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Improve Your Daily Mental Health

May 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on Improve Your Daily Mental Health | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Mental health plays a huge role in your overall health and well-being. It affects everything, including how we think, feel and act, and helps determine how we make healthy choices and cope with stress.

Because it’s such a crucial component of your health, it’s important to focus on maintaining or improving your mental health. Here are five simple ways to do so every day:

  1. Express gratitude. Taking five minutes a day to write down the things that you are grateful for has been proven to lower stress levels and can help you change your mindset from negative to positive.

  2. Get exercise. You probably hear all the time how beneficial exercise is to your overall health, but it’s true. Exercising regularly can benefit your brain function, reduce anxiety and improve your self-image.

  3. Spend time outdoors. Getting outside, especially when it’s sunny, can greatly improve your mood, which in turn, benefits your mental health.

  4. Be kind. Helping others and being kind not only helps the receiver of the act, but can also help you. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy—holding the door or giving a compliment can go a long way.

  5. Get a good night’s sleep. Fatigued individuals typically experience drowsiness, mood changes, loss of energy and appetite, headaches, and a lack of motivation, concentration and alertness. Strive for seven to eight hours of sleep a night to improve your mental health.

Measles Outbreak Expands

May 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on Measles Outbreak Expands | Posted in Misc

What You Need to Know

More than 465 people from 19 states—the majority of whom are children—have been infected by the measles in the United States this year. This outbreak is now the second-highest total number of cases since the disease was declared eliminated in the United States almost 20 years ago, and it’s only April.

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus called rubeola. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that if one person contracts the disease, up to 90% of those close to them will become infected too if they aren’t immune.

People are most susceptible to contracting this illness in early childhood. Measles usually causes fatigue, runny nose, cough, slight fever, and head and back pains. In later stages, it can cause a high fever, Koplik’s spots (small white dots) inside the mouth and a rash that starts around the hairline and spreads downward.

Measles has a 25% hospitalization rate, is not treatable and has no cure. The virus can lead to serious complications, such as encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. In some extremely severe cases, measles and its complications can be fatal.

How can the measles be prevented?

Measles can be prevented with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. This vaccine is typically given in two different doses, the first being administered between 12 to 15 months of age and the second being administered between 4 to 6 years of age. The CDC reports that the two doses together are 97% effective at preventing the disease, while just getting one dose is 93% effective at preventing the disease.

Without being vaccinated, you’re at risk of contracting measles, especially because it is a highly contagious illness. If you live in an area that’s experiencing a measles outbreak, call your doctor for recommendations on what to do. Your doctor may recommend staying in your house until the outbreak subsides.

Add Years to Your Life

May 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on Add Years to Your Life | Posted in Lifestyle

9 Healthy Habits That Add Years to Your Life

Go online and you can find hundreds of tips and tricks all claiming to be the secret to the fountain of youth. But the real keys to living longer aren’t that mysterious, and most can be added to your everyday routine. These healthy habits can help lower your RealAge—the age your body thinks it is compared to your chronological age. To help you get started and stay motivated, try following these nine, easy habits—all proven to help boost longevity.

STAY ACTIVE

Walking has a host of health benefits, including easing stress and boosting weight loss. But it can also help fight serious diseases. “Walking gets your heart beating a little bit faster and tends to help it stay strong,” says Keith Roach, MD, chief medical officer of Sharecare and co-creator of the RealAge® Test. In fact, a 2013 study found that regular walking lowers the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes just as well as running or jogging.

The benefits don’t end there. Daily strides may help you live longer, according to a 2018 study published in Circulation. The study suggests regular exercise, about 30 minutes a day, can help lengthen your life, but there’s even some research linking as little as 120 minutes of walking a week—just 17 minutes a day—to lower mortality.

Need help keeping tabs on how much walking you actually do each day? Try tracking your daily activity using the Sharecare app, available for iOS and Android. Once you activate the Steps tracker, your phone will automatically count your steps. 

DON’T SKIP SEX

A healthy sex life can benefit your relationship and lower your RealAge. Men who engage in regular sexual activity can reduce their risk of prostate cancer, according to Dr. Roach. For women, the benefits include less stress and better relationships—both of which can reduce the risk of chronic health problems, he says.

