Say what you will about the Internet. (It’s making us self-conscious. It’s polluting our psyches. It’s stealing our time. It’s poisoning our children!) Sure, the Internet can be a crazy place used for uselessness, but in a world where reality TV stars become president, dictators are still a thing, ice cream is not yet a food group, and taxes are due next Tuesday, sometimes it’s the perfect distraction. So, in honor of productive World Wide Web procrastination, press pause on reality and delve into the world of useful Internet escapes that can, in fact, make you smarter. Here are three very real, very important, non-tax related topics to help get you through the week. Take notes, friends! (Number two could make you very rich.)
Wander into the wild world of CBD —
Recreational marijuana use sans doctor’s note is now legal in six states — including the sunny state of California — but still, unfortunately, very illegal in most areas of the US. There is a lot of red tape within the industry itself regarding shop licensing and nitty-gritty details about who can use it and its reform (read more about that here). But support for CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound derived from the marijuana plant has reached an all-time high — especially in the wellness sphere. It’s in our beauty products, our self-care regimes, and even our bedrooms. Could this be the defining lifestyle trend of 2018? We say yes (we’re very much into anything that promises to help soften the symphony of overly anxious thoughts, just tap dancing right through our psyches). But you be the judge.
For a femme-focused take on the topic, check out Broccoli, a recently launched international print magazine that explores cannabis culture from an art, culture, and fashion perspective; or Cannabis Feminist, a femme-forward organization dedicated to fostering female leadership within the cannabis industry.
Additionally, for the ins and outs of why CBD works wonders for winding down and why it’s so good for our bodies (hint: it’s written in our DNA) check out this article on the endocannabinoid system. And for small-batch, hand-made, highly-potent cannabis confections delivered in luxe boxes lined with golden foil (that you totally deserve) check out Lord Jones.
Dive head first into cryptocurrency —
Educate yourself in fields your future self will thank you for, like cryptocurrency. Some say it’s a bubble; others say it’s part of a revolutionary technology about to change our world. Because I’m no expert, I called up best-selling author, hedge fund manager, and seasoned financier, James Altucher to help answer the big crypto questions on everyone’s minds. He’s been 10 steps ahead of the crypto-craze since the beginning. (He sold his book Choose Yourself through one of the first ever bitcoin-only stores before it was released on Amazon.)
Altucher claims that the rise in cryptocurrencies is part of a 3,000-year-old historical trend in the direction and evolution of money. He stresses that it’s not simply a fad — but the next shift in the natural evolution of money from theism to humanism to dataism. But it can be tricky business. He warns that 95% of the cryptocurrencies that exist today are total scams, and anyone that doesn’t do their research first, is going to get burned.
For a better understanding of what data-driven (crypto) currencies actually are, why they matter, and how not to get burned, this article by Altucher is a great jumping off point. And for a safe and supportive space for the crypto-conscious, check out Crypto Obsessed, a female-founded cryptocurrency Facebook group managed by women.
Boost your brain with nootropics —
If your head is hurting from all that tech talk, nootropics are just the brain break you need. Nootropics, or smart drugs as they’re often referred to, are a semi-controversial category of compounds designed to enhance cognitive function. Some naturally-occurring and some man-made, the word “nootropic” is the umbrella term used to classify this group of chemicals. Since the term is so broad — anything that enhances cognitive function could technically be considered a smart drug, including caffeine and, ahem, cocaine(!). It’s a full-time job keeping up with the latest and greatest smart drugs currently on the market, and there are significant risks involved when you’re messing with your brain, so I’ll turn it over to the experts:
For an easy-to-understand article on all things nootropics, check out this one by Bulletproof biohacker extraordinaire Dave Asprey. He really does his research!
For your listening pleasure, this episode of The Life Stylist podcast with Luke Storey and Dr. Dan Stickler titled “The Ultimate Guide To Smart Drugs and Nootropics” is super informative and equally entertaining.
Additionally, for those that want to get super science-y on the subject check out any of the 100+ articles featured on Neurohacker Collective.
Jessica Sweeney is a self-proclaimed literista, wellness aficionado, spirited nutritionist, and certified yoga instructor living her best life in Laguna Beach. Follow her on her website Urban Alchemy, admire her selfies on Instagram, and join her for Love Bomb Bootcamp, a mind, body, soul bootcamp for (self)lovers.