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Tim Dowling: I missed the dry January deadline. Wine it is, then

‘I noticed you’ve just decided to press on,’ says my wife. ‘I’ll probably give up for February instead,’ I say. ‘It’s shorter.’Like a lot of people I usually give up alcohol for the month of January: privation is easier when everybody’s on the same page.This year, I didn’t bother. At first this was just a question of missing a deadline: 1 January came and went, along with a bottle of red wine left over from Christmas. But a week later, I was congratulating myself on my foresight. As many people ...
Tags: Family, Alcohol, Life and style, Society, Health & wellbeing, Tim Dowling


I long to move to the seaside, but will it unsettle my children?

You’re unhappy where you are. How can you be sure you won’t be just as unhappy in a different town, asks Annalisa BarbieriFour years ago, we relocated at a time we thought least harmful to our children: the youngest was starting primary school, the eldest junior school. They are now nine and 13. They are of mixed ethnicity and we wanted to live somewhere more multicultural, in a larger house in a less urban area. Our close family live outside England, so we thought moving nearer to extended fami...
Tags: Family, England, Children, Life and style, Society, Health & wellbeing, Annalisa BarbieriFour


'I came up a black staircase': how Dapper Dan went from fashion industry pariah to Gucci god

In the 1980s, his Harlem store attracted famous athletes and musicians. Then the luxury brands got him shut down. Now, at 76, he’s more successful than ever – and still on his own termsIt was a mentor on the gambling circuit in Harlem, New York, who gave Daniel Day the moniker that would make him famous. Day was just 13, but had revealed himself to be not only a better craps player than his guide, who was the original Dapper Dan, but also a better dresser. So it came to be that Day was christene...
Tags: Fashion, Music, Race, Life and style, Society, UK News, Culture, Hip-hop, Day, Gucci, Harlem, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Harlem New York, Dapper Dan, Daniel Day


US supreme court reinstates restrictions on abortion pill

Justices lift order that had suspended rule requiring in-person visits during Covid crisisCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe US supreme court has reinstated a requirement that women visit a hospital or clinic to obtain a drug used for medication-induced abortions, lifting an order by a lower court allowing the drug to be posted or delivered during the coronavirus pandemic.The justices granted a request by the Trump administration to lift a federal judge’s July order ...
Tags: Health, Law, Women, US, Life and style, Society, World news, US news, US politics, Food And Drug Administration, Abortion, US healthcare, Fda, Women's Health, US supreme court, Trump


Why it's time to stop pursuing happiness

Positive thinking and visualising success can be counterproductive – happily, other strategies for fulfilment are availableLike many teenagers, I was once plagued with angst and dissatisfaction – feelings that my parents often met with bemusement rather than sympathy. They were already in their 50s, and, having grown up in postwar Britain, they struggled to understand the sources of my discontentment at the turn of the 21st century.“The problem with your generation is that you always expect to b...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety, Britain, Health & wellbeing, Happiness indices


My lockdown meltdown drove me to try therapy – did it help?

When my Spice Girls-related coping mechanism stopped working, a friend suggested cognitive behavioural therapyTips on finding the right therapistColour me kooky, but I have not enjoyed living through a pandemic. For me, it’s basically been a social experiment in what happens when you take an already neurotic person and strip them of all semblance of routine. The results have been roughly as chaotic as Big Brother’s fight night, had the housemates been given hallucinogens.Initially, I did what I ...
Tags: Health, Ebay, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Health & wellbeing, Spice Girls


Readers' hangover cures: 10 ways to beat the post-booze blues – from Radiohead to rollmop vinegar

If you’ve overdone it this first week of lockdown, here are tried, tested and surprising suggestions for how to handle the headaches and horror the morning after the night beforeMix chopped beefsteak tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, celery salt, pepper, some red pesto, Worcestershire sauce, a little sugar, rapeseed oil, a splodge of tomato ketchup and a pinch of chilli flakes, then microwave for about three minutes. Add vodka to taste if you’re not driving anywhere afterwards. Pour the whole lot over...
Tags: Food, Alcohol, Life and style, Society, Radiohead, Health & wellbeing, Cocktails, Worcestershire, Hangover Cures, Wolf, Kevin Brown, Essex Continue


I teach a course on happiness at Yale: this is how to make the most of your resolutions

