Sunday, December 28, 2014

162 passengers feared dead after AirAsia flight QZ8501 goes missing

An AirAsia plane with 162 people aboard went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore on Sunday morning shortly after the pilots requested a change of flight plan because of weather, the third major aviation incident this year involving a Malaysian carrier.

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 with 155 people on board -- including one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three Koreans, -- and seven crew members lost contact with air traffic control at 07.24 am local time Indonesia.

Sixteen children and one infant were among the passengers on board the AirAsia Airbus A320-200 that went missing on the flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.

At a press conference this morning, Indonesian officials said the plane was several hours past the time when its fuel would have been exhausted.

There were unconfirmed media reports that a aircraft crashed in the waters of East Belitung, off the east coast of Sumatra.

The exact location of the crash site has not been identified, media reports said.

The aircraft was in the Indonesian flight information region, more than 200 nm southeast of the Singapore -- Jakarta FIR boundary, when contact was lost, civil aviation authority of Singapore said.

Contact with the plane was lost 42 minutes after takeoff. There were no Indian nationals on board.

The plane took off from Surabaya (Indonesia) at 5:20 am local time and was scheduled to land at Singapore's ChangiAirport at 8.30 am.

A statement on AirAsia's Facebook page said: "AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07.24 am."

"At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available," the Malaysia-based carrier said in a statement.

Indonesian Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact, local media reported.
Air Asia said the pilot had requested "deviation" from its flight plan because of bad weather.
"The aircraft... was requesting deviation due to en route weather," it said.
Indonesia's national search and rescue agency bangka belitung said it has dispatched one vessel to search for AirAsia flight QZ8501.
"We received information from Basarnas in Jakarta that contact had been lost with an AirAsia flight over Bangka Belitung waters...We then dispatched a vessel with a search and rescue team of 22 members to check the information," Febi Imam Saputra, an information official at Basarnas Bangka Belitung, was quoted as saying by the Indonesian Antara news agency.
"If we look at the map, these coordinates refer to an area around 20 nautical miles from East Belitung," said Febi.
Search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities from the Pangkal Pinang Search and Rescue office.

Indonesian authorities have mobilised search and rescue operation near BelitungIsland, deploying five ships and a surveillance aircraft carrying 15 Indonesian Air Force personnel.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has confirmed that it is linking up with Indonesian authorities to help locate the missing plane. Australia and Malaysia have also offered assistance.

A massive search is underway for the missing plane. The last detected position of the missing AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 is believed to be between Tanjung Pandan on BelitungIsland and Kalimantan, Indonesia, according to Indonesia's Director of Air Transport, Djoko Murjatmodjo.

"The position where contact was lost was between Tanjung Pandan and Pontianak, about 100 nautical miles south-east of Tanjung Pandan," said Djoko.

The pilot Captain Iriyanto has an experience of 6,100 flying hours.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes has asked his company to stay strong. "Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We must stay strong," tweeted Fernandes, an ethnic Indian, who set up the budget airlines which now flies to several countries.

Fernandes has said that he is heading to Indonesia.

Malaysia has also offered assistance in the search operation.

AirAsia is popular in the region as a budget carrier. It has about 100 destinations, with subsidiaries in several Asian countries.

The loss of contact with the AirAsia plane comes nearly 10 months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing on March 8.

Searchers are yet to find any debris from Flight MH370, which officials believe crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Another Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Marvel blames Hydra for leaked 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' trailer

That's right, the terrorist organization that hangs over many stories in the Marvel Universe -- and fueled adventures in both "Captain America" films and 2012's "The Avengers" -- may be the reason you're chasing dragons on YouTube right now.
Hail Hydra, sorry ABC. This second "Avengers" film is in theaters on May 1, 2015.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Huge Salary Robert Downey Jr. Will Earn For Captain America 3

There is A LOT of movement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as of late, and today alone has provided us with some huge developments involving the still-under-wraps Captain America 3. Not only did we find out that the Civil War storyline is going to start up with the third (and final?) Captain America film, but also that Spider-Man might be involved in the future. Of course, this was all trumped by the announcement that Robert Downey Jr. will be on hand as Tony Stark in the next Steve Rogers adventure, which not only signals big happenings but also a big pay day. The reported figure is $40 million-plus.

