Posts tagged with "Friends"

Show your ‘true colors’: Personality test matches you with your perfect decorating palette

June 21, 2019

We’ve all taken a variety of online personality quizzes—tests that promised to help us choose a dream job; assigned us to a Hogwarts house, and even determined once and for all which character on the show, Friends, we are most like.

Now, there’s a test that we’re sure we all will pass with “flying colors.” Sherwin-Williams is giving the standard personality quiz a home decor spin with the launch of its new ColorSnap Color ID quiz, Real Simple magazine reports.

After taking the quiz this morning (spoiler alert: I got “The Naturalist”), I know that I “embrace the outdoors and want to help everything around [me] thrive. [I find myself] most at peace when surrounded by nature, walking along a rugged trail or just sitting in the sun.”

What’s more, “I let in the fresh air” with a color palette of Pearl gray, Dark night, Pale moss, Suitable brown, Intellectual gray, Lemon verbena, Pewter green, Verde marron, Chamois, Creamy, Shitake, Natural tan, and Waterloo paints.

Instead of a singular color, the results guide you toward a range of 16 coordinated options to help you explore fresh paint colors you’ve maybe never considered. The paint colors aren’t bound to a specific home decor style, so no matter if your style is more modern farmhouse or warm industrial, you’ll be able to incorporate your favorite paint colors from the palette into your space.

And I learned all of this after answering just a handful of questions about my favorite couch (out of three choices), coffee table, wall hanging, musical preferences, and favorite plants.

In total, there are eight distinct personality types and color palettes, including a Minimalist range that’s full of soothing grays; and a Creative palette that features bold colors for confident home decorators, such as a peacock blue.

Curious which Sherwin-Williams paint colors are the most popular? Just check out the Nurturer palette, which features some of the brand’s best-selling paint colors. If you’re on the hunt for a crowd-pleasing shade of blue or the ideal shade of off-white, you’ll find it here.

Research contact: @SherwinWilliams

Try Good Housekeeping’s 30-day mental health challenge!

April 15, 2019

You’ve heard of ice-water challenges, dietary challenges, and social media challenges—but the most popular competition right now is all about your mind and stress. Searches for 30-day mental health challenges have increased by by 668% over the past year, Pinterest recently revealed.

Do these mini, month-long resets actually work? They can, but you have to approach them the right way, Helen L. Coons,  clinical director of the Women’s Behavioral Health and Wellness Service Line at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, recently told Good Housekeeping magazine.

“We know that small, realistic, and attainable steps help us sustain good health behavior,” she said. “So if we think that we’re going to lose 50 pounds this week, we tend not to do it, but if we think … ‘I’m going to skip the cookie today,’ that’s a good start. Same thing in mental health.”

The magazine’s editors teamed up with Dr. Coons to create a 30-day mental health challenge that aims to help you leave you feeling calmer and happier at the end of the month. Even better: You don’t need to spend a lot of money or have tons of free time to participate.

Before starting the challenge, GH recommends that participants position themselves for the best results by following four core guidelines:

  • Don’t think it’s selfish: “When we’ve taken good care of ourselves, not only do we have more energy for others, but we tend to be more focused and more present,” Dr. Coons advises.
  • Tap a friend:When we share our goals, we do better. Get a group of two, three, or four friends, for added accountability.
  • If you miss a day, don’t give up:The goal isn’t to be perfect. Even if you just do 25 or 15 days, that’s still an improvement from the previous month.
  • Keep it up afterward:Improving your well-being is an ongoing process, so adopt one or two new habits that changed your mood for the better.

Now, take a look at the activities below—one for each day of the next month, no matter when you start.

The upcoming month is all about focusing on self-care and finding ways to make physical and mental health a bigger part of your life, which may sound like a lot but in practice is pretty simple. The editors have designated one easy task per day, so that participants won’t feel too overwhelmed.

1. Do a deep breathing exercise: Count backwards from ten, breathing low and slow. Try it before a meeting, in the car, or before you greet your kids or partner after a long day.

2. Catch up with a good friend: Having a strong social support system is linked with a reduced risk of depression and high blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

3. Schedule something to look forward to: Plan a fun day later this month, whether you sign up for a cooking class, plan a mother-daughter movie marathon, or use the weekend to go on a mini road trip.

4. Donate or recycle something you never use: Visit givebackbox.com to download a free USPS shipping label, pack up your donations in an empty Amazon box, and it will go directly to Goodwill.

5. Do 30 minutes of yoga: Women who took twice-weekly yoga classes experienced a bigger decrease in chronic stress compared to a control group put on a wait-list, found a 2016 study published in the journal Cogent Psychology.

6. Plan a healthy meal: It’s no secret if you eat well, you feel well.

7. Ask for help with something: Tap into that support system for some assistance where you feel spread thin. After all, it takes a village.