Forget tough love. Adopting a positive mindset and being kind to yourself is a more effective way to make a changeTo say that 2020 wasn’t the best year is an understatement. For many of us, it felt like a giant global dumpster fire. Not surprisingly, the stresses of living through a pandemic have had a terrible impact on our collective mental health, with rates of depression and anxiety skyrocketing. Many of us feel we can’t say goodbye to last year fast enough.And that means we’re entering 2021...
Tags: Health, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Health & wellbeing, Yale


Barbara Blake-Hannah: how Britain’s first black female TV reporter was forced off our screens

In the 60s, long before Trevor McDonald and Moira Stuart became household names, a 26-year-old from Jamaica was a regular on the news. Then the racist letters and calls startedIn 2008, Barbara Blake-Hannah sat down to write a letter of admonishment to the Guardian. “I must put history right,” she wrote, explaining that a poster issued by the paper was incorrect. It contained, she noted, the common misconception that Trevor McDonald was the first Black person to report the news on British TV afte...
Tags: Media, Race, Women, Life and style, Society, World news, Bbc, BBC News, Culture, Britain, Television & radio, Television industry, Jamaica, Shirley Bassey, Itn, Express


‘From now on, I was in an LGBTQ+ family’: my husband came out as trans while I was on maternity leave

I’d chosen an unconventional partner, and we both bristled at gender stereotypes. But I had sensed a distance between us, and it wasn’t just new parenthoodToday I sat on a bench facing the sea and sobbed my heart out. I don’t know if I will ever recover. This is a note on my phone, written on 9 November 2017.I forgot about it for a couple of years, but I remember typing it as if it were yesterday. The gulls squawked and the sun dipped into the sea. I had been sitting there so long my hands were ...
Tags: Family, Relationships, Life and style, Society, Transgender, Parents and parenting


No one can read 50 books a week. So why was I buying or borrowing that many?

I have always been a voracious reader. But one day I realised my passion for books had turned into a maniaThe need for last year’s resolution started in my childhood. (Don’t they all?) By the age of six, I was reading braille at an unheard-of speed, to the point where the teacher at my blind school accused me of lying when I said I had finished the three books she had given me that morning. It was the start of a lifelong problem: braille books were scarce, but I could not get enough of them.The ...
Tags: Books, Life and style, Society, Disability, Culture, Blindness and visual impairment, Raymond Chandler, Wodehouse, Billy Bunter


‘Four years' work in one’: vaccine researchers are the unassuming heroes of Covid-19

We don’t know their names, but these scientists have been working tirelessly to fight the pandemic. It’s time to say thank youVaccine researchers are not showy. If there is a flashy vaccine researcher out there, I’ve yet to meet them. Most of them talk about their colleagues more than they talk about themselves. In fact if you ask them about the work they are doing, they will invariably tell you how great their team is. Yet this year, more than ever, they deserve to have the spotlight firmly on ...
Tags: Health, Science, Life and style, Society, UK News, World news, Infectious Diseases, Vaccines and immunisation, Coronavirus


Robin's Wish review – sad salute to a master comedian

This warm documentary about Robin Williams reveals how much he was loved by those who knew himWhen Robin Williams died in 2014 at the age of 63, the tabloids filled in the blanks. The front pages speculated on the return of his well-documented demons: Williams had a history of depression, alcohol addiction and cocaine use. Then came the postmortem, revealing that actually he’d been suffering from an undiagnosed degenerative brain disease, Lewy body dementia. Which explained his symptoms in last...
Tags: Health, Comedy, Celebrity, Film, Robin Williams, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Culture, Williams, Dementia, Robin, Susan, Lewy, Susan Schneider, Documentary films


Hard Cares

What do you care about? Go ahead and rattle off your initial list – the people you know, doing a good job at work, making a positive difference in the world, etc. Then dig deeper. What are your high-risk cares? What do you care about internally but never share because you might be judged for it? What are your unusual cares? Once you go beyond the the easy-breezy cares, what are the harder cares that require more investment or risk? Here are some of mine: I care about the long-t...
Tags: Relationships, Lifestyle, Careers, Values, Society, Steve, Abundance, Creating Reality


Lose weight, save money, cut out booze? I could do that! But give up smoking?

It took me five years just to admit that I wanted to quitFor a long time I kept all of them. And not just at New Years, either. Two stone? Lost. Savings target? Met. Dry January? Easy. I took a healthy packed lunch to work every day. I kept my trainers by the bed for 6am runs. I read War and Peace, then I read it again. In short, if I willed some lifestyle change, it happened – but isn’t that how it works for everyone?Apparently not. Spock-like, I noted how the other humans seemed to sack off th...
Tags: Smoking, Alcohol, Life and style, Society, Spock


Giving birth seemed to spell disaster for my mental health. Were my anxieties unfounded?