Thanks to Variety, we now have an idea of just how big of a pay day he'll be raking in after his recent negotiations. So how much does it take to hire Robert Downey Jr. for an appearance in a Marvel movie? Well, if the past is any indication, $50 million would be the number to beat. That was the figure Marvel Studios signed over for Downey Jr.'s participation in The Avengers.

Of course, that's not how much Robert Downey Jr. will be banking for Captain America 3, as Variety's sources say he's signed on for a $40 million pay day up front, in exchange for an expansion of his role in the film. Originally, Tony Stark was going to be a bit player in the next Chris Evans led film, but Downey Jr. expressed that he wanted a meatier part in what promises to set Marvel Studios up for the next couple of phases. However there is a way that Iron Man could be bringing home something extra when this is all done and over, as he's reportedly negotiated a portion of the film's backend profits.

In addition to receiving a cut of Captain America 3's profits, there's a clause set in Robert Downey Jr.'s contract that will put him in line for another pay out if the film breaks the franchise's record. So if Captain America 3 exceeds the $714 million total gross that Captain America: The Winter Soldier brought in, Downey Jr. will receive an extra pay out, presumably for making that happen. It's not a bad assumption, as Iron Man is still the highest grossing stand-alone hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the Marvel/Robert Downey Jr. brand is at peak output as we speak.

As far as what Robert Downey Jr. has brought to the table for Marvel Studios, the agreement to pay him in such a manner is well deserved. If his role in Captain America 3 was maintained at the previous level of involvement that was denoted, it could be seen as a bit exorbitant, but seeing as he's now playing an official lead role, he'll be earning every penny. No matter the scenario, Downey Jr. looks like he'll retire/scale back his involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe within the next couple of years. If he wants to go out with a bang, and get paid in the process, he's well earned that right by consistently delivering for Marvel Studios.

No matter how you slice it, Captain America 3 is going to change everything, and if the rumors are true and the stars and stripes align, Joe and Anthony Russo will become the next masters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with The Avengers 3 and 4 in their care. Captain America 3 breaks the mold on May 6, 2016. Your move, Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tips for a Healthy Skin

The human skin grows from the inside out. We spend lots of time and money to nourish and care from the outside skin. But, all this will be in vain if we do not care, protect and nourish the skin from the inside.
Here is how:
Drink enough water
Water is most vital for a clear and healthy skin. Water hydrates and cleanses it from the inside. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, preferably purified water. Remember, hydrated skin looks plump, healthy and glowing.
Eat fresh vegetables and fruit
Vegetables and fruit are very good for your skin, providing essential phytonutrients.
Make sure you get sufficient essential fatty acids
The body needs fat. Without it the skin will look dull and lifeless. Good-quality fats like the omega fats are the building blocks for healthy cells. Therefore, make sure you include these good fats in your diet. Good sources are fish, nuts, seeds and cold-pressed oils.
Limit refined carbohydrates
Excess sugar and refined foods, such as cakes, biscuits, and confectionery are not good for your skin and can even slow the whole body’s healing system. Limit your intake and make sure you include good sources of protein to help balance blood-sugar levels that can lead to sweet cravings.
Get enough exercise
A good workout, even if it is just a brisk walk, will make you sweat to eliminate toxins from the skin. The increased blood flow will also bring nourishment out into the skin and encourages your skin to breathe. This will give your skin a healthy glow.
Take an antioxidant
The modern world we live in exposes our bodies to pollution, excessive radiation exposure, like computers, inadequate diets, overworking, etc. Therefore, it is imperative to supply your body with optimal nutrition by taking a good quality antioxidant that supplies natural vitamins and minerals at optimal levels.
Manage your stress levels
Stress is part of life - you cannot get away from it. However, when stress turns to anxiety and worry, it starts to affect your health and skin. When you are under excess stress this affects your hormonal system, which often triggers skin problems and sensitivities, as well as lowering your immune system. Strain and worry is also worn on your face, so, the best is to relax. Take time out, relax and nurture yourself.
Get enough sleep
Sleep in very important for good health. Sleep is nature’s way to repair damaged tissues and during the sleep cycle there is a surge of your growth hormone, which stimulates cell renewal. Therefore, make sure you get enough sleep; at least 7 to 8 hours per night.

Enjoy your bath

A long soak in the bath is a terrific way to make you look and feel fantastic.
A half hour soak once or twice a week can work wonders for both the body and the mind.
The perfect bath comprises the following key elements:
Environment - We can't all be lucky enough to have a luxurious bathroom but we can all have one that's tidy, uncluttered and distraction free.
Temperature - Bath water should be warm but never too hot. The goal is relaxation not stimulation.
Mood - Light candles or listen to soothing music to further increase the feeling of relaxation.
Oils, salts and bubbles - Use aromatic bath products to intensify the experience and to pamper your soaking body.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

word Dermatologist

Many hear the word Dermatologist and think that they only deal with acne rather than the many other services that they provide to a person. The role of a Dermatologist in Chicago is more than just helping a person rid themselves of acne and pimples. Along with this process some believe that it is not necessary to see a Dermatologist if they have access to certain over the counter products that can help battle acne.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair

Better-looking hair can start at your next meal.
"Just like every other part of your body, the cells and processes that support strong, vibrant hair depend on a balanced diet," says New York nutritionist Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, author of The Beauty Diet.
It can take longer to notice changes (both good or bad!) in your hair than in your skin. For example, "just one week with a poor diet can yield acne flare-ups or dry, sallow skin within days," says New York City dermatologist Cybele Fishman, MD, "but with hair, it can take a few months for a nutritional deficiency or the effects of a crash diet to show up."
The nutrients you eat today help fortify the hair follicle -- from which each strand is born -- and the scalp that surrounds it. "Healthier follicles? Healthier hair. Healthier scalp? Healthier hair!" Drayer says.
Of course, there's more to your hair than what you eat. Smoking, hormonal imbalances, and not enough sleep can also affect how your hair looks and feels. No magic nutrient can make up for those concerns.
Still, you have a lot more leverage than you might think. If you eat a balanced, varied, protein-rich diet that focuses on the following 10 foods, you'll be giving your hair the TLC it needs and deserves.

1. Salmon

Besides being rich in protein and vitamin D (both are key to strong hair) the omega-3 fatty acids found in this tasty cold-water fish are the true superstar. Your body can't make those fatty acids, which your body needs to grow hair. About 3% of the hair shaft is make up of these fatty acids, Drayer says. Omega-3s are also found in cell membranes in the skin of your scalp, and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated.
Other options: If salmon doesn't thrill you, you can also get essential fatty acids from fish like herring, sardines, trout, and mackerel, as well as avocado, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts (see below for more wonderful things about walnuts.)

2. Walnuts

These are the only type of nut that have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They're also rich in biotin and vitamin E, which helps protect your cells from DNA damage. Since your hair rarely gets much shielding from the sun, this is especially great, Drayer says. Too little biotin can lead to hair loss. Walnuts also have copper, a mineral that helps keep your natural hair color rich and lustrous, Fishman says.
Other options: Try using walnut oil in your salad dressing or stir-fry instead of canola or safflower, Fishman says.

3. Oysters

Oysters are rich in zinc, a lack of which can lead to hair loss (even in your eyelashes), as well as a dry, flaky scalp. Three ounces has a whopping 493% of your daily value. You can get some zinc through fortified cereals and whole grain breads, but oysters can boast a good level of protein too. "Remember, hair is about 97% protein," Drayer says. Without enough protein, your body can't replace the hairs that you naturally shed every day and what you do make can be dry, brittle, or weak.
Other options: Get your fill of zinc with nuts, beef, and eggs.

4. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source of the antioxidant beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. "Basically, every cell of the body cannot function without enough A," Fishman says. It also helps protect and produce the oils that sustain your scalp, and being low on vitamin A can even leave you with itchy, irksome dandruff.
Other options: Carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin, and apricots are all good sources of beta carotene.

5. Eggs

A great source of protein, eggs are loaded with four key minerals: zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron. Iron is especially important, because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles, and too little iron (anemia) is a major cause of hair loss, particularly in women, Drayer says.
Other options: You can also boost your iron stores with animal sources, including chicken, fish, pork, and beef.

