5 Reads: Predicting 2022, Science of a Meaningful Life, Mental Health Crisis and More

I’ve been doing some version of this “5 Reads” post since 2015. I’ve covered a lot of ground in the process, including some of the biggest topics of our time. That continues as we face the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and an overwhelming surge of cases across the world.

But when the news changes faster than I can crank out these posts, I lean on evergreen topics and ideas that are relevant no matter what the news of the day brings. That’s what the last few weeks have called for, and that’s what I’ve shared below.

As always, please follow reputable news sources to stay informed and do your best to stay healthy (physically and mentally).

Here are five articles that had me thinking over the last month or so:

22 things we think will happen in 2022
Dylan Matthews, Kelsey Piper, and Sigal Samuel. Vox

Key quote: “Our mission is to explain the world around us to our readers, and it’s impossible to do that without anticipating what comes next. Will inflation continue to rise in the US and Europe, or level off? Will the Supreme Court allow states to ban abortion, eliminating legal access in red states? Will Brazil’s 212 million people be led by a left-wing populist, or a far-right anti-vaxxer?” Read the rest here.

The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2021
Kira M. Newman, Jeremy Adam Smith, Jill Suttie, Maryam Abdullah. Greater Good Magazine

Key quote: “From the individual to the global, this year’s top insights look at how we can cultivate well-being on many different levels, from a few simple ways to feel better, to insights on connecting across our differences and promoting sustainability. They also offer some hints at what has helped us be resilient during the pandemic.” Read the rest here.

Why 1,320 Therapists Are Worried About Mental Health in America Right Now
Tara Parker-Pope, Christina Caron and Mónica Cordero Sancho. The New York Times

Key quote: “There is so much grief and loss,” said Anne Compagna-Doll, a clinical psychologist in Burbank, Calif. “One of my clients, who is usually patient, is experiencing road rage. Another client, who is a mom of two teens, is fearful and doesn’t want them to leave the house. My highly work-motivated client is considering leaving her career. There is an overwhelming sense of malaise and fatigue.” Read the rest here.

22 Tiny Mental Health Habits That Can Improve Your Life In 2022
Amber Gibson. HuffPost

Key Quote: “There’s no way to know what 2022 has in store for us, nor can self-care erase the grief, trauma or other challenges we may have endured over the last 12 months. But as we look toward the new year, we can adopt healthy new habits to help incrementally improve our days, even if just for a moment. Sometimes, that’s more than enough.” Read the rest here.

10 Small Rituals That Help Us Recharge Our Batteries
Marina Khidekel. Thrive Global

Key Quote: “The Scandinavians have a custom called “lille lørdag,” translated as “Little Saturday” — in which Wednesdays are seen as opportunities for a mini-break in the workweek, and people treat themselves to something small but enjoyable — like a meetup with friends or a special dinner. This idea is especially resonant this time of year, as small, recharging rituals are so important as we enter the holiday season and can expect to spend more time indoors.” Read the rest here.

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