Having regular sex needn’t be a chore—there are simple (and fun) ways to get busy. Communicating with your partner is key, so don’t be afraid to share your desires and dislikes, and if you’ve got a packed calendar, it’s OK to schedule the deed.

MANAGE YOUR ANGER

Do coworkers call you a hothead? Does 6 p.m. traffic send you into a bout of road rage? You could be hurting your health. Many men won’t admit to having a short fuse, but research links those who do to a higher risk of developing heart disease, says Roach. Extreme anger in both men and women is rare, but it can be dangerous. “If somebody is walking around stressed and ready to explode at any minute, that can’t be good for their heart,” he says.

Anger can increase your heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Outbursts of anger may even trigger a heart attack. If you feel your face begin to flush and your fits clench, give yourself a moment to breathe or try channeling your energy into exercise. 

BREAK THE SITTING HABIT

No one knows exactly why a sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health, but it’s possible a seated position puts an abnormal amount of pressure on the vascular system, which comprises the vessels that carry blood throughout the body. This stress may slow blood flow, increase the likelihood of blood clots and make it harder for the heart to pump blood. “People who sit for a large part of their day are at a considerably higher risk for developing heart disease, the number one killer in the United States,” Roach explains.

To lower your risk of heart disease and other siting-related conditions, like obesity and certain cancers, walk and stand whenever possible. If your job requires long hours behind a desk, take standing meetings or skip the email and hand-deliver a note to your coworker.

SKIP THE JUNK AND FILL UP ON HEALTHY FOODS

You may be great at ignoring the office candy machine, but processed foods—especially refined carbs found in chips, pretzels and snack cakes—can be just as dangerous. Shortly after sucking down pre-packaged foods, your body turns them into sugar, causing a spike in glucose and forcing the pancreas to make even more insulin, warns Roach. This added insulin can lead to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease—potentially cutting years off your life.

A diet rich in healthy, whole foods might have the opposite effect on the body. When combined with other good-for-you habits—like limiting alcohol consumption and steering clear of cigarettes—a healthy diet may add more than a decade to your life expectancy, according to research published in 2018.  

When building your next meal, start with a base of colorful vegetables, a serving of whole grains, a portion of lean protein and a drizzle of healthy fats. To stay on track, try jotting down your daily food and drink consumption in a nearby notebook, or log your intake using apps like Sharecare, which you can easily download on iOS and Android devices.

GIVE MEDITATION A TRY

Think meditation isn’t for you? You may want to reconsider. “Meditation isn’t necessarily about sitting on a prayer mat with your eyes half-closed and in the lotus position,” says Roach, “It may be about learning some breathing exercises you can do when you find yourself worrying.”

Not only can techniques like mindfulness meditation help you find Zen in the midst of a hectic day, they may also change your brain. According to a 2016 study published in Biological Psychiatry, meditating regularly can help you stay calm and handle stressful situations better, which may help reduce your disease risk. Want to give it a try? While sitting or standing in a comfortable position, give yourself a few minutes to become aware of the steady rhythm of your in and out breathing. As your mind calms, notice your thoughts and feelings, allowing them to pass without judgement. You can also try mantra meditation, which involves the silent repetition of a calming word or phrase like “peace” or “take it easy.”

A 2017 study published in The Lancet also suggests a link between stress and an increased stroke risk. Keep your cardiovascular health in tune by giving simple meditation practices a try.

STEER CLEAR OF CIGARETTES

It’s no secret smoking is harmful for your health, but never developing the habit may be more beneficial than you think. Research published in Circulation in 2018 shows that avoidance of smoking makes the list of life-lengthening habits, along with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Cigarette smoking can increase your risk for a slew of health problems, like cancer, heart disease, lung disease and stroke and up your likelihood of premature death. Mortality rates among smokers are three times higher, compared to those who’ve never picked up a cigarette.

If you’re already a smoker, it’s not too late to improve your health. Just minutes after taking your last puff, your heart rate and blood pressure begin to normalize. Over time, kicking the habit can improve lung function, lower your likelihood of developing heart disease and cancer and reduce your mortality risk. Patches, gum and support groups can help make cessation a bit easier. Tracking your tobacco use can also help—just download the Sharecare app for iOS or Android and log your progress. 

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT

Warnings about obesity and excess body weight have saturated the media—and for good reason. Obesity—a condition that affects more than 30 percent of American adults—is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. These conditions can lead to premature death, but can often be prevented. There is no single cause of obesity, but factors like inactivity, an unhealthy diet, genetics and certain health conditions and medications may play a role.    

Obesity is measured using your height and weight to calculate a number known as body mass index (BMI). A score greater than 30 is indicative of obesity; a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight, which is also unhealthy. There are proven ways to lower the number you see on the scale, and 2018 research suggests the work is worth it, since maintaining a healthy weight can help add years to your life.

To slim down, start by swapping sugary drinks for water or seltzer, minding your portions and moving more throughout the day.

DON’T OVERDO THE BOOZE

Both the benefits and the risks of moderate alcohol consumption—one drink a day for women and two for men—have been questioned in recent years. While more research is needed to confirm the health benefits or drawbacks of modest drinking, the harmful effects of excess alcohol consumption are well-established. Exorbitant alcohol use has been linked to higher rates of certain cancers, increased risk of stroke and heart attack and a higher likelihood of mental health problems.

According to the same 2018 study that touted regular exercise, a healthy diet and weight control, alcohol consumption of less than two daily drinks has been linked to a greater life expectancy. If you don’t already enjoy a nightly scotch on the rocks or chocolatey glass of cabernet, there’s no reason to start sipping. But, if you’re slinging back more than 30 grams of liquid courage per day—about two drinks’ worth—this research could be the push you need to scale back.

Since you’re already tracking your steps and food and beverage intake with the Sharecare app, available for iOS and Android, log your alcohol consumption, too. 


7 Affordable Health Food Hacks

May 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on 7 Affordable Health Food Hacks | Posted in Lifestyle

You want to eat healthy, but after picking up a few items, your budget is blown. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. The average four-person American household spends anywhere between $560 and $1270 on food per month.

But according to research from Gallup and Sharecare, nutritious eating can really pay off. One report gave Active Living scores to communities based on four key components of an area’s environment. The communities with the highest scores had higher rates of healthy eating habits and produce consumption. Another report ranked some of the healthiest cities in the nation based on one simple question: “Did you eat healthy all day yesterday?” The top communities, like Naples, Florida, Barnstable Town, Massachusetts and Santa Cruz, California are making active strides to improve accessibility to healthy foods, reduce access to unhealthy fast food and educate their community about nutritious eating habits.

Even if you don’t live in one of these communities, there are tricks and tips available to help you eat healthy on a budget. From meal prep to picking seasonal produce, here are 7 hacks that will help you fuel up properly without breaking the bank.

FIND VEGGIES AND FRUIT IN THE FREEZER AISLE

Frozen and canned vegetables and fruits last longer than fresh produce so they don’t go to waste, and they’re more affordable. Canned and frozen produce items are taken to be packaged right after harvesting, so they’re ripe and their nutrients are well preserved.

Read food labels to avoid canned and frozen products with high calorie sauces or syrups, saturated fat, added sugar or added salt. Frozen berries, spinach and corn, as well as canned tomatoes and beans are good options to start with.  

SHOP THE SEASON

When shopping for fresh produce, buying fruits and vegetables that are in season, or foods that grow during the current season and climate, is definitely the way to go. Seasonal produce costs less because it’s more likely to come from a local farm rather than one located farther away. And seasonal produce is liable to have more flavor and more nutrients like potassium, vitamin C and calcium. Fruits and veggies are picked when they are the freshest and distributed soon after, so you’ll reap their original health benefits. Your local farmer’s market is a fun and easy place to go for in-season produce. Click here to find out what’s in season, when.

TRY THE STORE BRAND

On average, store brand grocery items cost 23% less than name brand items and most of the time, the two products are essentially the same. Like national brands, all store brand products undergo quality and safety checks before they make their way to grocery store shelves.

Whether it’s a cereal product or a canned vegetable, always compare store brand and name brand nutrition labels to make sure the quality and ingredient lists are comparable. If they are, choose the store brand option to help your wallet out big time. 

