There’s a scientific reason why so many people are graying right now

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A few months into quarantine, Amy Cannon noticed more gray hairs than usual. “I distinctly remember looking up from washing my hands one day and thinking ‘Oh, wow,’” says the 32-year-old writing professor. “The sprinkling of grays was more pronounced, and especially visible at my part.”

The fast onset of gray hairs — which some are experiencing for the first time ever — has become a widespread anecdotal trend amid lockdown. And while it’s hard to prove the pandemic is definitely causing more salt-and-pepper dos, science does point to a probable culprit: stress.

Stress has long been to blame for…


How to take care of your skin during Covid-19

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Experiencing your worst wave of breakouts since junior high? It’s not you — it’s Covid-19. The combination of skyrocketing levels of stress, occlusive protective masks, and upended routines can have negative consequences for skin, dermatologists say.

What’s Causing Acne Right Now

Pandemic-related or not, stress is a major contributor to acne. It creates a domino effect: Our bodies respond to stress by producing more cortisol, aka the stress hormone, which in turn increases the levels of androgen, which ramps up oil production in skin. “Bacteria on the skin feeds on this oil,” explains Sonia Batra, MD, a dermatologist in Santa Monica, CA. …


Feeling socially connected is a need all of us share, but human interaction isn’t the only way to get it

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There was a point, midway through quarantine, where I started to wonder if I was made for it.

I’m used to alone time in abundance — I spent seven years living on my own. And I know firsthand that loneliness and being alone are two different things, and that the presence or absence of other people isn’t necessarily tied to the emotional state. Still, as the time in lockdown stretched on, I braced myself for the wave of loneliness to hit.

Strangely, it never did. I’m not saying I’ve been enjoying this time — I’d do some terrible things for…


Scripts

Request the time you need to rest and recover without getting into details

An illustration of cartoon office workers sitting on their office desks and meditating at their workplace.
An illustration of cartoon office workers sitting on their office desks and meditating at their workplace.
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A few weeks ago, I felt — off. Not sick, exactly, but not like myself. I was unfocused. I was tired. I’d worked a series of six-day weeks, was drowning in emails, and couldn’t seem to muster up the motivation to do anything.

So I took a mental health day. I rewatched ’90s sitcoms. I caught up on my paperwork. I did errands I’d been putting off, like grocery shopping. And the next day, for the first time in weeks, I didn’t wake up feeling like I wanted to toss my laptop into the East River.

Mental health days are…


SCRIPTS

Don’t panic. Just follow these steps.

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This isn’t about job-ending screwups. This is about not realizing a presentation was due today. This is about accidentally cc’ing a client on an email they definitely shouldn’t be reading. This is about the medium-size mistakes that make the day way more difficult than you, your boss, and your team thought it would be.

In moments like these, it’s always tempting to reach for excuses: you were given bad information, you never got the email, whatever moves the spotlight off of your own role in the screwup. But more often than not, shifting blame only makes you look worse. And…


Scripts

A script for setting boundaries without hurting the friendship

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Scripts is a weekly series dedicated to helping you navigate the tough conversations.

It’s a hard truth that a friend, even a close one — maybe especially a close one — can be a source of stress rather than its antidote. No matter how close the relationship, you’re still two different people, with different needs and expectations. Lives change, priorities shift, and at some point, you may find that you’re not able to be available for a last-minute hang out like you once were, or your friend might need emotional support that you don’t have the capacity to give.

We’ve…


What to consider before making the transition, during your job hunt, and after landing a new role

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Most of us have, at one point or another, fantasized about starting over in a whole new career. Maybe you wonder each time you open a spreadsheet if your attention to detail might serve you better in something like event planning. Maybe you spend meetings daydreaming about abandoning office life and opening a bakery. Maybe you’ve always secretly believed you’d make a great doctor.

It’s easy, especially if you’ve ever experienced more than a fleeting frustration with your job, to understand the appeal of starting from scratch in a new industry. What all those fantasies typically fail to acknowledge, though…


Master the balancing act of keeping both your job and relationship intact

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There’s no better example of a workplace romance than The Office — or, should we say, workplace romances, plural. Forget Jim and Pam (although many office relationships do end in marriage). Between Dwight and Angela, Andy and Angela, Michael and Jan, Michael and Holly, Andy and Erin, Gabe and Erin, and that one intern and Erin, the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company could put the sexed-up stars of your average soap opera to shame.

If anything from the show is true to life, it’s the depiction of the complications of office relationships, whether they’re clandestine or out in…


Changes in the way we work are making people lonely. Here’s how companies and employees alike can keep it from getting out of control.

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This year, I spent a few months working at the friendliest company I’ve ever encountered.

There was an office happy hour every Friday afternoon. One day, some hero set up a hot chocolate bar, complete with crushed candy canes and marshmallows. Employees were encouraged to send one another thank-you notes around Thanksgiving. I sent out zero, because I didn’t think people would actually participate, but then I received four.

It was a far cry from the deserted, low-morale workplaces of my past gigs. And my eventual return to full-time freelancing — I was only there to cover someone’s maternity leave…


Power Trip

How to navigate the transition to a relationship of equals

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The other night, I was in the middle of an argument with my boyfriend when my mom called. I picked up, because if I don’t, she’ll keep leaving voicemails until my phone explodes.

“What are you two up to?” she asked.

“Oh, uh, nothing. Just talking.”

“Are you two fighting?”

“Yep,” I answered, mostly relieved that she’d guessed correctly so I didn’t have to dance around the truth with my boyfriend nearby, listening.

“Uh-uh,” said my mom. “Well, call me back afterwards and let me know what happens.”

“I will.”

“And be nice!”

My mom knows me really well. No…

Deanna Pai

I’m a writer and editor in New York City. You can find my work in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, New York Magazine, and beyond.

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