8. Listen to your favorite happy music: In the car, in your home, in the shower…. Bonus points if you sing along.

9. Take 10 minutes to read: Either good stuff or junk! 

10. Go for a walk at lunch: Walking for 30 minutes in a natural or urban environment is linked with reducing stress hormone levels and improving mood, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

11. Budget 20 minutes of spa time: Whether it’s a manicure or a blowout, do whatever makes you feel good. “Not because of the superficial nature of it,” says Dr. Coons, “but when we tend to feel good about how we look, that also helps our well-being.”

12. Practice a favorite hobby: Coloring, doodling, and drawing all increase blood flow to the reward circuit in the brain, according to a 2017 study out of George Washington University, but do whatever creative activity brings you joy—knitting, jewelry making, you name it.

13. Let yourself get distracted by a movie: Go out or queue something up at home.

14. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier: Getting enough sleep can improve your mood, memory, and immune system, according to the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine.

\15. Drink water instead of alcohol or soda today: You’ll save money and avoid empty calories. Win-win.

16. Schedule a game night: Enjoy some friendly competition around a game board.

17. Set a mini goal: Make sure you eat breakfast every day this week, or find a friend sign up for a 5K with you.

18. Cross a lingering item off your to-do list: You know that doctor’s appointment you’ve been meaning to make for months?

19. Compliment someone: Put a little good karma into the world.

20. Plan a night in with friends: Gossip, laugh, eat, drink.

21. Try a 5-minute meditation: Download a free mindfulness app like Headspace and you can do it anywhere when you have a spare moment.

22. FaceTime with a family member: Just seeing Grandma happy will probably make you happy.

23. Do something outside: Walk the dog or find an empty bench to soak up some sun. Or look at the moon and stars before bedtime.

24. Book a date night with your partner: If you’re single, no problem. Call up a friend who appreciates you and plan something fun instead.

25. Unfollow negative people on social media: Those influencer accounts who make you feel any bit less-than? See ya, won’t miss ya.

26. Say no to something: Take a task off your calendar or move it to a more convenient or less stressful time.

27. Have a phone-free night at home: The blue light emitted by your screen can mess your with sleep hormones, so putting the tech away early will not only let you catch up on a new book, but also help you fall asleep faster.

28. Watch a silly video that makes you laugh: Remember, it’s the best medicine.

29. Write down something good that happened today: Even if you’ve just had the worst day, jot down what you’re grateful for instead.

30. Adopt a new habit: Reflect back on the past 30 days and think about making a change. Should game night become a weekly occurrence? Did going to a walk at lunch make feel that much ready to take on the rest of day? The month may be over, but you can make your favorite activities a regular, lifelong thing.

Research contact: @goodhousemag

Giving up the ‘ghost’: How people are ending relationships

January 28, 2019

Now you see them (and hear from them); now you don’t. In friendships, familial relationships, work situations, and, yes, romantic partnerships, “ghosting” has become the no-warning, no-fuss, no-closure way to exit.

Even job candidates have been known to ghost scheduled interviews in a thriving economy.

Indeed, the term, “ghosting,” has been used to describe the act of simply disappearing from somebody’s life by ignoring their calls, texts, and social media messages, Psychology Today reports.

But how common is ghosting, how do people feel about it, and who is likely to do it? New research by Gili Freedman of Dartmouth College and colleagues Darcey N. Powel of Roanoke College, and Benjamin Le of Haverford College—published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships—explores these questions. The team conducted two large-scale online surveys of American adults. The first included 554 participants; the second, 747.2

In both studies, about 25% of participants claimed that they had been ghosted by a previous partner, and about 20 percent indicated that they had ghosted someone else.

The second study also examined ghosting in friendships and found that it was somewhat more common: 31.7% had ghosted a friend, and 38.6% had been ghosted by a friend.

It’s no surprise that most people found ghosting to be an unacceptable way to end a relationship. However, how acceptable people found it to be depended on the type of relationship. In the first study, 28% of respondents felt it was acceptable to ghost after just one date, whereas only 4.7% believed that it was an acceptable way to end a long-term romantic relationship.

When it came to short-term relationships, 19.5% tjhought that ghosting was acceptable. In addition, the majority of participants (69.1%) said that knowing someone had ghosted a romantic partner would make them think more negatively of that person.

Respondents also generally believed that ghosting friends was not that acceptable, but they typically commented that it was more acceptable to ghost friends than romantic partners.

This is consistent with other research in which participants were asked how they felt about being on the receiving end of various break-up methods. Iin that study, cutting off contact was considered one of the least desirable ways to end a relationship.3

What individuals are most likely to ghost? The research showed that those higher in destiny beliefs—those who thought a relation either is “meant to be” or not—were more likely to think that ghosting was acceptable and were less likely to think poorly of the ghoster. What’s more, they also were likely to report that they would consider ghosting as a viable option for breaking up with a partner and to say that they had ghosted someone in the past.

Interestingly enough, the extent to which participants endorsed growth beliefs—those that thought that relationships take work—was, for the most part, not related to their ghosting behavior or attitudes.

It is likely that there are many other characteristics that predict ghosting, Psychology Today said.

