Top 7 Health Benefits of Coffee For Women

I picked up a lot of things from college. I got a more clear sense of the person I want to be, I gained experiences I’ll never forget and I earned a degree that will help me move forward in this world.

Oh, and I also got addicted to coffee. 

While trying to juggle the all-nighters, finals and early classes, it eventually became difficult not to grab a cup of joe to get through the day. At one point, I realized that I felt a very specific emotion whenever I drank coffee: guilt. Every time I felt I needed coffee to get through my day, I would feel as if I was doing something wrong.

Originally, I believed that this may have a thing or two to do with my Asian upbringing. My parents, grandparents, and all my aunts and uncles warned me that drinking coffee stunts a person’s growth and trust me, I needed all the extra growth I could get. In general, there seemed to be a stigma around the drink.

 

Then realized it wasn’t an “Asian thing” at all. Nearly everyone I met seemed to have that same sort of guilt when they had more than a single cup of coffee. Who could blame us? Afterall, how can something so addicting possibly be good for your health, right?

Well now we can all take a sigh of relief. Those whispered rumors that coffee may actually be good for you apparently have grounded evidence after all. Let’s all celebrate with a cup while we go through the Top 7 Health Benefits of Coffee for Women.

 

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1) ANTIOXIDANTS GALORE 
According to a study from researches at the University of Scranton, coffee is one of the highest sources of antioxidants. In fact, it’s the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet. A single cup of coffee offers 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants compared to 294 milligrams found in a cup of tea and 76 milligrams from a banana. What does this mean? A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine reports women who drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day are 25% less likely to die of heart disease (for women and men, this percentage is still a hearty 18%). The antioxidants even help prevent diseases associated with the liver.

2) A CUP OF HAPPY 
Many women drink a cup of coffee as a pick me up. I’m guilty of dropping by Starbucks to get an energy boost or simply to feel more hyper. As it turns out, the long term effects are even better. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who regularly drink coffee have a 20% lower risk of depression. In fact, the more coffee regularly consumed (up to six cups), the less likely it was for the woman to gain depression.

3) HELPS YOUR SKIN 
A new study from Brigham and Women’s hospital discovered that women who drank more than three cups of coffee daily had a 20% lower risk for basal cell carcinoma/skin cancer (Men had a 9% decrease). Of course, this certainly doesn’t mean we should ignore our sunscreen.

4) BOOSTS PERFORMANCE
The New York Times reports that caffeine “has been proven to increase the number of fatty acids circulating in the bloodstream which enables people to run or pedal longer.” It is no surprise that athletes often consume coffee prior to a game/match/ etc. After all, coffee is a completely legal way of boosting one’s energy.

5) LOWERS RISK OF TYPE II DIABETES
According to Science Daily, the consumption of 3-4 cups of coffee a day was linked to a 25% decreased risk of developing Type II diabetes. The American Diabetes Association points out that this decreased risk is especially prominent with younger and middle-aged women. Of course, this is only when coffee is consumed in moderation.

6) LOWERS RISK OF ALZHEIMER’S AND PARKINSON’S
Studies show that coffee drinkers have up to 60% lowered risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia and a 32%-60% lowered risk of Parkinson’s. The lowered risk has been consistent in studies for years though researchers are still trying to pinpoint exactly why.

7) CUP OF SMART
Caffeine temporarily boosts cognition, especially when one lacks sleep. While we definitely don’t suggest swapping a couple of cups of coffee for a couple of hours of sleep before a test, caffeine will improve the performance of the sleep-deprived. CNN reports, “Reaction time, vigilance, attention, logical reasoning — most of the complex functions you associate with intelligence. And most Americans are sleep-deprived most of the time.”


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This Malala Portrait Has An Estimated Value of $80,000

A portrait by one of Britain’s leading portrait painters, Jonathan Yeo, has an estimated value of  $60,000 to $80,000. What’s so special about the portrait? It happens to have one of the most widely known icons of our generation, Malala Yousafzai.

