Category Archive

2022 January

PTO Health Perks

2022 January, Benefit Spotlight December 22, 2021

When we were kids, we looked forward to that golden stretch of summer vacation – three months off from our regular routines, school, and homework. It helped revitalize us. As adults, taking PTO is equally important for your health and productivity.

Working long hours without sustained breaks can substantially increase your risk of stroke or heart attack, according to the World Health Organization. Taking time off, on the other hand, can reduce these risks.

Vacation is also great for your mental health. Time away from your inbox decreases your body’s production of cortisol, a hormone caused by stress that puts your body under strain. Research shows that taking time off gives your brain a chance to rest and relax. This in turn boosts your productivity when you return to the office, which can help you enjoy work more and feel more fulfilled by it.

While a week-long stay on a beach might be the dream, even short breaks create great benefits. Taking a long weekend can be incredibly beneficial. Even a random day off in the middle of the week now and again is good for your brain and body. Whether you’re taking a half-day or a half-month, it’s important to be intentional about this time. Set up your out-of-office message and plan to respond when you get back. Plan to not answer work-related phone calls. The benefits of vacation decrease if you’re not really disengaging – so log out of your inbox and fully commit yourself to relaxing. Your brain and body will thank you!


Why Taking Vacation Time Could Save Your Life (
Four reasons to take a vacation (

Easy Steps to Skin Care

Skin care is a booming industry, full of different creams and washes and serums that all promise you healthier, younger-looking skin.

If you’re not familiar, it can be difficult to even know where to start. Fortunately, there are three easy steps you can take to give your face the care it needs.

The most fundamental step of skin care is gently cleansing any excess dirt or oil from your face. If you have oily skin, go for a lighter foam wash. If your skin is drier, use a heavier wash in a cream or lotion format. Micellar water is an excellent option as well for most skin types. You can also try exfoliating cleansers for a little stronger clean that will remove dead skin cells. Just make sure to stay away from harsh exfoliators made from nut shells, and don’t overdo it – once a week is plenty.

Next, use a moisturizer or face lotion after you’ve washed and dried your face. Moisturizing helps your skin retain water, which keeps it hydrated and healthy-looking. Your skin type matters for picking out the best product here too. A moisturizing gel is ideal for oily skin types, most facial lotions work for combination skin, and dry skin is best served by a heavier lotion or even a cream.

Before you leave the house, apply sunscreen to your face. The UV rays from sunlight harm your skin, and dermatologists recommend applying a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. This quick daily step can help prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as certain types of skin cancer.

Skin care doesn’t have to be confusing or expensive. Adding these three quick steps to your daily routine can help keep your skin fresh, moisturized, and safe from the sun.


How to Build a Skin Care Routine – T Magazine Guides – The New York Times (
Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Skin-Care Routine | SELF
Skin care on a budget (

Diet Well With Support

January has come again, and people are embarking on their New Year’s resolutions, many of which include starting a new diet.

It’s not a January-specific phenomenon; in fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 17% of Americans are on a diet on any day of the year.

If you’re looking for a fresh start this year, make sure you aren’t in it alone. Social support is demonstrated to help dieters stick with it longer, make more progress, and have longer-lasting results. There are several ways you can find support, from paid programs centered on weight loss to just finding company on the journey.

Programs. There are many weight-loss programs, such as Weight Watchers, that use small group formats and ongoing education about dieting. People who do such programs may be more likely to keep more weight off over a longer period of time compared to people who go it alone. Talk to a Professional. It can be difficult to know how to even start dieting. Consider talking to a dietician or health coach. They can help you set reasonable goals and assist you in making a plan to follow.

Find a Friend. Whatever your plan is, see if you have any friends interested in dieting with you. It’s often easier to chase goals with someone than on your own. Even if they don’t want to join, friends and family can be supportive while you diet. That could look like family not keeping unhealthy foods around the house or friends being willing to eat somewhere that has healthy options.

Tech. Apps such as MyFitnessPal and FatSecret can help you track your diet and to connect in chat forums with other people pursuing similar goals. Similarly, the app for Fitbit fitness trackers allows you to participate in challenges with other Fitbit wearers.

Dieting isn’t the easiest activity to begin. Before you start, make sure you have support in place, in whatever way works best for you.


Products – Data Briefs – Number 389 – November 2020 (
Weight Loss Support: Online Groups, Social Media, and More (
How social support can help you lose weight (

Breaking Down Budgeting

“Budget” isn’t anyone’s favorite word, and understandably so. Talking about finances can be stressful, and even the idea of sitting down to make a budget can be an intimidating prospect.

  1. Know your income

    In order to know how much you can spend per month, you have to know how much you make. Check your paystub or direct deposit to see how much you’re paid per month. Be sure to add any steady income from a side hustle or from investments (i.e., interest from a CD). If you’re making a joint budget with a spouse or partner, be sure you’ve included their income. This number represents the money you can rely on to come in each month.

  2. Estimate your monthly spending habits

    This can be the trickiest part of the process, but it is essential. Use your bank statements and/or credit card statements to see how much money you spend per month and note where it goes. While some items like rent or student loan payments will generally be set amounts, other expenditures are more fluid, like dining out or buying clothes. For those less predictable categories, go through a few months of statements and find the average amounts you spend, which you can use in your forming budget. Make sure to include any ongoing subscriptions and routine payments you know you’ll be making, like cell phone provider and water bills. At the end of this process, you should have a second number that represents roughly how much you spend per month.

  3. Prioritize your spend

    Ideally, that second number is less than the first. If it isn’t, or if it’s the same, it is likely time to examine your spending patterns and eliminate items that aren’t necessities. For instance, you may realize that you’ve been spending more than you think on eating out, or maybe you forgot how many streaming subscriptions you have. Cutting back on these items will allow you to bank that money toward potential emergencies, or even a big-ticket item you want to purchase but can’t yet afford.

Making and sticking to a monthly budget can be life-changing. Apps such as Mint or Goodbudget help you understand and manage your income. A little saved each month can add up quickly.


How to Budget Money on a Low Income – Experian
How to Create Your Budget With EveryDollar |
Making a Budget |
The 7 Best Budget Apps for 2021 – NerdWallet