Past research has shown that those who are insecure in their relationships tend to feel stronger negative emotions during conflict and experience more stress after a conflict, the news outlet reported. So those who are insecurely attached may be more likely to ghost as a way to avoid the upsetting experience and aftermath of conflict.

It is also likely that those high in narcissism would be more prone to ghosting, as they tend to lack empathy for partners and see them as a means to an end.8

Finally, the newer research also does not answer the question of whether ghosting has become more common in the modern age of texting and social media. It is reasonable to assume it has, Psychology Today says—given the large role that electronic communication plays in relationships. A partner’s ghosting may be the first sign that something is wrong, and once you’ve been ghosted, you may be unlikely to seek an in-person confrontation.

Ghosting may also be easier to get away with in certain modern relationship contexts. For example, online dating has become increasingly popular—with about 25% of young adults using it as a way to meet new partners. Without a mutual social network tying you to a partner, it may be a lot easier to just disappear and not be held accountable.

The magazine warns, if you’re considering taking the easy way out of a relationship, realize that ghosting will not only hurt your partner, but is likely to hurt your reputation.

Research contact: @psychologytoday

More adults now share their homes with Millennial children and parents

February 2, 2018

You can go home again. And many American families are embracing that reality—as the nation harks back to a time when several generations lived under one roof. U.S. adults are increasingly sharing a home with other adults with whom they are not romantically involved, based on poll results released by Pew Research Center on January 31.

This arrangement, known as “doubling up” or” shared living,” regained acceptance during the Great Recession (2007-2009) and, nearly a decade later, the trend has picked up once again, according to the researchers.

While the rise in shared living during and immediately after the recession was attributed in large part to the growing number of Millennials who had been forced to move back in with their parents, the longer-term increase has been partially driven by a different phenomenon— parents moving in with their adult children.

In 2017, nearly 79 million adults (31.9% of the adult population) lived in a shared household—that is, a household with at least one “extra adult” who is not the household head, the spouse or the unmarried partner of the head, or an 18- to 24-year-old student.

Those who reside in a shared household include about 25 million adults who own or rent the home. An additional 10 million adults are the spouse or unmarried partner of the head of the household. Another 40 million, or 16% of all adults, are the “extra adult”—not necessarily an immediate relative— in the shared household. This share living in someone else’s household is up from 14% in 1995, Pew reports.

Other examples of extra adults are a sibling living in the home of a brother or sister; or a roommate.

Regardless of their relationship to the household head, young adults are more likely than middle-aged or older adults to live in someone else’s household:

  • Among those younger than 35, 30% were the extra adult in someone else’s household in 2017—up from 26% in 1995.
  • Among 35- to 54-year-olds, 12% were living in someone else’s household, an increase from 9% in 1995.
  • Among 55- to 64-year-olds, 10% were the extra adult, up from 6% in 1995.

The only adult group that isn’t more likely than before to live in another adult’s household is those ages 75 and older (10% in both years).

As a result of this overall trend, the average number of adults per household has not declined since 1995 and, consequently, the number of households per adult has not increased.

Finally, a caveat: The rise in shared living is likely not simply a response to rising housing costs and weak incomes. People of color are much more likely than white adults to be doubled up, mirroring their greater propensity to live in multi-generational households.

Research contact: info@pewresearch.org

‘Friends’ and ‘Simpsons’ are tops among Thanksgiving reruns

November 18, 2017

While most Americans associate Thanksgiving Day not just with turkey, but with football, the TV networks do their best to garner ratings by featuring holiday-themed shows in the lead-up to November 25; and they run gobbler-themed reruns after the games. A poll conducted a few weeks ago by Civic Science has found that the most memorable—and infamous—Thanksgiving celebrations on TV, ever, took place during two episodes of very different sitcoms.

“Who would have thought that Friends and The Simpsons would … be discussed in the same sentence, or would be competing in any way?” Civic Science Researcher Jordan Star commented, adding, “And yet, they’re neck and neck.”

Indeed, he revealed that 23% of respondents chose a Thanksgiving episode of The Simpsons as the best ever, while Friends came in a close second at 22%. Star did not mention the specific episodes that won viewers over.

The next two winners also looked at the celebration in an hilarious way: Modern Family and Seinfeld. These two shows also are almost tied, with Modern Family leading by only 1%.

In addition, Star said, “I was seriously excited that the infamous Cheers episode right after I watched anything remotely scary so that I wouldn’t have nightmares. It’s just one of those momentous feel-good shows.

Other unexpected—and slightly weird —insights, which the Civic Science poll found, include:

  • People who answer The Simpsons are more likely to buy organic food;
  • People who answer The Simpsons are more likely to be fans of TV documentaries;
  • People who answer Modern Family are more likely to subscribe to T-Mobile;
  • People who answer Modern Family are more likely to live in a city; and
  • People who answer Seinfeld are more likely to be outgoing and enthusiastic in social situations.

So open that zipper, lean back and enjoy your favorite reruns when turkey and game-time are over.

Research contact: jordan@civicscience.com