. “Along with this, there tends to be a level of impulsivity about getting together. It may feel spontaneous or interesting at first, but it’s really the person’s inability to make or commit to plans. That impulsivity may also show up in canceling or changing plans at the last minute.”
They don’t like labels.
Even if things are going well post-date, don’t expect your date to want to put a label on your relationship anytime soon. “Terms like ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ signal a level of togetherness and exclusivity that a commitment-phobe is uncomfortable with,” says Tumminia. “They’ll avoid using or agreeing to labels in your relationship, and will use language like ‘I’m not ready,’ ‘I need space,’ or ‘I just want to take things slow.’ They will usually keep promising a hypothetical, future commitment, essentially stringing you along, but never follow through with committing because of their own fear and anxiety.”
Perhaps the most difficult part of getting involved with someone who has a fear of commitment, says Tummnia, is the realization that they do actually want and need intimate connections, “but when a connection gets too close, too intimate, or requires too much, it triggers their fear and anxiety.” To work around this, many commitment-phobic people will want to stay in a relationship, but on their terms. “They’ll make a conscious effort to use casual language, avoid labels, and modify what they appear to agree to with words like ‘probably,’ ‘maybe,’ and ‘might.'”
What makes a commitment-phobe so commitment phobic?
While it’s easy to write off a commitment-phobe as a self-centered jerk, it’s imperative to remember that their reasons for “blowing you off” go much deeper than that.
“Factors include childhood trauma, past bad relationships, trust issues, and not having a blueprint of healthy relationships while growing up,” says Dr. Mayo. “Many times what children experience in their childhood manifests in their adulthood. If a child never sees a parent in a healthy relationship, their idea of a relationship becomes distorted. They then hold onto the dysfunctional aspects of the relationship, normalizing it.”
Another reason for avoiding commitment, says Dr. Mayo, stems from someone’s past bad relationship experiences. “They assume that their present and future relationships will have the same results. They can be closed-minded about new relationship, assuming that all people are the same. It is the same thing when a persons trust is violated. They then assume that everyone moving forward will also violate that trust.”
What to do if you’re dating a commitment-phobe.
So you find yourself head-over-heels for a commitment-phobe. Now what?
“Commitment anxiety can be deeply painful for the people involved,” says Tumminia. “And while I believe it is treatable, the person who is afraid to commit has to both be willing to recognize that something is wrong and willing to accept help.”
Dr. Wolanin says you may decide you want to stick it out and be patient, helping your potential new boo become more comfortable with the idea of a relationship but knowing they can’t be pushed. However, “if you can acknowledge that you don’t have the patience for this, it may be time to let them go. If you are observing (or they are telling you) they are afraid of commitment, if you are forcing them to change and be anything else, it will simply drive you both crazy and be an unproductive process.”
While it’s easy to overlook the red flags for commitment phobia, especially when we’re really interested in another person, it’s crucial to remember Tumminia’s final point: “The person with commitment fears and anxieties must both recognize that they have a problem and be willing to accept help, often of the professional variety.”
We can’t change people, friends. No matter how much we might love or like them. So if you’re loving someone who can’t give you what you need, love yourself more and let them go.
Lizzo is making wood nail art happen, and turns out we’re 100% on board
From rapping to dancing to playing a mean jazz flute, it seems like Lizzo can do just about anything. And her talents aren’t just limited to music. The “Juice” singer is also basically a fashion icon who has broken barriers by modeling for Playboy and who routinely rocks some of the most creative looks in Hollywood. (If you don’t believe us, check out her hot pink ensemble at the 2019 Met Gala.) Even Lizzo’s nails are good as hell, and she recently outdid herself with a wood grain manicure.
The singer was nominated for Best Female Hip Hop Artist at the 2019 BET Awards on June 23rd, where she performed her hit song “Truth Hurts.” But before her show-stopping performance, she turned heads with a head-to-toe wood grain look on the red carpet. According to Paper magazine, her minidress was custom-made from House of Holland. Artist Alexx Mayo was behind her makeup, and Shelby Swain created her stunning hair look.
Lizzo’s pièce de résistance was her manicure by nail artist Eri Ishizu, which had more shine than a freshly waxed floor.
The finished product was stunning. Lizzo showed off the complete outfit on Instagram, writing, “Ooop! Did I give you a woody?”
A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on Jun 23, 2019 at 4:10pm PDT
Ishizu shared an Instagram post breaking down how she created the look, noting that she used five different shades of Essie nail polish for the swirly effect. She started with a base coat of the white “Blanc,” followed by a layer of the beige “Less is Aura.” To add the wood grains, Ishizu used “Truth or Bare,” “Seeing Stars,” and “Licorice.” The best part is that all shades are available from Walmart, so you can easily re-create this forest-inspired look for yourself.
Here’s how you can travel in Bali for only $25 a day
Bali is often perceived as a beyond-bourgeois destination. A land of expansive resorts and expensive bills—a place where only the rich can enjoy the beaches and beautiful temples. But I’m here to tell you that Bali can be experienced on a budget—a budget of just $25 per day.