If you don’t know who Malala Yousafzai is, then you ought to learn up. Malala was only a young girl when she became an activist for rights to education and rights for women. At the young age of 11, she began blogging about her life under Taliban rule. This was so powerful that in 2009, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life. Her actions were seen as unacceptable and in 2012, Malala was shot in the head and neck by Taliban gunman in an attempt to murder her. The strong young lady survived and continues to fight for what she believes in.

The canvas, which measures nearly one meter by one meter, has been on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

“The funds raised will support the work of the Malala Fund, including helping young Syrian refugees in Jordan and girls freed from child labor now attending school in Pakistan,” said Malala. ”I hope that whoever buys the painting knows that their generosity will directly help children in some of the most challenging environments in the world.”

Yeo met Malala back in 2013 and painted the young girl in Britain. ”I hope the painting reflects the slight paradox of someone with enormous power yet vulnerability and youth at the same time,” he said.

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Time Travel Through South Korea

Korean artist Sungseok Ahn was shocked when he paid a visit to Seoul, Korea. Many of the historical landmarks he had studied about had transformed into bright and shiny skyscrapers over the years.

These emotions inspired Ahn to create the art project “Historical Present.” The idea behind the project was simple. Ahn projected an old image of a popular site onto its current state. The pictures were usually taken at sunrise or sunset when the light is ideal for beaming.

Ahn got the black-and-white photographs of Seoul in it’s former state from an old picture book that was published by the Japanese government when Korea was under imperial Japanese rule. His projections have framed Seoul’s best known and historic surfaces such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Great South Gate.

Using this method of “time traveling” and showing us both the past and present of South Korea, Ahn allows us to “question the way we treat our history and explores the dynamics between space and time at the same time.”

Ahn says this project is about “the “psychological void that emerges as we live our lives forgetting.” He adds that the project is a reminder that “someday…we’re [all going to disappear] likes people in old pictures. Things change and we’re gone.”

Though his words are sad and clearly mourning the past, the photographic in “Historical Present” are nothing short of beautiful.

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Get This Anime Look: Fashion Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki Films

Story by Katherine Chou.

 

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki OutfitKiki is a thirteen-year-old witch leaving home for the first time to seek her fortune in the port city of Koriko. Her signature black dress rivals Holly Golightly’s, though Kiki’s is far from little. Sporting long sleeves and a generous cut, it billows behind her in the air. Add a belt for a figure-hugging silhouette.

The outfit makes good use of red accents that pop against the black backdrop of the dress. With the help of a floppy red bow and dainty ballet flats, standard bag lady uniform is transformed into the look of an ambitious and independent young witch.

As us ordinary folk can’t exactly walk around followed constantly by a cat (though there are those lucky few), hint at Jiji, Kiki’s black cat and best friend, with a cat-shaped ring. Throw some nautical earrings into the mix as a nod to Kiki’s fondness for Koriko.

As for the broom, well that’s up to you. I hear the Firebolt is quite good.

 


Howl’s Moving Castle

Sophie OutfitSophie is a quiet and unassuming hatter. When she is turned into an old woman by the Witch of the Waste, she stows away aboard the moving castle of the enigmatic wizard, Howl, in order to remove her curse.

While Sophie may not be the most stylish among the heroines here, it is her cleverness and strength that saves Howl from his fate, bringing peace to their land and restoring her youth. Furthermore, she’s done what eludes most women, rocking the same outfit in both her youth and old age.

Start with a cornflower blue dress detailed with ruffles or neatly-lined buttons. A relaxed denim dress also does the trick. A pair of solid brown boots anchors the outfit, saying to the world, “My dress might border on frumpy, but I can still kick ass.” Which, now that I think of it, is essentially a theme of the film.

An orange gemstone is reminiscent of Calcifer, the flame that powers the castle and that only Sophie can tame. Bird silhouette earrings evoke the dark secret at the heart of Sophie’s story.

In the movie, Sophie wears both a red hair bow and a straw hat. If you find the combination a bit overwhelming in real life, you can tie a braid together with a red bow or top it all off with a straw hat in the style of your choice. A boater sets you apart from the fedora-loving masses. Okay, any hat stands out these days, even if it was mass-produced in a factory and not by Sophie’s loving hand.

This is America – even a hat of humblest beginnings can come to be part of an extraordinary outfit. Dream big, guys.