MEAL PREP CAN HELP YOU SAVE, TOO

Meal prep will help you make better food choices and save you money. When meals are ready to go, you’re less likely to order take-out or swing through the drive through at the end of a long day.

Over the weekend, set aside a few hours to plan and prep your meals for the week ahead. Try assembling meal ingredients for things like soups and smoothies in plastic baggies or containers so you can throw them in the pot or blender in a pinch. Make daily snacks and lunches for the week all at once, and cook big batches of veggies that can accompany any main dish you have during the week. Join our clean eating challenge to get easy make-a-head recipe ideas.  

BUY IN BULK

Public wholesale stores may seem intimidating, but for foods you eat regularly, they may be the best bet for saving money. But before you start loading up your cart at Costco, make sure you compare the bulk price per unit with what you normally buy.

It’s easy to get carried away when buying in bulk, but if you stick to pantry staples and foods with a longer shelf-life, you’ll save some cash and cut down how often you need to go to the grocery store. Bulk shop for items you’ll use up before they expire. Brown rice, oatmeal, natural honey, dried beans, vinegar and whole-wheat pasta are some of the healthy food items that can stay in your pantry for a while. 

DRINK MORE WATER

Drinking more water can help you lose weight, promotes good brain function and helps keep your joints lubricated so you can move about easier. And if you bypass soda, coffee, juice and tea when grocery shopping, opting for good ‘ole H20 instead, you’ll save money, too.

Water is calorie free, while other beverages may be filled with sugar and empty calories. Add flavor to your water with slices of affordable fresh fruit like limes, berries and oranges.

Electrical Safety Tips for the Home

May 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on Electrical Safety Tips for the Home | Posted in inSIGHTS

Electricity helps us live comfortably at home, but it isn’t something to take for granted. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 50,000 electrical fires every year, and just one incident is enough to endanger your home, family and finances. Make sure to protect your home from the risks of electricity:

  • Know the details about your home’s electrical systems, including the location of any circuit boards, fuse boxes and shut-offs.
     
  • Always check electrical cords for damage before plugging them in.
     
  • Only use one high-wattage device per outlet to avoid overloads.
  • Remember that appliances are always connected to electricity when they’re plugged in—even if they’re turned off.
     
  • Don’t unplug devices by pulling on its cord. Instead, pull on the plastic head that’s connected to the outlet.
     
  • Make sure that lights and other heat-generating devices are placed on even surfaces and away from flammable objects.
     
  • Use outlet covers to protect small children from inserting their fingers or objects into outlets.
     
  • Contact a certified electrician if you suspect that anything’s wrong with your home’s systems.

Call 240-644-6000 to make sure that your home insurance has enough coverage to protect you from your electrical risks.

View more InSights here.

Lower Your Health Care Costs

May 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on Lower Your Health Care Costs | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Improving Your Well-being May Help Lower Your Health Care Costs

Health care costs continue to rise, and it can feel as though there is nothing you can do to combat the expenses—but there is. Taking control of your overall well-being can greatly lower your health care costs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 86% of the nation’s health care costs go to treating chronic conditions. Obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes are a few of the most common chronic health conditions. Medical care for obesity alone costs the United States roughly $147 to $210 billion every year.

Risk factors for chronic diseases and other health problems can be managed through your lifestyle choices. According to the CDC, risk factors include: inactivity, smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, elevated blood pressure and diabetes. The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, found that people who have four or more of the listed risk factors rack up an average of $3,116 more on medication costs alone than those with one or less of the risk factors.

Making changes to your lifestyle can help prevent or lessen the severity of health issues, which may result in fewer health expenses and a greater well-being.

What Is Well-being?

According to the CDC, 86% of the nation’s health care costs go to treating chronic conditions.

At its most basic level, well-being refers to feeling good and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Achieving total well-being may seem unattainable, but it’s a continuous goal that everyone should be striving for. Physical, mental, social and financial well-being are four components that make up your overall well-being.