I feared isolation, sleep deprivation and an end to the activities that had been keeping me well. I never expected to be filled with such love and wonderI hadn’t expected to have a baby. But when I turned out to be wrong about that, I found myself expecting the whole thing to be a disaster. It wasn’t just that people tend to be rather negative about what early parenthood entails, focusing on the sleepless nights and endless nappy changes. It was also because I had a mental illness that I thought...
Tags: Health, Family, Pregnancy, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Health & wellbeing, Parents and parenting


‘The idea was to put smiles on faces – and it snowballed’: the people who saved 2020

From the Spider-Men who rescued the children of Stockport, to the women who won the Nobel prize, here are seven people who brightened the darkest days When Andrew Baldock decided to don a Spider-Man suit for his daily jog in March, to cheer up locked-down children on his estate, he never expected such a huge response. “The original idea was just to put some smiles on faces and then it snowballed,” says Baldock, 45, who lives in Stockport, Greater Manchester. “Everyone loved it.” Continue reading...
Tags: Life and style, Communities, Society, Television & radio, Stockport, Stockport Greater Manchester, Baldock, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Tiger King, Andrew Baldock


‘I expect my elderly parents to die – but to suffer alone?’: the truth about caring through Covid

Toilet-roll paranoia, terminal shortness of breath: my nonagenarian parents and I were there before it went mainstream. How would we cope with the pandemic?Two hundred and twenty days into the pandemic and I am uncertain which is the bigger threat to my father – my impatience or Covid-19.Bad news about the new lockdown, I offer. Continue reading...
Tags: Family, Life and style, Society, Social Care, Carers, Older people


I was five and visiting a psychiatric hospital. I had the time of my life!

I toddled round the ward giving sweets to old women and wondering why so many of them were clutching teddies. It taught me not to be scared of people with mental illnessI was two when my mum became a consultant psychiatrist at Lancaster Moor hospital. Opened in 1816 as Lancashire’s first “lunatic asylum”, it was a forbidding place, looming over the M6 like a gigantic haunted mansion. It had neo-gothic towers and echoey corridors and always felt deserted, even though there were still a thousand p...
Tags: Health, Christmas, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Catholic, Lancashire, Pendle, Lancaster Moor, Lancaster Castle


I’ve been shielding in my parents’ bungalow since the spring. It’s like Big Brother, circa 2002

As the owner of low-grade lungs in respiratory pandemic, entering house arrest was an easy decision. Perhaps next year will bring probation“It’s been seven months and 15 days … since Covid took human contact away … ahh-ahh ahhh-ahhhh.” I do my best Sinéad O’Connor impersonation in the bathroom mirror, debating whether a full skinhead would be a solution to my inability to visit the hairdresser.Honestly, I’ve no idea exactly how long I’ve been in this house. Has it been a year? One particularly l...
Tags: Family, Life and style, Society, World news, Disability, Sinead O'connor, Coronavirus, COVID


Sex at Christmas tends to be off menu until fireworks at new year – study

Stress and overconsumption of food and alcohol leave people feeling less amorous, find researchersIf Christmas leaves you feeling less than amorous, you’re not alone. Whether it’s the stress of last-minute present buying or overconsumption of food and alcohol, interest in sex drops off in the run-up to Christmas, research suggests. However, this is compensated for by a big spike in sexual activity over the new year.Researchers have long noticed differences in birthrates at various times of the y...
Tags: California, Sex, Women, Christmas, US, Research, Life and style, Society, UK News, Sexuality, Stanford University, Laura Symul, UK France Brazil, Symul


Losing my mum in lockdown was a brutal lesson in the abject loneliness of grief

With normal life suspended, I couldn’t be with her when she died. But so much of mourning happens in the ruins of your own headMy mum died on 3 June 2020, in the middle of the night. We were in national lockdown at the time. The first one. The one none of us will ever forget. So, when my mum took her last breaths in a Surrey hospice I have yet to visit, I was more than 400 miles away, at home in Edinburgh.I was lying wide awake in bed when my dad called to deliver the news we knew was coming. I ...
Tags: Health, Family, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Death and dying, Edinburgh, Surrey


