As editors of a reader-driven publication, the thoughts of the women who read Verily inspire us, challenge us, and help us better understand our mission. We’d love to share these thoughts with our audience on a regular basis, as a way to inspire more dialogue. 

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From the Verily inbox

Cooking dinner as self-care

Just wanted to share how much I enjoyed the article about cooking dinner as self-care—I'm rereading it this afternoon, and it’s convinced me to cook dinner more nights this week! I mean, I know how much better I feel when I spend time cooking and enjoying a nutritious meal after work, but sometimes a well-written and researched reminder is just what I need :) Keep up the great work!

~Erin; Jacksonville, Florida 

Keeping life positive

I just wanted to pop in and say how much I love you guys! I regularly check your website for new content and pretty consistently feel better after I’ve read a post or two.

The things you all share really do connect with where I’m at in life. Whether it’s relationship advice or a new study that came out or even something dealing with fashion, I always leave thinking “I’m glad I read this!”

I just want you to know that what you’re doing matters. The content you’re sharing is bringing joy and hope to the ones that are reading it! So I want to thank you!! Thank you for being awesome!!!

~Madi; Birmingham, Alabama

Understanding burnout and where our time goes

The recent articles on burnout and time management were great—it’s so refreshing to hear I’m not the only one who has this guilt problem. 

The “8 hours for work, sleep, and what we will” example hit hard. I had never thought about only really having 8 hours in a day to do everything I wanted to do (half that if I work an extra long day) and it’s no wonder I’m pissed at myself all the time—I actually expect myself to walk the dog, read the newspaper, make dinner, workout, keep up with laundry, have a meaningful conversation with my husband, and spend some time in silence all in one day, all while handling other weekly or monthly occurrences like shoveling the foot of snow on my driveway, getting to the store, changing my oil, etc. After reading this article, I roughly added all of this time up in my head, and was shocked—why haven’t I thought about this before? 

I was recently at a talk given by a a female Olympic runner. During the Q and A time someone asked her, “How do you deal with burnout?” And I remember thinking “When will that happen for me? Will I finally be able to chill out without feeling guilty when it does? Maybe if I stuff a little more in my day I’ll finally get burnt out and be able to relax without feeling guilty.” I have recognized this twisted thinking in myself, and while I don’t have a cure, being more aware of it is certainly a start. Thank you for that. 

Note: I recently subscribed to Verily Yours, and while I was hesitant at first, you guys are creating some awesome content (much of which helps with those tasks that suck up time, like taxes and meals.) Keep up the great work.

 ~Maria; Saint Paul, Minnesota

Responding to “Consider This: The Meaning of Friendship in My Life”

As I typed out my message, I could feel the shame starting to rise in me. There I was, yet again, asking for phone date with a dear friend of mine. “You are always the one reaching out to her. Wouldn’t it be nice if she asked you to chat on the phone for once?” Why yes, yes it would. But then I remind myself that she is the [one] who is married, with her first child on the way. I’m sure, in fact I know, she doesn’t mean to put me on the back burner, it is just a part of where her priorities lie in the present moment. 

This isn’t the only friend this seems to happen with, it seems to be with a lot of the friends I made in college. Especially because we are now located in various states, working different jobs, and living in different stages of life. As one of the single women in my group of friends, I have realized how much time to have to focus on my friends. Sure, it can be burdensome while it seems like there is always a stream of texts being sent on my end checking in with different people. But when it comes to friendship in this period of my singlehood, in the depths of my heart, I know what a gift it is to pour into my friends in such a unique way. 

I remember in one particular instance, I was living and working an internship that was 2 hours away from where all my college friends were still located. I had found out one of my friends was having a rough weekend so I planned it out with a different friend of mine to make the drive that day for a surprise visit. It instantly cheered her up, and I know she loved that I was even willing to do something like that for her. As a single woman at the time, I remember thinking how beautiful it was to be able to give freely like that.

I’m a firm believer of making sure the people in my life know I love them and this includes my friends. So sure, there may be a quick second of doubt when I sent off that text to let a particular person know I am thinking of them, but deep down I know that this simple acknowledgement can help turn their day around, even from a few hundred miles away. My friends can’t get rid of me that easily.

~Becca; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I have been married for eight years and have four kids. The same girlfriends who carried me through my single twenties, they are the same ones who give me breathing space and help me stay grounded in my sense of self now in my late thirties. They are flexible and generous with their time. It strengthens my marriage to have my single friends; your spouse cannot be all the things all the time. They give perspective that I don't always have. Spending time with them is like wearing your favorite leggings and a pair of false eyelashes: comfortable, yourself, but a little bit better.

~Kate; Falls Church, Virginia