When you’re quarantining with other people, it’s easy to forget how to do things solo

A woman smiling and hugging her bed.
A woman smiling and hugging her bed.
Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

I was halfway down the pasta aisle when it hit me: In quarantine, without realizing it, I’d become afraid of doing things alone.

My husband was next to me, as he had been for every grocery run since we went into lockdown. By this point in the pandemic, though, I knew how to stock up for an indefinite quarantine. I didn’t need him there to weigh in on how many boxes of fettuccine we should grab; I just wanted him, because I’d gotten so used to the company over the last four months. …


Without making them think a breakup is coming

A gay couple holds hands in a therapy session and looks at each other with joy.
A gay couple holds hands in a therapy session and looks at each other with joy.
Photo: yacobchuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

No relationship is perfect. (Remember how even the Obamas went to marriage counseling?) Even if you’re crazy about your partner, maybe their workaholic tendencies are putting a strain on the time you spend together. Maybe you disagree about how to manage and spend money. Maybe your different approaches to conflict resolution cause small issues to blow up into big arguments.

Whatever it is, a complicated relationship issue doesn’t have to be a chronic one. Think of the health of your relationship the same way you would think of your own physical health: You wouldn’t wait months to see a doctor…

How to talk to your boss when you need to deal with a health issue or unexpected crisis

A man wearing a white shirt, holding up an umbrella and a briefcase, standing waist-deep in the water on a rainy day.
A man wearing a white shirt, holding up an umbrella and a briefcase, standing waist-deep in the water on a rainy day.
Photo: gruizza/E+/Getty Images

No matter how good you are at your job, when your mom breaks her hip and needs around-the-clock care, you’re going to have to admit that you’re not just a great employee — you’re also a human being living a complicated life.

You’re not invincible. It’s something that can feel hard to remember right now when the world is buzzing with can-do energy, and everyone you know is posting on social media about all the ways they intend to thrive in the year ahead. But the universe has a habit of throwing curveballs, and there’s always the chance that at…

Psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists explain how they cope with emotional rough spots

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If misery loves company, here’s a reminder that should be at least a little soothing next time you find yourself in a funk: Even psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists — the people trained to help you find the good in the bad, put things in perspective, and become more resilient to setbacks — have times when they’re just stuck in an emotional low point. No one, no matter how in tune with their emotions, is immune to a bad day.

Where these mental-health experts might have a leg up from the rest of us, though, is knowing how to cope; after…

Specific strategies for making sure you get things done

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When Laura Vanderkam is dreading something on her to-do list, she uses it to kick off the workweek.

“If there’s something I really need to do and I’m not terribly excited about it — for example, organizing information so my accountant can do my taxes — I’ll assign it to myself on a Monday morning, when I tend to have more energy,” says Vanderkam, author of several books on productivity.

It’s a small scheduling trick, but little things like this can make all the difference when it comes to accomplishing everything you need to do. On any given day, there’s…

Advice from nine design, career, and organization experts on making your space work for you

Photo by Michael Soledad on Unsplash

If your job requires you to sit at a desk, you probably spend more waking hours at that desk each day than you do in your own home (or in any other part of your home, if that’s where you work from). If you love your job, this may not seem like such a bad thing, but it’s still worth maximizing your small space for ultimate productivity.

We asked design and productivity experts for advice on how best to structure, organize, and decorate your desk to create a workspace that serves you, keeps you on task, and makes you feel…

A look back at old stories through new eyes

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As a kid growing up in suburban Pennsylvania in the ’90s, I lived for Silent Sustained Reading, or SSR, that point in the school day when the teacher asked us to clear our desks of everything but a book. This was typically also the point when kids tended to become a little rowdy, but I got smug satisfaction in staying out of whatever trouble was brewing. I loved being the nerd in the front row of the classroom, burning through chapters, wearing the glasses I had desperately wanted but didn’t really need.

Even after I grew up and left SSR…

Alli Hoff Kosik

Alli Hoff Kosik is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY. A voracious reader, she channeled her love of books into launching The SSR Podcast in June 2018.

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