‘I was running to adventure – and away from myself’ | Jami Attenberg

For 20 years, I was on the run across the US, but it’s only recently that I have realised what I was running from, writes the novelist Jami AttenbergIf I tell you I didn’t have a bed frame until I was 44 years old, can we all pretend I was a minimalist and not some odd bird flapping her wings all over the country? “Peripatetic” was a word I learned when I was in my early 20s – I remember looking it up after reading it somewhere, and thinking: “That sounds familiar.” I grew up in a small town in ...
Tags: Europe, Books, Family, New York, Housing, Fiction, US, Life and style, Communities, Society, US news, Culture, East Anglia, Illinois, Baltimore, Jami


The Christmas I learned that prosecco is not a personality

I thought my friends bought me fizz because I was fun. In fact, it was because they barely knew me any moreSomeone once told me a story about Mariah Carey that goes like this: in an interview, Carey is asked to name her drink of choice. “Prosecco,” she replies, matter-of-factly. Unsatisfied with this answer (of course the glitter-loving songstress drinks wine that sparkles), the journalist pushes on. “Sure,” they say, “but what else?”“Just prosecco,” Carey replies. Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Christmas, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Anxiety, Health & wellbeing, Wine, Mariah Carey, Carey


Polish women travel abroad for abortions ahead of new law

Support services in Poland and abroad say numbers increasing even before legislation is in placePolish women are increasingly being forced to travel abroad to seek abortions even though a court ruling to tighten the country’s already strict laws has not yet coming into force, activists have said. The constitutional court ruled in October that abortion is illegal even in cases where there are severe foetal abnormalities. Around 1,000 abortions a year, almost all of the country’s legal abortion pr...
Tags: Health, Europe, Women, Life and style, Society, World news, Poland, Abortion


My father couldn't give me a stable home, but he built me an exquisite dolls' house

Dad was an alcoholic, and violent and destructive with it. But when I was nine, he painstakingly created a thing of beauty, which I have kept to this dayMy father was an alcoholic; and when you grow up with an alcoholic, you get used to them pissing in places they shouldn’t. In the street, as the neighbours tut; in wardrobes; on my bed, while I was in it. He could never find his way to the bathroom in the dark.When I was around nine, I awoke one night to him shouting from the landing: “Look at t...
Tags: Health, Books, Family, Toys, Children, Life and style, Society, Parents and parenting, Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism, George Bernard Shaw, Laura Ashley


Experience: I was abandoned as a baby

My foster parents took in more than 100 kids, but I was one of only two they adoptedI was hours old when my birth mother threw me away by a dumpster. She was a drug addict, I’ve since been told, and couldn’t handle looking after me. When I was discovered, the police called child services who immediately put me into foster care. My foster parents took in more than 100 foster kids during their lives, but I was one of only two they adopted. They were nearing 70, so adopting a newborn baby wasn’t pa...
Tags: Florida, Children, Life and style, Society, Fostering


How showing remorse can save your relationships

Forgiveness as a cultural act linked to religion and philosophy dates back centuries, but studies focused on the science of apologies, morality, and relationships are fairly new. As Amrisha Vaish explains, causing harm, showing remorse, and feeling concern for others are things children pay attention to, even in their first year of life.In a series of experiments, adults ripped children's artworks and either showed remorse or showed neutrality. They found that remorse really mattered. "Here we s...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Children, Life, Relationships, Love, Communication, Society, Innovation, Evolution, Emotions, Friendships, Personal Growth, Evolutionary Psychology, Vaish, Amrisha Vaish


‘It feels like a lost year’: the women who fear 2020 has stolen their chance of motherhood

With dating on hold, jobs lost and IVF postponed, many women fear their last chance to have a child may have disappeared. How are they coping?Saturday mornings are the worst. Claudia, a teacher, wakes up alone in bed in her London flatshare. The weekend stretches out before her, an interminable expanse to be filled as best she can – with walks, and TV, and more walks. Sometimes, she finds it hard to summon the motivation to get out of bed. “It sounds dramatic,” Claudia says, “but I’ll lie there,...
Tags: Health, Science, London, Pregnancy, Life and style, Society, World news, Health & wellbeing, Ivf, Fertility problems, Claudia, Coronavirus


Human sexual desire: Is monogamy natural?

Depending on who you ask, monogamy is either essential to a successful marriage or it is unrealistic and sets couples up for failure. In this video, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, psychologist Chris Ryan, former Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman, and psychotherapist Esther Perel discuss the science and culture of monogamy, the role it plays in making or breaking relationships, and whether or not humans evolved to have one partner at a time. "The bottom line is, for millions of yea...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Marriage, Sex, Relationships, Love, Women, Society, Innovation, Reproduction, Men, Evolution, Ashley Madison, Evolutionary Psychology, Noel Biderman, Fisher



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