 

Howl Outfit

Metrosexual is a good adjective for Howl, a wizard caught in the midst of an epic war, but his life does depend on keeping up appearances as he evades the draft with the help of his moving castle and a series of false identities.

Howl’s wardrobe staples are slim black pants and a relaxed white blouse, upon which he vainly piles layers of jewelry. Evidently he has never taken Coco Chanel’s advice. His jewelry is an eclectic mix of pretty trinkets and meaningful pieces like the ruby ring connecting him to Calcifer. Purists can find jewelry that match his piece for piece. You can also put together a unique collection of personal pieces and those that just bring out your inner magpie.

This is a perfect transitional look for fall. Howl’s patchwork pink and blue jacket is difficult to find in the wild, so substitute with a peacoat in similar shades. As the days get chillier, a frayed black scarf adds another layer of warmth while referencing Howl’s fowl alter ego. In warmer weather, a feathered hairpiece does the same trick. Keep shoes simple with black ankle boots.

This outfit also works for Halloween, if you’re eyeing trick-or-treating as a kaleidoscope.

 


Spirited Away

Chihiro OutfitChihiro is a ten-year-old girl who moves into a new neighborhood and finds herself in a surreal world of spirits and monsters, including the witch, Yubaba, who turns her parents into pigs. Although all the neon in her look may be daunting, consider it an upgrade from your outfits when you were ten.

A relaxed ombre lime top gives a nod to the ombre trend and Chihiro’s colorblock green t-shirt. Fight the heat with some heat of your own in the form of hot pink shorts. Tie your hair into a high ponytail and wind a dragon bracelet around your wrist in honor of Haku, the river spirit that befriends Chihiro.

Finally, slip on a pair of yellow sneakers so you’re prepared in case you need to race against time to save your parents from being pigs. For some especially angry thirteen-year-olds, that’s every day.

 


Princess Mononoke

San OutfitMononoke being a Japanese term for a spirit or monster, the heroine of this film is actually a girl named San who fights on the side of the forest and its supernatural guardians against rampant resource consumption by humans in the Iron Town.

In the sweltering summer heat, ditch the fur cape and hat for a cool, streamlined look. San layers a white tank over a black slip dress. You can do the same, or find a colorblock black and white top to pair with a black skater skirt.

To evoke the necklace of teeth that keeps San’s cape around her shoulders, add a shark tooth necklace. Grab one of the beachy hemp ones you inevitably collected in middle school or go classy with gold. Any necklace with a triangular pendant will do, really.

A pair of white pendant earrings brings attention to your face. The gold trim on this pair works with the gold of the necklace to pull the outfit together. Add a smear of lipstick as red as San’s face paint as the finishing touch.

It’s a minimalistic approach to Princess Mononoke, with the elements of her look pared down to the very basics, but her fierce strength still shines through. And whether you spend your days in a tree to prevent it from being chopped down or just own a recycling bin, I’m sure you’ll agree that minimalism keeps resource consumption low, which is totally in line with San’s passion for the forest.

Although if you’re currently residing in a tree, this might not be the most practical thing to wear.


My Neighbor Totoro

Mei OutfitSatsuki and Mei are sisters who move into an old house with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. While Satsuki attends school, Mei’s curiosity leads to the discovery of Totoro, a big friendly creature living in the giant tree just behind their new home.

Mei does all her adventuring in a casual pink sleeveless dress, which she layers with a white blouse. For an updated look, replace the puff sleeves with long ones. Mei is a girl who ascribes to function before form, and she’s all set with bright yellow accents that contrast with the pink and white of her ensemble. While traipsing around the village on Totoro-related missions, Mei keeps her feet comfortable in yellow mary janes. Her yellow satchel frees up her arms pick up the mysterious acorns she finds and holds them for safekeeping.

A few pieces of jewelry reference Mei’s first meeting with Totoro: acorn earrings like the ones she finds in a trail leading to Totoro’s hiding place, and a leaf-shaped necklace that could have been plucked off Totoro’s massive tree itself. Finally, sweep black nail polish onto your fingertips and see if you can convince anyone that you were catching soot spirits like the ones running rampant in Satsuki and Mei’s new house.