When my husband and I decided to visit Bali, we set a strict $50-a-day spending limit, which breaks down to just $25 per person. With a little discipline and a lot of research, we were able to stick to it, averaging just $43.67 per day between the two of us. We visited Ubud, known for its lush rain forest and rice paddies, and Nusa Penida, an island with stunning beaches and cliff-side sights. We indulged in animal parks, massages, private tours, and more. In other words, our trip didn’t feel like a sacrifice—it just felt like a steal.
How did we do it? Here’s a peak into our spending for our six-day vacation through Bali.
Day 1: Ubud—$31.11
James D. Morgan, Getty Images
We arrived in Ubud in the evening, just in time for dinner and to check into our guesthouse.
$3.61: We’d heard that warungs—the Indonesian equivalent of a café—could be cheap, but we were delighted to find we could nosh on nasi goreng (a fried rice dish), vegetable stir-fry, and a bottle of mineral water for less than the price of a children’s-sized McDonald’s meal.
$27.50: We read a lot of reviews before we chose our guesthouse, just off one of Ubud’s main roads. Our room was air-conditioned with a private bathroom and queen-sized bed, but the best part was that it was just steps from a pool. The price included free breakfast, which meant we could save moolah each day by eating fresh fruit, eggs, and sausage there.
Day 2: Ubud—$36.80
In the morning, we walked the Campuhan Ridge while snacking on trail mix we’d brought with us. By 10:30 a.m. we were back at our guesthouse to scarf down our free breakfast.
Michael Jacobs, Getty Images
$6.94: A trip to Ubud wouldn’t be complete without a vist to its infamous Monkey Forest, a 12.5-hectare sanctuary for more than 700 long-tailed, cheeky, devilish, but adorable monkeys.
$13.49: We hadn’t planned to stay in Ubud a second night, but we weren’t ready to leave yet, so we reserved ourselves a room at a different guesthouse. (The one we stayed at the previous evening was booked up.) This room also included a private bathroom, and had its own balcony overlooking a courtyard. For $14 less, though, this place did not have a pool.
$11.79: With time to kill before dinner, we “splurged” on one-hour Balinese massages. Spas are as common in Ubud as Starbucks are in New York, so it was easy to find a spot that combined a tranquil atmosphere with cleanliness, comfort, and the right prices for our slim budget.
$4.58: At a different warung, we order two fried-rice entrees and spring rolls for an affordable dinner.
Day 3: Nusa Penida—$49.65
Ubud was beautiful, but it was time to hit the beach. We went south to Padang Bai’s harbor.
$4.16: We took an air-conditioned shuttle bus, which we shared with others, to Padang Bai.
$4.30: The ferry, what the Indonesians call the “slow boat,” takes about an hour-and-a-half to reach Nusa Penida. The private “fast boats,” on the other hand, take just 45-minutes to go from coast to coast, but they come with a price tag of about $13.87 per person, at minimum. We opted to take the ferry and save the cash for a tour we knew we’d take the next day.
$1.73: As we waited for the ferry, we split a huge plate of banana and chocolate pancakes.
$1.39: It’s important to stay hydrated in Bali’s heat, so we grabbed four water bottles to-go.
$5.55: Safely in Nusa Penida’s harbor, we hailed two taxi motorbikes to take us to our hotel, located just steps from the beach.
$26: Our hotel, which featured a dive school and dive tours, was on the expensive side—at least for our budget. But the hosts were warm and helpful, which more than made up for it.
$6.52: The hotel’s restaurant had an impressive menu that included a burger. We couldn’t help ourselves: we ordered burgers along with fries to satiate our American cravings. That afternoon, we soaked up the warm sun and put a dent in our books at the local beach.
$5.06: Back at our hotel, we shifted back to Indonesian food, ordering mie goreng—a fried noodle and vegetable dish—and chicken satay served with peanut sauce and steamed rice.
Day 4: Nusa Penida—$58.32
$0.69: After eating the breakfast included in the price of our hotel, we grabbed a thousand-milliliter bottle of water to take on the road. It was time to explore the southern tip of the island.
$20.81: We split the cost of a private driver with a pair of women who were also staying at our hotel. The deal was this: the driver would take us anywhere on the island from morning until sunset. We booked him for two days so that we could spend ample time at each place.
$1.39: At Atuh Beach, our first stop, we paid an entrance fee. But free bean bags awaited us after we hiked down from the hilltop. You could also rent lounge chairs for $3.47 each.
$1.39: Sarongs are required to visit Peguyangan Waterfall, where a Hindu temple is carved into the cliffside. Luckily, they were available to rent for about 70 cents per person.
Admittedly, we skipped lunch this day. It could have been the heat, which was intense, or simply that we were very busy; we’re not sure. But we promise we didn’t starve ourselves.
$7.35: The food was so yummy at the hotel that we ate there again, and we didn’t regret it.
