More from the well newsletter
Your best advice for mental health days
Pulling weeds, attending a movie matinee or just doing nothing: That’s how Well readers spend their time when they need to take a day off to recharge. Christina Caron explains:
The pandemic has pushed many of us to re-examine our priorities and become more attuned to our needs, so the idea of taking a mental health day away from work or school has begun to seem essential rather than daring. But what is the ideal way to fill those hours, so that we walk away feeling refreshed and recharged?
We turned to our readers to find out what they do during a mental health day. The replies poured in — and not just from those caught up in the rat race. Some said they had been retired for years, others were stay-at-home parents and some responded on behalf of their burned-out teenagers.
So take a load off and get more ideas for how to spend your mental health day. As a bonus, check out Wirecutter’s advice for finding the best pajamas.
Find out how Well readers take mental health breaks:
Mental Health Days Are Important. Here’s How to Make Yours Worthwhile.
An easier Thanksgiving
We’ve all had a tough year, so why not make your Thanksgiving a little easier? My favorite food columnist, Eric Kim, has great advice for cooking a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey, as well as recipes for easy umami gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, a green bean salad, a lemony cranberry relish and caramel apple pudding. His unconventional cheesy pizza stuffing is a fun take on a traditional dish that is sure to convert some stuffing skeptics. Eric writes:
I set out to devise a scaled-down menu for beginners — or anyone who wants to achieve the same flavor touchstones without doing more work than necessary.
Most of the dishes can be prepared with little more than a sheet pan and a large skillet. Everything cooks at one temperature — 350 degrees — so you’re not performing mental or physical gymnastics with the oven.
The shopping is easy, because these recipes call for a limited number of essential ingredients, many of which are shared across the menu. Forget the fresh herbs — they’re just one more thing you’d have to wash. Instead, rely on a single dried herb (oregano, thyme or sage are all fair game) to act as a flavor motif throughout the meal.
And avoid the last-minute cooking sprint. Much of this menu can (and should) be made the day before, when you’re less stressed. (It should take about three to four hours.) Roll up your sleeves, put on a podcast and enjoy the cooking.
Check out Eric Kim’s seven new holiday recipes:
Simplify Your Thanksgiving
The Week in Well
Here are some stories you don’t want to miss: