Must Reads: How to Get the Most Out of Your PTO

Love vacation but hate the inevitable post-vacation blues? Hear how psychologists recommend you spend your precious PTO and extra cash. Plus, find out why some people are drawing or tattooing semicolons on themselves. Read on for these and other headlines that caught our eye this week.

Boost Vacation Happiness

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Your Best Vacation Ever

Heading out of town this summer? Psychology research reveals that post-vacation bliss is likely more short-lived as your tan. Your contentment will actually dip back to its original level soon after you return home. But psychology researchers have several insights that could help you get the most happiness bang for your buck during your time off.

One pro tip: Savoring the first few days of your getaway can buoy the rest of the trip, so consider kicking off your vacay with a special meal or nice accommodations. Check out the full article for more ways to boost enjoyment during your break. (Science of Us)

Mud Run

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Muddy Mayhem: Illness Strikes Race in France

Runners at the Mud Day run in the French Riviera last month had, let’s just say…a crappy time of it. After the race, over 1,000 participants experienced symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue, which was likely caused by norovirus. The contagious bacteria can spread through contact with human and animal feces, and may have been contracted when participants unintentionally swallowed water or mud. Several other mud runs have also been linked to norovirus. (Runner’s World)

Athletes Bare All for ESPN

Twenty-four athletes, including Olympians, surfers, gymnasts, soccer players, rugby players and more, show off their incredible physiques in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue, on stands Friday. The provocative pics aren’t just skin-deep, though — they’re a great reminder that “perfect bodies” come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors. In this video, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman discusses her relentless drive to succeed. (ESPN)

What 5 Days of a High-Fat Diet Does to Your Muscles

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Are Sit-Down Meals Just As Bad as Fast Food?

Skipping the drive-through in favor of sitting down at a regular restaurant might not be as virtuous as you’d expect. A new study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that people eat the same amount of saturated fat and consume more sodium when they eat out compared to when they take food to go. Netflix and DIY healthy pizzas, anyone? (NPR)

Dangerous Sunburn Trend Turns Heads 

Intentional sunburns are part of the latest fad to hit social media. Most people go out of their way to avoid tan lines, but lately some are trying to burn designs onto their skin. We’re going to stick to the temporary tattoos that don’t come with a risk of skin cancer, thanks. (CBS News)

Semicolon Tattoos Take the Spotlight

Speaking of tattoos, one design featuring a semicolon is raising awareness about the way we talk about mental health. Project Semicolon is a movement dedicated to helping those struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-harm. The punctuation mark is used because it represents “when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to,” says the site. (Mashable)

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