6. Spinach

The iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C in spinach help keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.
Other options: Try similarly nutrient-rich dark, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and Swiss chard.

7. Lentils

Tiny but mighty, these legumes are teeming with protein, iron, zinc, and biotin, says Fishman, making it a great staple for vegetarian, vegans, and meat eaters.
Other options: Toss other beans such as soybeans (the young ones are called edamame) and kidney beans into your soup or salad.

8. Greek yogurt

Cruise the dairy aisle for low-fat options such as Greek yogurt, which is high in hair-friendly protein, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid -- an ingredient you'll often see on hair care product labels), and vitamin D. Emerging research links vitamin D and hair follicle health, but exactly how that works isn't clear, Fishman says.
Other options: Cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, and skim milk also fit the bill.

9. Blueberries

Exotic super fruits may come and go but when it comes to vitamin C, "It's hard to top this nutrient superhero," Drayer says. C is critical for circulation to the scalp and supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles. Too little C in your diet can lead to hair breakage.
Other options: Kiwis, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries.

10. Poultry

This everyday entree is extraordinary when it comes to protein, as well as hair-healthy zinc, iron, and B vitamins to keep strands strong and plentiful. Because hair is nearly all protein, "foods rich in protein are literally giving you the building blocks for hair," Drayer says.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Australian agency believes missing #MH370 flight will be found near '7th arc'

The Australian agency leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 believes that the jet would be found in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Australian agency leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 believes that the jet would be found in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, working in conjunction with a team of international investigators, said further analysis of the satellite data available on the flight's path "confirms that MH370 will be found in close proximity" to a specific corridor identified as the "7th arc", CBS reports.

The ATSB, on Friday, said in a statement that the plane is considered to have exhausted its fuel and to have been descending at the time it reached this specific arc.

Earlier, the ATSB said that the new data analysis would be useful in narrowing down the search in the coming weeks.

The Australian authorities have said that the chosen contractor will be allocated no more than 300 days time to find the missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370.

With the search for the ill-fated jet about to enter its third month, no trace of the missing plane has been found yet.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Top Tips for Women’s Health

Five Tips for Dietary Health

1) Alkalize. 

Remember high school chem, when you learned about the PH scale? Our bodies also exist in a balance between acidity and alkalinity. High acidity in the body has been linked to fatiguebione loss, and a host of other symptoms that we’d all rather avoid.

What acidifies our bodies? Alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and caffeine are big culprits. We also create lactic acid when we digest meat, dairy, and very high-protein foods. These foods, also known as high-PRAL foods, acidify our blood. The human body doesn’t like to be in an acidic state, and it works overtime to compensate. Our lungs, kidneys, and other organs try to “neutralize” acidity by a process called buffering; this means linking the acid to a “base” mineral. These include sodium, potassium, and calcium. There’s now substantial research to prove that high-PRAL foods (which are typically also high-protein foods) contribute directly to calcium loss and over-taxation of the kidneys. Why? Because our body is trying to neutralize blood acid by leaching calcium from bones and into the bloodstream.


The good news is that alkaline foods immediately help to stabilize and alkalize our bodies. What are alkaline foods? Well, they include vegetables, sprouts, low-sugar fruits, legumes, and certain grains (spelt, quinoa, and millet in particular). In other words, the foods that are a cornerstone of a plant-based diet! Which is all the more reason you should be eating as many veggies as possible. Dig in!

2) Eat for Your Bones

It’s no great secret that women are prone to bone density loss as we age. To prevent this, it’s important to eat as alkaline a diet as possible: again, eating too much animal protein, which is acidic, forces our bodies to deplete calcium reserves as a buffer. Ever wonder why countries with highest osteoperosis rates, ours included, are typically the countries with highest dairy consumption? This is why.

In addition, it’s important to eat calcium rich foods. Wondering about the best plant-based sources? Sesame seeds, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, blackstrap molasses, kale, and tofu are all stellar. Most non-dairy milks and soy products are also fortified with calcium, as are many commercial vegan cereals.
If you have any reason to believe that you’re not getting adequate calcium from your diet, go ahead and seek out a good vegan supplement with Vitamin D3. Right now, I’m a big fan of Vitamin Code’s Raw Calcium.