  • Physical well-being—Whether you’re taking a 30-minute walk after work or joining an adult sports team, staying physically active is imperative to your overall health. Eating a well-balanced diet to fuel your body, as well as getting enough sleep, are also necessary to maintain physical well-being.
  • Mental well-being—How your mind feels directly affects how your body performs. One common theme of mental well-being is the impact of stress. The American Institute of Stress reported that 1 in 4 employees consider their jobs to be the top stressor in their life. Reducing stress in your work and personal life may greatly improve your ability to focus and think more clearly.
  • Social well-being—Your social well-being plays a big role in your overall well-being. Joining a club or an adult sports team is a great way to meet new people and stay active in a way that’s low commitment, yet extremely beneficial to your overall well-being. Being social can create long-lasting support systems or even form connections in your professional life.
  • Financial well-being—According to a Gallup survey, 46% of working employees are very or moderately worried about paying off normal medical expenses. Being financially literate and establishing a healthy relationship with money can lead to increased financial stability and better well-being.

For more information on well-being, contact HR for resources that may be available to you.

Download and Save this Know Your Benefits Tip: here

60+ Things To Do This May

May 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on 60+ Things To Do This May | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

Passport DC – May 1-31
Have you ever wanted to step foot inside an embassy? During this month-long journey through DC’s international pathways, you get two incredible chances to do just that with the Around the World Embassy Tour on May 4 and the European Union Embassies’ Open House on May 11. Don’t miss these fascinating events that grant you unprecedented access.
Citywide

Flower Mart – May 3-4
Calling all garden enthusiasts! Enjoy one of spring’s most impressive showcases of colorful perennials, cutting-edge landscape exhibits and extraordinary floral arrangements produced by international floral designers at the Washington National Cathedral, as well as embassies throughout the District. The Flower Mart, an official Passport DC event, lets you take part in family-friendly activities including garden tours and an antique carousel.
Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.| Free admission
Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

Capital Harvest on the Plaza – May 3 – Nov. 22
Located in the Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Capital Harvest on the Plaza is open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Fridays from May through November. During your visit, you’ll find plenty of farm-fresh deliciousness and artisanal crafts, as well as recipes and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Check out the full list of vendors to start planning your haul.
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. |  Free admission
Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

Around the World Embassy Tour– May 4
You can visit any of more than 40 embassies during this annual event that is free to all. Embassies that span five continents will open their doors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with programming and activities for visitors on-site. Check out the list of participating embassies and plan your multicultural excursion through the streets of DC!
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Free admission

Running of the Chihuahuas – May 4
The Wharf celebrates Cinco de Mayo with this too-cute-to-be-true chihuahua race, now in its eighth year. Watch the little pups run their way to glory at DC’s hottest new development. You’ll also be able to enjoy a beer garden and music throughout the afternoon. Check out The Wharf’s calendar for other upcoming events.
1-5 p.m. |  Free admission
The Wharf, 600 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

11th Annual National Wine & Food Festival – May 4-5
The scenic National Harbor hosts this two-day festival that foodies will not want to miss. Hang out on the waterfront and indulge in cuisine from world-renowned chefs and culinary creatives, in addition to delicious wines, beers and cocktails. A rosé garden, a margarita bar, a Stella Artois Craft Beer Experience and Smooth Ambler Whiskey Wagon are all on the docket.
12-6 p.m. | Tickets
National Harbor, 165 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745

JxJ – May 8-26
For the first time, the Washington Jewish Film Festival and the Washington Jewish Music Festival have been combined, creating a stunning multidisciplinary arts project throughout the city for three weeks. The film festival, now 29 years old, offers a diverse lineup of international film premieres, panel discussions, Q&A’s and sneak previews. The music festival celebrates its 20th year with international performances that will span classical, rock, jazz and much more.
Calendar
Citywide

Cooking Up History: Regional Chinese Cooking Along the Transcontinental Railroad – May 10
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad and the National Museum of American History’s American Enterprise exhibition, the museum’s free Cooking Up History series will turn its attention to the culinary influence of Chinese immigrants who lived and worked in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century while building said railroad. Chef Martin Yan will prepare dishes that the workers consumed during his demonstration while also addressing regional food traditions from the Guangdong Province and how Cantonese food culture altered American dining.
1 p.m. |  Free admission
National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560