 


Of course, these are only a selection of Ghibli characters (or anime characters, for that matter). So tell us, what are some of your two-dimensional style icons?

Don’t Distress: De-Stress

Story by Anna M. Park. 

Nagging headache? Can’t sleep? Not very productive at work? It could be stress. Left unchecked, chronic stress may play a part in up to 80 percent of diseases and illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — everything from insomnia to hypertension to premature aging to even death.

And boy, are we feeling it. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey for 2013, 43 percent of women say their stress levels have increased in the last five years. In fact, the APA report showed that Millennials and Gen Xers experience the most stress and the least relief — they have higher stress levels than older generations and they are not managing it well. This is supported by a recent study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, which found that not only were women more stressed than men but 20-year-olds were more stressed than 30-somethings.

If that doesn’t scare you into de-stressing, how about these unsavory tidbits: Chronic stress leads to obesity, acne and infertility, and a recent study found that men found women with a high level of the stress hormone cortisol less attractive.

Stressing about de-stressing yet? Relaaaaaax. We’ve done the research for you and found a variety of experts to provide easy tips on how to take it down a notch in our everyday lives.

 


MEDITATE
According to Marilyn Tam, the author of the best-selling book The Happiness Choice, meditation is natural. If you’ve ever “been in the zone,” where “there is no other thought; you are fully present and immersed in whatever it is you are doing” — that, she says, is a key aspect of meditation.” Here, Tam’s step-by-step guide to meditating.

1. Find a quiet space where you will be undisturbed. Turn off all electronic devices.

2. Give yourself a window of open time; to start with, it can be as short as 15 or 20 minutes. You may want to set a timer so that you don’t have to keep checking on the time.

3. Relax your body, stretch, move your arms and legs and gently roll your head from side to side and front to back. Sigh. Move your face muscles. Loosen the tightness in your body and mind so that you are able to be fully present.

4. Sit comfortably with your back straight in a chair or on a cushion. Let your hands lay comfortably on your knees or rest your hands on your lap, right hand on top of left, with your thumbs touching each other — this is the Samadhi mudra, the hand gesture that promotes calmness. Close your eyes or keep them half open, focusing on an object like a lit candle. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly and gently. Repeat without using force in your inhale and exhale. Observe your breath as you breathe in and out. When thoughts come, mentally push them aside without judging them. Return to your breathing. Continue on this cycle of breathing, clearing away thoughts, breathing.

5. At the end of the meditation time, slowly bring your consciousness back to your surroundings; make note of any insights you may have glimpsed in your quiet time.

A former corporate executive, Marilyn Tam, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, consultant and certified coach. Her radio show, The Happiness Choice, on FMG Network is broadcast globally to more than 30 million listeners. Find out more at marilyntam.com. 


SCENT
With rampant stress, “our bodies have lost the balance between our sympathetic (fight or flight response) and parasympathetic (repair and restore response) nervous systems ,” says Marc Zollicoffer, director of Aveda Spa Education. “We are in a constant state of flight or fight and not spending enough time resting and regenerating.” Based on studies that show that aroma has an effect on the brain’s hypothalamus, which controls the stress cycle in the body, clinical aromaologist Pierre Franchomme and Aveda created the Stress Fix aroma. Clinical testing showed that the aroma, a combination of certified organic French lavender, clary sage and lavindin (a hybrid of true and spike lavender) essences, relieves feelings of stress, significantly increasing positive moods and feelings of relaxation.
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MASSAGE
Perhaps nothing is as stress relieving as a massage. At OleHenriksen Face/Body Spa, the Hot Stone massage uses volcanic basalt river rocks for their heat retention properties, combining thermotherapy with massage techniques. The treatment revs up the parasympathetic system, but it also has a metaphysical “earth energy component” for energy balancing — the masseuse literally bathes the stones in full moonlight every other month. You lay on a sheet, your spinal column nestled between two rows of river rocks, while the masseuse kneads your arms, feet and legs, placing warm stones on your chakras (along your torso, under the knees, even between the toes). According to the masseuse, the heat from the stones relaxes muscle groups and increases circulation and lymphatic drainage, allowing for deeper massage work due to increased blood flow. It’s like being kneaded with rounded, solidified silk, and afterwards the kink in our shoulder was almost gone and we drove home stress-free. Details Olehenriksen.com.

