The homebody economy arrives, just in time for New Year’s Eve

FOR the socially anxious, or even just the socially inept, New Year’s Eve is a historically tough holiday. The intense pressure to have A Great Time, combined with bizarrely expensive prix fixe menus, crowded roads, Uber surge pricing, and the fact that counting down from 30 to one is not an inherently exciting thing to do makes for a less-than-fun evening.

As you get older, you start to realise that having cool, fun New Year’s Eve plans is overrated. And now brands are starting to realise that, too. As part of a larger effort to capitalise on the “homebody economy” – or millennials who prefer to stay at home and spend money on self-care items rather than go out – services such as Netflix and Domino’s Pizza are launching promotional campaigns on Instagram and Twitter explicitly targeted at the stay-at-home crowd.  more

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Dogs hate fireworks, so Ford designed a prototype for a soundproof kennel to help

Fireworks-heavy holidays like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July can put dogs on edge

I have what’s been described as an intimidating dog. She’s part Rottweiler, part God knows what. Earlier this week, my husband and I watched her jump and bark at two coyotes we spotted during her evening walk. She’s the same size as they were, but hearing her growl, the coyotes quickly scurried away from her.

While she often appears to be fearless, she becomes a ball of nerves on holidays like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July, when our neighbors shoot fireworks well into the wee hours of the morning — and often for days afterward. We live in Los Angeles, where firecrackers are illegal but firmly entrenched in the city’s culture. Drought-devastated Southern California doesn’t get many rainstorms, but when thunder does occur, it sets my dog on edge too.   more

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The holidays & our mental health

The holiday season can be a difficult time for many people.  WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley talked to one expert about why there is more anxiety, depression and holiday blues this time of year as the nation faces a mental health crisis.

“A lot of it is related to stress and things that are going on in people’s lives,” remarked Dr. Howard Hitzel, president and CEO of Best Self Behavioral Health.

We know the holiday season can generate more stress, but for those living with mental illness, it can escalate even more difficult feelings at Christmas and New Year’s.

“People who aren’t feeling very well – they look around them and they see everyone else in a festive mood with their families and that kind of thing and so sometimes people compare to those other folks and say what’s wrong with me and why don’t I feel like that or why don’t I have a family like other people have – so it can be difficult for some folks,” remarked Hitzel.     more

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