BYT & Nat Geo Present – ‘Queens of Egypt’: The Mother of All Parties – May 10
Girl power reigns for this Friday night event at the National Geographic Museum, hosted in partnership with Brightest Young Things. Explore the museum’s fascinating Queens of Egypt exhibit, jam to an energetic DJ set from Madame Gandhi, hear lightning talks from prominent woman explorers and scientists and enjoy an open bar. The event is for ages 21 and over.
8:30 p.m. |  Tickets
National Geographic Museum, 1600 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036


2019 Contemporaries Bash: Maravillas de México (Wonders of Mexico) – May 10
Held at Dock 5 at Union Market, this event welcomes you to enjoy the art and culture of Mexico through music, dancing, food and creative cocktails. The Phillips Collection and the Embassy of Mexico have joined together to bring you this evening that offers ice cream tacos, a balloon lounge, mezcal, agua frescas and a soaring tribute to Mexican women and their artistic contributions.
8:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. |  Tickets
Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002


European Union Open House – May 11
Europhiles can have a field day during this annual free event, with lets you take your own shortcut to Europe without any jet lag. All 28 European Union member states, including Italy, Spain, Ireland and many more, participate in this citywide open house experience. Take advantage of this chance to observe cultural heritage and traditions from the Old Continent at no cost.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Free admission


6th Annual Funk Parade – May 11
In honor of U Street’s diverse cultural history, people from all over the District come together to celebrate the spirit of funk at this free, one-of-a-kind parade, street fair and music festival. Watch the street (and side streets) come to life with live musical performances and entertainment from a variety of vibrant dancers, marching bands and visual artists. Get an education on go-go music, made famous by DC’s own Chuck Brown, and then groove to Latin hip-hop, funk brass and frenetic DJ sets, among many activations. The parade also has a new wristband system this year, so make sure to purchase one in order to attend the Night Music Festival, the Featured Showcase and the Funk Parade Conference and receive special discounts throughout the day.
Festivities begin at 1 p.m.
U Street, Washington, DC 20009


ZooFari: Bite Night – May 16
Home to some 1,800 animals, the National Zoo transforms into a wild, culinary wonderland for this annual fundraiser featuring dozens of DC restaurants. ZooFari caters to all in the food-loving kingdom with complimentary bites from eateries like Pinstripes, Radiator and Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company, among others. Local beer and regional wines add to the revelry, which also includes live entertainment, a silent auction, a VIP lounge and exciting animal encounters with small mammals and great apes.
6:30-9:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008


SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience – May 17
Lovers of brews will not want to miss SAVOR, which features 90 craft breweries from all over the U.S. showing off two of their most acclaimed flavors at the National Building Museum. That adds up to more than 180 beers available for sampling, and there will be small plates that pair perfectly with each brew. Grab tickets as soon as you can, because this event sells out every year.
7:30-11 p.m. |  Tickets
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour – May 17-19
This three-day celebration is sold out for Saturday, but you can still grab tickets for Friday and Sunday. Mount Vernon’s annual spring soiree includes tours of the property’s mansion and cellar, appearances by “George and Martha Washington” and live jazz on a beautiful lawn overlooking the Potomac River. You can also sample more than 20 Virginia wines, and a fruit and cheese box is available for purchase to pair with your sips.
6-9 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121


Jazz in the Garden – May 17 – Aug. 23
Kick back and groove to the music with sangria in hand at Jazz in the Garden on Fridays throughout the summer, held in the National Gallery of Art‘s Sculpture Garden starting May 17. An eclectic mix of DC area jazz musicians lend a soundtrack to one of the city’s most idyllic scenes set around the sculpture garden’s central fountain. This is a free seasonal tradition that you do not want to miss. Check out the lineup and the food and drink offerings.
5-8:30 p.m. |  Free admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565


DC Bike Ride – May 18
DC’s only car-free, recreational bike ride is fun for all ages and biking abilities. The family-friendly race has you cruise past the nation’s iconic landmarks on the National Mall, a memorable view and bike-riding experience if we’ve ever heard of either. Waiting for you as you end your 20-mile journey is the Finish Festival, with live music, fun activities and food and drink.
8 a.m. |  Register
West Potomac Park, 100 West Basin Drive SW, Washington, DC 20418

15 Graduation Gift Ideas

May 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on 15 Graduation Gift Ideas | Posted in Uncategorized

Graduation season is just around the corner. Between keeping track of all the grad duties on your calendar and organizing travel accommodations, finding the perfect gift is probably the last thing on your mind.