DIY MASSAGE
Can’t get to a spa? Treat yourself to a mini-facial massage at home to knead out tension, especially in the jaw and forehead. A luxurious massage milk with micro-collagens to plump skin. Massage on and go straight to bed — no rinsing necessary. Koh Gen Do Royal Massage Milk.

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SLEEP
According to the APA’s 2013 Stress in America survey, stress keeps 46 percent of women (and more than 52 percent of Millennials and 48 percent of Gen Xers) lying awake at night. And yet it’s sleep that we need to lower cortisol levels. Take steps to ensure you get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Cut back on caffeine, stop screen time (TV, iPad, smartphone) at least one hour before bedtime and go to sleep at the same time each night to set circadian rhythms. Spray your sheets with calming lavender and get a cooling orthotic pillow (like Proper Pillow, proper- pillow.com) specially made to properly align your neck and spine for a truly restorative sleep.

 


 

YOGA
Yoga instructor Sunina Young shows us how these poses can help de-stress, even if you’ve never done a downward dog in your life.

Yoga helps you retrain your stress response by encouraging you to fully focus on your breath through poses. You can use this practical breathing technique in any life situation as well. As you go through each pose below, breathe and simply let it go. If a stressful thought sneaks into your mind, mentally say a calming affirmation like,“I now release all feelings of stress.”

Breathing Technique for Poses:
Inhale through your nose for seven counts, exhale through your nose for eight counts. Let whatever you are feeling pass naturally. Repeat this breathing pattern throughout your poses.

Calming Pose 1 (Moderate)
Hero pose (shown below, left) is great for improved digestion, better posture and knee, calf, ankle relief (calling all ladies in heels!). Start by standing on your knees so they are aligned with your hips. Press the tops of your feet down and into the ground. Open your calves out to the sides and sit your hips down to the ground, your behind between your heels. (If your butt doesn’t touch the ground, sit on a yoga block or a rolled up yoga mat.) Sit up tall, twist to the right, right hand placed behind you, left hand resting on top of the right thigh. Stay for seven to 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side. Affirmation: “All the tension in my muscles release freely.”

Calming Pose 2 (Dynamic)
Camel pose is a back-bending pose that creates space in your chest and lungs for better breathing. Be sure your body is warmed up before you get into this pose. Start with your knees hip width apart and hands at your lower back, spine lengthened and tall, crown of the head neutral, shoulders rolled back. With a deep breath in, lean back slowly with your chin tucked in. Thighs are spiraling inwards to maintain a strong foundation as you lean back further. Lift your chest as you lean further back. Only lean back where your body threshold permits. Reach your hands back to your heels and extend your head back slowly. Stay for seven to 10 breaths. Affirmation: “I am cool, calm and collected.”

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Sunina Young is a yoga instructor and blogger in New York City. Check out her blog at sunina.com.


If all else fails, just laugh. “The very act of moving your facial muscles to form a smile is already prompting your body to release endorphins,” says Tam. “Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain and to increase feelings of euphoria, so we feel fewer negative effects of stress.” At the very least, we’ll look more attractive to the opposite sex.

 

This story was originally published in our Spring 2014 issue. Get your copy here.

Julie’s Kitchen: Introducing the Food Collage

Here at Audrey, we’ve seen all sorts of art mediums. We’ve seen a Jackie Chan portrait made entirely of chopsticks, cultural art made from make up, and even stop-motion art using a tissue. Well Julie Lee is here to add her name to this list of creative artists.

Lee is the mastermind behind popular blog, Julie’s Kitchen. Her form of art? Food collages. Lee defies all parents who have told their children not to play with their food and the results are beautiful. Using goods from the Saturday Santa Monica Farmers Market, Lee creates captivating photography.

“My food collages on Instagram started out as a way to showcase seasonal and local offerings from neighborhood farmers markets,” Lee writes on her website. “It’s evolved into an ongoing project in the study of plant design, exploration of color theory, and pure, unadulterated food-love. Let’s be real– I like to play with my food. Thanks for letting me nerd out.”