$0.69: We also purchased two small bottles of water to re-hydrate after a day in the sun.
$26: We relaxed on our hotel room’s front porch before winding down in some ice-cold AC.
Day 5: Nusa Penida—$58.87
$0.69: Another day, another big bottle of water to battle the heat.
$20.81: We asked our driver to make four stops this day: Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, Angel’s Billabong, and Crystal Bay, all free, natural attractions on the west side of the island.
$1.04: After hiking down to Kelingking Beach, we were parched and needed another water.
$1.39: Toes in the sand at Crystal Bay, we split a heaping pile of mie goreng for our lunch.
$8.74: We were beat—and we also couldn’t beat the hotel’s menu (and prices), where we ate yet again.
$26: Our last night at this hotel, we enjoyed the front porch again before heading to bed.
Day 6: Nusa Penida—$27.75
We had an afternoon flight to Flores, so we rose early to take a boat back to mainland Bali.
$20.81: When booked through our hotel, tickets for the “fast boat” were discounted, so we took advantage of the deal, saving $7 in ticket costs and 45-minutes of travel time.
$6.94: We met a nice couple on the ferry who, also headed to the airport, agreed to split the cost of a cab. It took some negotiating, but we got the price down to 200,000 Rupiah or about $14.
Traveling to one of the world’s most beautiful islands doesn’t have to be super-expensive if you simply stick to a budget.
This article originally appeared on Travelandleisure.com
Anxiety sucks and parenting with anxiety sucks in its own special way—here’s how I cope
Anxiety sucks. It swoops in, builds up, and leaves you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and out of control. For me, anxiety is like a storm raging inside a paralyzed shell of a human body. When the worst of it passes, I’m exhausted and not sure how to find the energy to get through the rest of the day. And parenting with anxiety is a separate challenge.
I’ve dealt with anxiety, including anxiety attacks, for years. Eventually, I got myself into therapy and developed a number of useful strategies to help deal: meditation, exercise, and, my favorite, giving myself permission to opt out of life for a few hours by turning on the TV and turning off my brain. Then, I became a mom and all the good habits and coping strategies went straight to hell. A toddler doesn’t understand that you need to be left alone for 20 minutes to meditate, and you can’t head out for a calming walk if you are the only caregiver at home. The Netflix and popcorn strategy doesn’t work if there is a little one in front of you who needs a bath, dinner, four books, two songs, and long snuggle before he goes to sleep.
To make matters worse, parenting itself may be triggering your anxiety. An estimated 10% to 15% of new moms develop some form of postpartum mood disorder, like postpartum anxiety or postpartum depression. If you have a history of physical or sexual trauma, being clung to, climbed on, and followed around can tug on past issues. Toddlers are just beginning to learn about boundaries and cannot be counted on to give you any semblance of personal time or space. Caring for a newborn (barely a separate human being, if you ask me) is a body-centered experience. All that beautiful, but relentless, holding, nursing, and rocking leaves many moms feeling “touched out” at the end of the day.
The most important thing I do to tame my anxiety is to be intentional and pro-active about therapy. I’m tempted to cancel every other appointment because of the circus act of trying to juggle work, home, family, and self. In those moments, therapy can feel more like another thing on my never-ending to-do list than a form of self-care. But I’ve learned that, at least for right now, I need that weekly check-in so I can sort through how everyday life stressors are pulling my past issues into the present and try and untangle some of those ties. I’ve been fortunate enough to find a therapist who will do a phone session if getting away for an hour isn’t going to happen, and who charges on a sliding scale based on income.
The second most important strategy I have is to proactively schedule a little time away each week from both work and parenting. Sometimes my husband/co-parent can offer me the time away that I need to deal with my anxiety, but I’m more prone to an anxiety spike if he is out of town or otherwise unavailable. Finding time alone can be even more difficult for single parents. When a babysitter is not in the budget, consider a two-hour child care swap with another parent or a community center that offers child care while you workout for an hour (and by that I mean exercise for 20 minutes, shower for 20 minutes, and sit in glorious silence for 20 minutes).
Of course, despite doing the work to prevent anxiety, there will always be those days when it sneaks up on you and becomes overwhelming. The best way I’ve found to calm down when I’m actively parenting and start to feel anxious is a grounding technique my therapist taught me. The idea is to look around and name five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. I do this out loud when I’m with my son; he joins in and thinks it’s a fun game. You can play over and over again until you start to feel better, going from room to room or outside to find different answers. If the senses game is too much to handle at the moment, my other tried-and-true technique is the “meditation minute.” I’ve found that literally just one minute of breathing acts on my anxiety disproportionately to the time spent. A five-second breath in, five seconds out, then repeat five more times.
Sometimes, nothing works and the anxiety avalanches over me anyway. I’ll try to get myself into another room so my child doesn’t have to witness the worst of it. When that happens, the only comfort I can find is the knowledge that I did the best I could that day and I’ll get another chance tomorrow.