While a card with cash is always an option, it’s not the most memorable gift in the mirage of envelopes they’ll probably be receiving over the next few months. Plus, you’ll probably want something more personal if you’re a parent, close relative, a friend or just started dating.

Whether you’re looking for a gift that’s thoughtful, like a trendy suitcase for all of their post-grad travels, or something practical, like stackable cookware set to get them off their pizza and ramen diet, you want to gift them something a recent college student will actually use, and that’s not always an easy find.

The HuffPost has rounded up 15 gifts for recent grads that can be used for work, fun and more. And, if you want more of our editor-sourced products and reviews, sign up for HuffPost’s sales and deals newsletter.

Take a look below:

1. A good work tote to take to their first job

Everlane: Find it for $175 at Everlane.

2. This custom wine glass to commemorate the big day

Etsy: Find it for $11 on Etsy

3. An engraved plate necklace

Gorjana Jewelry: Find it for $65 at Gorjana Jewelry.

4. An Echo Dot to stay organized and up to date

Amazon: Find it for $50 on Amazon.

5. A clutch to stash all their stuff.

Dagne and Dover:Find it for $125 on Dagne and Dover.

6. A Rent the Runway subscription for endless interview outfits

Rent The Runway: Memberships start at $69 on Rent the Runway.

7. Apple Airpods for commuting to their new job

Amazon: Find them for $159 on Amazon.

8. A vinyl wall clock that shows of their alma mater

Etsy:Find it for $35 on Etsy.

9. A proper suitcase for work trips

Away: Find it for $245 on Away.

10. A Spotify gift card to fund the soundtrack of their life

Amazon: Find it on Amazon.

11. An instant print digital camera to capture their next life chapter

Amazon: Find it for $100 on Amazon.

12. This stackable cookware set to help them get off the ramen noodles diet

Amazon: Find it for $80 on Amazon.

13. A charm bracelet to honor their alma mater

Alex and Ani: Find it for $38 on Alex and Ani.

14. A Fitbit to start healthy post-grad habits

Amazon: Find it for $95 on Amazon.

15. A way to get around

Uber:Buy and send your gift card on Uber.com.

Source: huffpost.com

10 Things Wealthy People Do

May 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on 10 Things Wealthy People Do | Posted in Lifestyle

to Keep Getting Richer

In a world of average people — and average salaries — many of us aspire to join the 7-figure club. Who doesn’t dream of becoming wealthy, so they can stop working, go on guilt-free shopping sprees and take endless vacations?

However, most rich people don’t do those things, and that’s part of how they build and maintain their wealth. There’s a difference between living a life of careless spending (which will quickly drain even a wealthy person’s bank account) and living for long-term financial independence and wealth.

The self-made rich aren’t necessarily smarter than anyone else, but they have mastered some important principles that help them get ahead and stay ahead. Most important, they treat building wealth as a learnable skill — and it’s one that you can learn, too.

So, if you’d like to join the ranks of the super wealthy, try honing these 10 habits and lifestyle changes and see what financial freedom truly feels like.

1. Have a financial growth mindset.

Wealthy people are incredibly creative when it comes to thinking about business and finding different ways of making money. Mega-successful people set themselves apart because they nurture a financial growth mindset, which changes how you view money and helps you focus on seeing profitable opportunities.

This mindset helps successful and wealthy people believe that there are always bigger and better projects to work on and there’s always more money to be made. They’re open to exploring new ideas. They believe they’re always capable of making changes and creating a positive outcome.

2. Network with other successful people.

Wealthy people understand the importance of surrounding themselves with other successful people. Wealthy people spend time networking with others who are wealthy but also have drive, talent and, most important, the potential to become wildly successful. The rich spend time every month getting to know other like-minded people at conferences, events and gatherings, or just grabbing coffee or a drink with someone interesting.

This is time wisely invested, as it keeps their minds focused on success and helps them meet new people who have fresh and thought-provoking ideas. Doing this also helps wealthy people fill their contact lists with relevant and influential people who can potentially help them (and vice versa).