The julieskitchen instagram account has nearly 60,000 followers and for good reason. Her photos are both beautiful and delicious. Check them out below.

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The Adorable Ye-bin is Back!

Do you remember this adorable little face? We’ll give you a hint. She isn’t afraid of strangers.

Yes, this is little Ye-bin. This cutie became a viral sensation when her video “Mom Tries to Teach Adorable Girl Life Lesson” hit YouTube and gathered nearly 9 million views. During the video, Ye-bin’s mother tries to teach her about strangers and being safe, but we get the feeling Ye-bin is so friendly that she would accept all sorts of sweets from strangers.

This time around, Ye-bin’s mother is trying to teach her how to say the phrase “I am scared.” Simple enough right? As it turns out, even the most simple of tasks becomes adorable with this little girl.

Throughout the video, Ye-bin struggles with the pronunciation of the phrase, but she isn’t bothered. In fact, she’s giggling the entire time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child say “I’m scared” with such a cuteness.

The video was only uploaded yesterday, but it has already gathered over 30,000 views. Check it out below.

 

 

Wong Fu Demonstrates “The Silent Treatment”

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Wong Fu Productions, it’s that they’re great at calling us out on our habits.

One Wong Fu short made us think about “accidental racism” and had us reevaluate the difference between our interpretation of racism versus curiosity. Another video had us look at our habit of judging “creepy guys” from “romantic guys.” Another short even poked fun at our habits during dates.

This next Wong Fu short is just as funny and just as relatable. It highlights something we can all laugh about: the silent treatment.

Don’t try and deny it. You may say you’re great with communication. You may even say you never play games in relationships, but at one point or another, you’ve certainly given or received the silent treatment.

During a session of “Who can stay mad the longest?” with your significant other, have you ever thought about what he/she was thinking? Check out the hilarious video below and tell us if you can relate.

 

 

Make Your Own Face Cleanser With Rice Water

It’s a well known fact that rice has always been a major part of Asian cuisine and Asian culture. A much less known fact is that our ancestors utilized rice in ways outside of consumption. For instance, rice water has been used as a face cleanser for years and years.

While you may not think to use rice on your face, there are actually a number of benefits. Rice water contains vitamins such as B1, E C. The minerals in the water can help can shrink pores and tighten, brighten, and soften skin. Most importantly, rice water is perfect for sensitive skin– it is one of the most gentle cleansing agents.

The best part about all this is that rice water is one of the most simple cleansers to make. Just follow these short steps to make your own cleanser at home:

rice water

1) Rinse a cup of rice to get rid of dirt. Just run in through the water the same way you would clean rice before cooking it.

2) Once cleaned, place the rice in a bowl and pour more water over it. 

3) Let the bowl of rice and water sit for 15 minutes. This will allow the vitamins and minerals to transfer into the water.

4) Drain/ separate the rice from the water. That’s all there is to making it! You now have the natural cleanser. 

5) Gently massage the rice water on to your skin and you will feel it tighten and soften. 

 

 

 

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Zoo Discovers A Way To Cheer This Panda Up

Did you think only humans go through depression? Well Sijia is here to prove you otherwise. Sijia is a giant panda bear who lives in China’s Yunnan Safari Park and, you guessed it, she was depressed.

Sijia began showing signs of abnormal activity and depression after being separated from her panda friend, Meixi, who was sent to a zoo in Sichuan. The two had lived together since 2008 and Meixi’s departure clearly left Sijia lonely. Determined to lift her spirits, the staff at Yunnan Safari Park decided to add some joy into the panda’s habitat.

They built Sijia her very own amusement park.

The amusement park contained everything the panda needed to get her mind off of her missing friend. A wooden playground was built with all sorts of bars and swings. To keep Sijia company, the staff placed a life-size, fake panda into the habitat. The fake panda certainly doesn’t replace Meixi, but it helps with the loneliness.

Additionally, a plasma television was added into the enclosure. Don’t worry, the zoo didn’t expect Sijia to be caught up on all the latest shows. They simply felt that the panda would feel less lonely if she watched other pandas on the screen.

Sure enough, the amusement park appears to be working. Sijia is no longer moping around and is more cheerful– especially when she’s playing in her playground.

 

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