3) Pump up the Iron

We ladies, I’m sorry to say, are also rather prone to anemia. It’s very common for young women to be anemic–symptoms include sensitivity to cold, brittle nails, fatigue, thinning hair, headaches, and depression. To prevent this, it’s crucial for us to eat enough iron.

Fortunately, a plant based diet is full of iron-rich foods! Black strap molasses is a terrific source: one tablespoon daily (try stirring it into raw or cooked oats) brings you halfway to your USDA requirement. Other sources include leafy greens – chard, kale, spinach — as well as edamame, lentils, spinach, tofu, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and navy beans. Cooking with a cast iron pan imparts some iron, too.

4) Stop Fearing Fats

Women–especially women with histories of chronic dieting–tend to be pretty fat-phobic. Don’t be, ladies! I’ve written ad infinitum on the benefits of healthy fats, but just to remind you: healthy fats help our nerves, eyes, and immune systems. Our brain is composed of 60% fats, and our hearts are regulated by them. They’re known to help prevent cholesterol, and they’re especially important for fertility and fetal brain development.

The bottom line? Eat up! Be mindful of eating a sufficient amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in chia seeds, walnut, flax, and pumpkin seeds, and monounsaturated fats, found in almonds, coconut, olives, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and avocados.

5) Ditch the Fad Detoxes

I cannot tell you how frequently I’m asked about “doing a detox.” Should I do a cleanse? Should I do a fast? Should I drink lemonade and lemon juice for sixteen days? Should I eat nothing but green smoothies for a week?

In a word: no. There is no reason for a healthy, average woman to drastically lower her caloric consumption with “cleanses”. In fact, there’s a good chance that whatever cleanse you’re interested in–juices, lemonade, all raw veggies, smoothies only, and the list goes on–will only leave you feeling deprived, strip you of water weight, and lower your metabolism. Even undertaking a radically low-cal diet is likely to lower your metabolism drastically, so that when you do return to normative habits (as you eventually will have to, because you’re human), you’ll be likely to gain weight quickly, and in the form of fat.

If you need to lose a few pounds, or you aren’t feeling your best and want to tune up, simply commit to a few small changes (less processed food, no diet sodas, no sugary desserts) that will help boost energy and let you shed fluff weight. That’s a few, not all: getting healthy doesn’t mean trying to be perfect. It means doing what’s optimal as often as is reasonable. Don’t set yourself up for yo-yo diets that can permanently destroy your metabolic function and digestion: opt instead for small, sustainable changes that will boost health for good.

Five Tips for Sexual Health

1) Be Proactive About Birth Control

Deciding whether or not to go on the pill is deeply personal, and it should be based upon lifestyle, on your dialog with your sexual partner, and on your own comfort level. The pill is a major source of security and freedom for many women, but many others experience negative side effects. Therefore, be proactive: there are proactive ways to prevent pregnancy without BCP (such as copper IUDs), and we have the power to explore them.

2) If You Are on the Pill…

Remember: birth control pills do NOT prevent STDs. Many of my readers grew up in the era of AIDS awareness. That’s terrific, but statistics show that condom use and preventative measures against STDs are dropping among white heterosexuals. HIV rates have dropped marginally, but not nearly enough to justify careless behavior. (No drop, save the eradication of all STDs, would justify carelessness.)
Ladies, if you are taking the pill, remember that it’s no barrier against STDs. Herpes rates are on the rise (some statistics suggest that one in every two single heterosexuals in New York City has the herpes virus), and chlymidia and HPV are as common as ever. If you’re feeling tempted to skip the rubber, or if your partner assumes that your being on the pill is a green light for riding bareback, stop dead in your tracks, and reach for the bedside drawer.


3) Remember Your Pap

Be sure to get a pap smear regularly. I previously thought it was necessary annually, but a few readers have mentioned that the new ones are good for 2-3 years at a time (ask your ob-gyn). These exams scan for any reproductive abnormalities, STDs, and cervical cell changes associated with HPV.

4) Get the HPV Vaccine

People in the raw and vegan communities have mixed feelings about vaccines. I fall on the pro side of the fence, though I do think it is every parent’s right to select which vaccines are administered to their children, and at what age.
Adult women, naturally, can also make up their own minds about the HPV vaccine. But it seems awfully foolhardy to forgo vaccination against a form of cancer (cervical cancer) that is essentially preventable–especially since so few forms are. And we’ll be protecting our future sexual partners in the meantime.