3. Get outside your comfort zone.

Wealthy people are successful because they have learned that success comes to those who embrace a little discomfort. They understand that the only way to really improve is to push yourself beyond your limits. If you want to become wealthy, you’re going to need to fuel your creative spark, come up with unique business ideas and then take the plunge.

Wealth and success don’t emerge from the safety of a 9-to-5 job. They come from drawing on your inner strength and going for your big dream. All successful business leaders, visionaries and game-changers have gone beyond their comfort zones in order to achieve the ultimate success. The people who will go down in history had the courage to face their fears and take that first step into the unknown.

4. Create multiple income flows.

The more money you have, the easier it is to make more money. And the easiest and fastest way to make more money is to have multiple income streams. That way you always have money coming in and can use the excess income to invest in new income flows. This, in a nutshell, is the primary way the wealthy stay wealthy.

There are two basic forms of income: active income, in which you work for the money you make, and passive income, in which payment isn’t directly tied to the number of hours you work. Passive income includes rental property, dividend stocks, index funds, writing a book or creating an app, all of which will bring in a steady flow of income from sales or royalties.

5. Invest.

Rich people make their money work for them. They know that investing is the key to growing their finances. While saving money for a rainy day is important, your investments are going to do the heavy lifting to help you become wealthy.

Saving means putting money into a safe place until you want to retrieve it, but most savings accounts don’t yield high interest, so this pile of money basically stays static — it’s not going to grow much beyond what you add. But smart investments will give you healthy returns, which you can then reinvest. When you invest in something, you also accept some amount of risk, so you never want to invest more than you can afford to lose.

6. Take calculated risks.

The rich don’t gamble on big financial decisions; they do what they can to mitigate risk. They do their research and analysis, and determine which options best suit their financial needs and business desires. They weigh the pros and cons, and then take calculated risks.

They make financial decisions by asking themselves, “Will this bring me closer to my goal?” They avoid frivolous risks that aren’t really going to benefit them, and never take a cavalier attitude when it comes to money.

7. Focus on self-improvement.

Wealthy people are usually avid readers, but you won’t find many mindless beach novels in their bookcases. The wealthy understand the importance of self-education and pushing themselves to become better in all ways. In fact, if you look at the books piled by their beds, you’ll mostly find titles on self-improvement.

While 85 percent of rich people read two or more self-improvement books per month, only 11 percent read for entertainment, compared to 79 percent of the poor. And a whopping 94 percent of wealthy people read news publications, compared to 11 percent of non-wealthy people.

8. Never completely retire.

The ultra-rich certainly have enough money to never work another day in their life, but the majority of them keep working, at least to some degree, often well past 70. That doesn’t mean they’re clocking long days at the office; indeed, they’re probably taking their fair share of vacations and enjoying flexible schedules. But many rich people never completely retire. This is not because they can’t afford to, but because they enjoy what they do.

Many are entrepreneurs at heart, and the desire to run and grow a business never leaves them. The stability of working and the sense of purpose and fulfillment it gives them is an important part of their overall happiness. Working gives them an ongoing feeling of success and an objective to keep them focused. Not to mention that it keeps the money rolling in!

9. Avoid overspending.

While non-wealthy people daydream about spending money without worry, buying fancy cars, big houses and expensive clothes, the rich understand that the more money you spend, the less you have. The wealthy wouldn’t stay wealthy long if they spent excessively. No matter how much money you earn, you’ll always be poor if you spend more than you make.

The rich recognize that the less you spend, the more money you have to grow your wealth. Keep in mind that frugality is relative to your income — a wealthy person may spend much more than someone who is considered middle class. But in relative terms, the rich tend to be thrifty, and they make sure they don’t overspend.

10. Take time to reflect.

Many of the self-made wealthy spend time in focused thinking every day. Spending 30 minutes (or more) in a quiet space gives them time to reflect on their life and goals, to think about their health and relationships, consider their career and financial goals, and analyze where they’re currently at and where they want to be. Critical thinking time is essential to staying ahead of the market and considering what changes may be coming your way.

This is also time to focus on self-improvement and working through ideas. Some may opt for journaling or writing to help them come up with creative solutions and ideas. Just make sure you’re spending your time on productive thinking. Don’t waste your mental energy on ruminations or negative thought loops that will make you second guess yourself. The wealthy don’t.