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T (1655 posts)
A few years ago, I learned a painful lesson about what not to wear while sightseeing in the summer. As part of my unofficial tour guide uniform for a friend's visit, I slipped into a pair of old Reef flip-flops. I misinterpreted the deep indentations (classic indications of overuse) as signs that they'd been comfortably broken in by a jungle trek in Thailand and a day of beach hopping around Nantucket. I figured they were the best things to wear to walk around town (what are flip-flops but topless sneakers, right?). That night, a throbbing pain in my right ankle kept waking me up. A podiatrist later diagnosed the pain as Achilles tendinitis, and recommended that I wear a soft cast...until Labor Day! My summer was officially a flop.
When walking farther than a quarter of a mile, I now stick to running sneakers. But they feel clunky in warm weather, so I asked Hillary Brenner, DPM, a podiatric surgeon and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association, to help me find some breezy alternatives. We asked Dr. Brenner to helps us rank ten summer shoe styles in order of how likely they are to knock you off your feet and cause injuries, starting with the most foot-friendly and ending with the Freddy Kruegers of footwear (can you guess what they are?).
More than half (56 percent) of women who use anti-aging facial skincare say they're not sure these products work, but they use them anyhow, reports the marketing research company NPD Group. This is a sad state of affairs, don't you think? Here's one way to be sure to get what you pay for.
Stress is something Joan Borysenko knows something about. She's a Harvard-trained biologist and author of the new book Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive. For 10 nonstop years, she juggled completing her clinical research, running a working farm (yes, that meant feeding chickens), raising two kids, writing a book and running 25 miles a week. In her two free minutes each evening, she secretly smoked cigarettes behind a tree in her front yard. Then came the back pain. After that, a scary feeling that she was sleepwalking through her life, immune even to her kids' excitement about riding their new pony through the woods.
She, the stress expert, was at the point of nonfunction.
Borysenko was a perfect example of how trying to do more than you can do for too long can result in a host of problems: emotional exhaustion (say, feeling numb inside when you know you'd normally feel happy or sad), recurring physical effects (back pain, constant colds, headaches) and a sense of spiritual emptiness that leaves you isolated from others.
This state can look a lot like depression. In fact, it might be easier to think of yourself as depressed; you can seek treatment from a doctor for that. Recent research, however, has found that although both result in a loss of motivation and pleasure, if you're burnt out, you can usually reclaim your everyday happiness—from taking great delight in a piece of crispy morning bacon to enjoying your hours at work or as a parent—once you make some fundamental changes. So the question is, How fried are you and what do you need to do about it? Go answer these questions to find out.
Oprah reminded us on her last show that we've all kept gratitude journals together. Actually, we may have missed a day (or 27), but we're getting back on the wagon. Every Friday, we'll be sharing what's making us happy right here. This week, we're thankful for...
What do you get when you pair a Paris designer with a much-loved American accessories brand? Effortless French accents! The limited edition Sophie Théallet for Nine West collection features shoes, bags and jewelry, all showcasing Théallet's signature feminine style. We spoke about the key pieces.
What inspired this line?
Stripes remind me of the French Riviera. And the silk grosgrain fabric has a dressy sheen that's great for day or night.
Why focus on accessories?
They let you add some fun to a neutral wardrobe: The satchel brightens up khakis; the ballet flats make a simple black skirt more interesting for work.
What can American women learn from the French about style?
French women like to feel free. The espadrilles and platform heels give you height and comfort; ballet flats are like sneakers, only sleeker. You can walk around uninhibited and still look chic.
Platform heel, $99; ballet flat, $79; espadrille, $99; NineWest.com