Wellness Pearls

11 April 2023


You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

The term “hack” originated circa 1300 from Hackney, a borough of London, where horses were raised that were flashy and trotted with a high step but were high strung. They were not thoroughbreds or good for show or work but rather raised for hire. If you got your horse from Hackney,  it was a “Hack” …not a great horse.

The word has proliferated and expanded its meaning.  A hack (person) is someone who does undistinguished work, like a horse from Hackney. A tech hacker works outside of the instruction manual and could be a malicious meddler who invades and steals or is engaged in free-spirited creation.

There are life hacks—those that use something in an unintended way, made for one purpose but used in an entirely new way, such as using Doritos for kindling or toothpaste to clean tennis shoes.

But there are no cheap shortcut hacks for how we live.  What we need to lean on is habit science. Our daily habits largely determine our lifestyle and health span.  It’s the everyday, tiny actions that cast a vote for your future self.  It’s managing your environment so that well-being is pursued with as little friction as possible.  It is being intentional and thoughtful about the person you want to become and the life you want to lead. Treat the brain like your bicep. The way to make it stronger is to slowly add resistance (discipline) over time without overloading it. Not as exciting, irreverent or rule-breaking as a hack, but the evidence  is clear. Some examples of tiny actions that over time become habituated, the anti-hack:

• Eliminate sugar (begin with a 30-day challenge)
• No eating until midday (time-restricted eating)
• Meditate while in between sleeping and waking–still in bed
• Drink 16-oz. of water first thing every morning
• Avoid complaining (at least until noon)
• Set alarm to go to bed
• Never bring phones in the bedroom
• Schedule time during the day to read for 2 hours about any problem you have
• Determine a daily step count and abide by it
• 20 minutes of stretching/yoga a day
• At the end of each day, thank someone
• Reduce social media to 2 hours a week (ween off)
• Every week, schedule time to meet with a cherished friend or neighbor
• Refuse to let the distressing behavior of others affect  mood or outlook

What are your tiny daily habits? Please tell us below.

Well-being Resources

Conflict at Work

A good one on how to name the uncomfortable dysfunction.

Deceptive Design

Buying things you never agreed to?  Deceptive design is a pattern library of deceptive designs used on websites and apps to trick you into buying or signing up for things. There is a HALL of SHAME  from the most complained about companies.  Here’s an infographic of 12 different types of dark patterns sourced from the website.

Crystalized Lime Packets

On a recent flight, I was handed a packet of crystalized lime for my seltzer water. This packet contains only crystallized lime that can be added to anything to make it taste better. It was so good I bought all 3 flavors (lemon, lime and grapefruit). Like any citrus drink, lemon eater, etc., one may need to go easy as the citrus can erode teeth enamel. Here are 22 uses for this amazing healthy product.

The Power of Myth

I’ve just discovered on YouTube this 1988 series, Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers.  It was made shortly before Joseph Campbell died.  This is a commitment and some parts are more interesting than others, but  listening to these 6 hour-long, timeless conversations while walking, I found comfort and a wider perspective on what might be stressing us out…the power of the stories we tell (those that unite or divide us) and how we find meaning in this life. I can see now why this documentary remains one of the most popular series in the history of public television.

Stay Well,   Eileen

6 Responses

  1. Carlotta

    A gratitude calendar. Everyday I write positive things to be grateful for. I have trained myself to never write a negative or intrusive thought.

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