5) Get to Know Your Body

Do I sound like I’m hailing from the pages of Our Bodies, Ourselves? Maybe I do, but even so, this message bears repeating: a conscious sex life is a rewarding sex life. Even in this day and age, young women are afraid to explore their own bodies, and to share what they learn with partners. Don’t be! Get to know your bod: if that means the old self-examination with a mirror at home, go for it. If it means getting cozy with some erotic literature or visuals, go for it. If it means picking up a sex guide, like The Guide to Getting it On (a classic), do it. Do anything that puts you in touch with what you like, and what you don’t; what feels good, and what doesn’t. And when you figure it out, speak up! Your partner will appreciate a knowledgeable and proactive approach, and you’ll be grateful for it when he (or she) responds accordingly.

Five Tips for Mind, Body, and Soul

1) Move
It’s nothing you’ve never heard before, but gentle exercise–I’m talking 35 minutes at least three times weekly–is your friend. No, this doesn’t have to mean marathon training or torture sessions at the gym. It can mean brisk walking, yoga, zumba, pilates, rebounding, or simply dancing around your apartment to the newest Gaga single. Exercise will boost your mood, strengthen your heart, strengthen your bones, and keep energy levels high. What’s not to like?


2) …But Not Because You Like to Eat 

One of the most troubling habits I see among clients is the use of exercise as a means of feeling “safe” about food–to burn calories, feel less “lazy,” or ensure they won’t gain weight from eating.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about embracing our appetites. This means embracing the fact that we hunger simply because we must: hunger is part of being alive. Exercise is a beautiful thing, but it should be separate from hunger, and eating is not optional.

So move, ladies. But don’t move because you ate. Move because it makes you feel energetic, happy, or strong–not because you had a piece of cake. The more you do to dissociate fitness from food, the more you’ll be able to appreciate them both.

3) Remember Self Care

We ladies are often caretakers: we care for children, for parents, for each other. But in so doing, we also forget to take time to care for ourselves. No matter how cliched it may sound, it’s true that we cannot love or value for others until we love and value ourselves.

Carve out time for solitary walks, little beauty treatments, reading, music, catching up with friends, and other forms of self-focused activity. Be gentle and indulgent: if this means canceling a commitment once in a while, or saying no to someone, or taking break from work, do. Preserving your own sanity–which such habits help you to do–means more energy and focus when you do re-emerge to care for the people you love.

4) Don’t Feel Responsible for Other People’s Comfort

I’ve spoken before about a woman’s tendency to eat in such a way that pleases other people. Often, this is because we sense that our good food habits make other people feel insecure or ashamed, and we compensate with self-sabotage. Is there anything more backwards than this–treating our bodies poorly to make our friends or family members feel better about themselves? I don’t think so.


The habit extends beyond food: so often, we bite our tongues, soften our opinions, or shy away from conflict because we know that it will make other people more comfortable. Guess what, girls? Other people are responsible for their own happiness, security, and comfort. Be kind and generous to others, certainly, but don’t take blame for other people’s unhappiness unless you caused it through malice or poor behavior. You’ve got your own happiness to worry about: allaying other people’s private and often self-imposed unhappiness is not your job.

5) Embrace Independence

One of the more troubling tendencies I see in young women today is a feeling of discomfort with solitude–both physical (in that they fear having time alone on their hands) and existential (in that they fear a lack of male companionship). It’s normal, of course, to experience loneliness now and then, or to want to find partnership in life. But to fear one’s own company is, I think, a shame. Life is lived in the company of loved ones, but there’s also truth to the dictum that we live and die alone. At the least, the capacity to support oneself financially, to make one’s way through the world independently, and to amuse oneself in quiet moments, is crucial.

Sharing your life with wonderful people is vital. But it’s also vital to enjoy your own company. So the next time you find yourself striving to make yourself more appealing to others, stop for a moment, and think: how can I be more appealing to myself? Take some time to cultivate a sense of personhood that you enjoy and take pride in, and the pleasures of autonomy will follow.