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We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.

—  JK Rowling
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got self-care tips, graceful Pilates workouts, and why switching off the news can switch on your happiness. Read on...

If you’re working extra-long hours, you’re risking more than just your weekday “me time”. A recent study by the World Health Organization revealed that working more than 55 hours a week is causing hundreds of thousands of premature deaths worldwide. 

That’s because overwork can lead to sleeplessness, stress, and the prototypical modern malady—burnout. Symptoms of burnout include reduced energy, exhaustion, muscle aches, headaches, and stomach issues.

So, assuming you don’t want to quit your job and move to a cabin in the woods, what can you do about it? 

Studies have shown that self-compassion -- small, deliberate acts of daily self-care -- can reduce burnout. Treating our own worth as unconditional even when we fall short of our own expectations, is just one example of a self-compassionate attitude. (Test how self-compassionate you are with this quiz.)

Saying “no” to more things, asking for help when you’re overwhelmed, and setting time in your schedule for fun social activities are some other solid strategies to stop burnout before it gets you down.

Hoping you can forgive your own imperfections this week, Katherine & Linda
Move With Nicole
Growing up, Nicole McPherson competed in gymnastics, then studied dance in styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop to flamenco. So, it figures that she brings the flexibility of a gymnast and the grace of a dancer to her YouTube workouts.

A barre and pilates instructor and fitness creator born in Hong Kong, McPherson has lived her whole life in Australia and is currently based in Queensland. With the pandemic driving millions of people to find a way to work out at home, her YouTube channel exploded in popularity. 

As she told fans of her Instagram, making a living in fitness is “an absolute dream that I never thought possible. I cannot thank you all enough for your continued support... Without you I wouldn't be here.”

Try this: If you’re familiar with Pilates, Nicole’s 40-minute Full Body Workout is an intermediate class that provides a complete workout with bodyweight only. New to Pilates and prefer something more introductory? Try this 30-minute Cardio Pilates that blends in some jumping movements along with the precise pulsing movements of classic Pilates.
Hack for a happier life: switch off the news
The vast majority of people who’ve ever lived were illiterate, and knew just a handful of family, friends, and acquaintances. Modern information technology has raised our living standards, but has also given us the ability to obsessively read about every awful thing occurring worldwide at any given moment. Could it be we haven’t evolved to cope with so much… news?

Author Rolf Dobelli argues that, far from helping us navigate the world, consuming news puts us at a disadvantage. His challenge: “Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business.”
Dobelli points out that news stories are overwhelmingly about things we can’t influence. So, reading the news every day makes us passive and pessimistic. What builds self-esteem is the exact opposite: focusing on the things we can control and taking action.

For your mental wellness, why not take a news pause? Skip, and take a day off social media. Use the freed-up time and attention to journal about goals, text your friends, or read a book.
 Are exercise dresses just for aesthetics? Or can you actually work out in them? Do they have “mom at the pool energy”? You be the judge (The Cut)

 This easy baked marinated tofu is perfect Sunday meal-prep—throw it in salads and wraps all week (Lisa’s Project Vegan)

Bodyweight for shapely glutes & quads: some tough hip, leg, and thigh exercises you can do on the go, no weights required (Self)

 They’re “superagers” — seniors whose brains look as healthy as people decades younger. Their fountain of youth? Exercise (Elemental)

 If you’re a regular Fit Girls reader, you know we’re electrolyte fans! We can’t wait to try these 7 electrolyte drink recommendations (Well+Good)

 Stuffed peppers are delicious but a lot of work; this Unstuffed Pepper Casserole has the same flavors but is a quick weeknight dinner (Low Carb with Jennifer)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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