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As the pandemic inches toward completion, here’s an important message: You’re not done yet

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Heading into the final stretch of the women’s snowboard cross race at the 2006 Winter Olympics, American Lindsey Jacobellis held a commanding lead over her competitors. As she ascended the second-to-last jump, Jacobellis looked back to confirm her lead, flew into the air, then grabbed her board in a celebratory display of swagger. The showboating would have been no big deal except that when she landed, Jacobellis fell on her backside while Tanja Frieden of Switzerland zoomed past to win the gold medal.

This kind of showy blunder happens all the time in sports. NFL players DeSean Jackson and Danny…

Instead of waiting impatiently for the future to arrive, use the concept of ‘dual reality’ to find peace in this weird pandemic moment

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If 2020 was the worst year ever, 2021 is on track to be the weirdest. Not bad, per se — or at least, not as bad as what we’ve all survived to date. More like, a year that’s shaping up to be more than a little bit… off.

As I write this, most U.S. states have freshly expanded Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults over the age of 18. Yet, at the very same time, states across the country are seeing an alarming surge in cases. The same is happening across Europe and in Canada. In Brazil, the pandemic is…

If you haven’t done these things in a year, now is the time

Woman cleaning her kitchen with a smile.
Woman cleaning her kitchen with a smile.
Photo: Halfpoint Images / Getty Images

Many of us have spent the past few weeks acknowledging the anniversaries: of the last time we went to an office, or that our children went to school, or that we ate inside a restaurant.

It’s a sad time, and a strange one, but it’s a hopeful one, too. After a long year-plus, every one of those anniversaries is for something we may be able to do again somewhat soon. Which means that right now, about a year since the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic, is a good moment to start readying your life to expand again.


✍️ Today’s tip: Write your own pandemic reflection.

Here’s a way to process everything this year has — and hasn’t — been: Write it down. Take 15 minutes to write your own pandemic reflection.

It can have immense benefits. As Ryan Holiday writes in Forge, “I journal each morning as a way of starting the day off fresh — I put my baggage down on the page so that I don’t have to carry it to meetings or to breakfast with my family.” Or into post-vaccination life.

Here are a few prompts:

What final pre-pandemic memory do you keep returning…

How to give yourself space to work through your grief

Blurred image of people walking at a crosswalk in a city.
Blurred image of people walking at a crosswalk in a city.
Photo: d3sign / Getty Images

The topic of “The Anniversary” started showing up in my therapy sessions sometime in late January or early February. Over the past few weeks, it’s become an increasingly popular topic among my clients, many of whom have given voice to feelings I myself struggled to put into words.

Some therapists have described the Covid-19 pandemic as an experience of collective trauma. Others have carefully delineated the difference between a collective stressor, and collective trauma — though they note that certainly some have experienced traumatic stress (loss of loved ones, loss of employment, or the trauma experienced by health care workers…

How to turn short-term compassion into long-term empathy

Woman riding train while wearing a face mask.
Woman riding train while wearing a face mask.
Photo: Brasil2/Getty Images

These days, I don’t have to scroll very long before coming across a long-winded rant about pandemic restrictions or a sunny vacation photo with nary a mask in sight. These are people I know, people who have shown me kindness and care through low times in my own life. Each time, the cognitive dissonance makes my head spin.

I recently came across a Twitter thread from the editor Sigrid Ellis that put words to what I’d been feeling: “Americans are really good at acute compassion, but pretty bad at chronic empathy,” the thread begins. “We, without question, haul strangers out…

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Women are not doing great right now. Parents are not doing great. Couples are not doing great. Single people? Not great. Introverts are not doing great, nor are extroverts. Also not doing great: young people; old people; in-between people… you get it.

In her own primal scream on Medium, the writer Lena Gilbert details how she is simply trying, like so many of us, to balance her household responsibilities with supervising her children’s remote schooling with attempting to get some work down with also attempting to stay, well, balanced. …

Start planning how to close the ‘open loops’ on your to-do list

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Of all the self-help books I’ve ever read, the one that’s stuck with me the most — and the one that feels the most newly urgent in this strange time we live in — is David Allen’s Getting Things Done. It’s a book that’s useful for thinking about work and creativity and the paradoxical relationship between organization and imagination. It also has a lot to say about the peculiar sense of stasis or paralysis that many of us currently find ourselves gripped by.

The most important concept in Allen’s book is what he calls the “open loop”: something you intend…

It’s time to stop insisting everything’s fine when you’re actually drowning

Photo: Gary Yeowell / Getty Images

For many of us, a significant percentage of pandemic life has been dedicated to processing how difficult it is to live through pandemic life. We’ve encouraged one another to acknowledge that we’re not okay, made all the intellectual arguments for why social isolation is so crippling, delved into the ways in which being stuck in our homes is breaking our bodies and our minds. We’ve shouted from the rooftops that this is hard.

So why does it still feel so unnatural — maybe even a little embarrassing — to be fully transparent about how not-okay we are? …

What having Covid taught me about prioritization

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

It’s already halfway through February, but on my desk, it may as well be January 1. I’m getting back into my normal rhythms after coming
down with Covid alongside several members of my family a couple months
ago. Thankfully, everyone is on their way back to health, but, wow, did it knock me out for a while. And leave me with a mountain of work to be done.

It’s not as bad as it could have been, though. I work for myself, which means that, for me, having some sort of maintenance mode in place was the least stressful way…

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