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Best,

Anna Haines
Stories and ideas curated by a cynical lifestyle journalist.
Created 10 Sep 2020
  • The Burnout Generation
    02 May 2021 • 8 min read • 1 0
    ©Getty Last week, I borrowed psychologist Adam Grant’s ‘languishing’ to explain the malaise you’ve been feeling lately. But COVID blues aside, I’m itching for a deeper explanation to our burnout. Beca...
  • Are You Burnt Out?
    25 Apr 2021 • 9 min read • 1 0
    ©Bijou Karman Happy hour starts with an Ashwagandha grummie. Feeling a little adventurous on a Friday night, I chase it with an immune-boosting CBD gummy. An hour later, I’m drinking one of several sl...
  • Surviving On Cultured Things
    18 Apr 2021 • 6 min read
    Hygrophorus Puniceus’ ©Beatrix Potter I was going to write this edition of Best, on burnout but then work got crazy and my brain is too fried to piece together coherent thoughts, so it’ll have to wait...
  • How To Take Care Of Yourself
    11 Apr 2021 • 7 min read • 1 0
    ©Sandy Kim for The New York Times 2021 (link in reading list) Last week I questioned whether self-care is an effective way to look after ourselves amidst our broken healthcare systems (read it first i...
  • Who Takes Care Of You?
    04 Apr 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    ©Cari Vander Yacht via The New York Times Imagine this: you’re a single retiree living alone. One day, a sunny young woman knocks on your door declaring herself your legal guardian with a court order ...
  • Short On Spoons
    29 Mar 2021 • 7 min read
    I get unnecessarily stressed about moving so I was already dreading this week. But then came a kitchen leak followed by no running water or internet and other fun home surprises, and it turned out to ...
  • On Being An Asian Woman
    21 Mar 2021 • 10 min read • 1 0
    From Untitled: An Incomplete Identity Project, a personal documentary series on Asian stereotypes. ©Anna Haines 2021 A block from me lives a slender pointy-nosed old white man with frizzy grey hair. W...
  • March 12th, 1959
    12 Mar 2021 • 9 min read
    “Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘It might have been.’” ― Kurt Vonnegut (Thanks Jess Thoms for the quote). Two photos of the front yard of my childhood home: one before mom’s death,...
  • Are You Lonely? Pt. II
    07 Mar 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    “Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.” ― Aristotle ©Kieran Blakey I ended last week’s essay on the empty promise of technology as a cure for loneliness (I recommend you...
  • Are You Lonely? Pt. I
    28 Feb 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    ©Buzzfeed News For the first time in six years, I’m choosing not to live alone. Sharing a home with two other people has forced me to become more aware of myself and how much of a recluse I’ve become ...
  • Pretend It's A Couch
    21 Feb 2021 • 9 min read
    ©Clint Hess If you’re a responsible citizen, you’ve probably become pretty acquainted with the objects in your home by now. We notice what gets the most daily love, what’s collecting dust, what comfor...
  • Who Do You Love?
    14 Feb 2021 • 9 min read
    ©Céleste Wallaert Every Valentine’s Day, I think of the Cheryl Strayed line, “My mother was the love of my life.” No romantic or sexual relationship has come close to the deep love I felt for her. Val...
  • Dining Out; Dining In
    07 Feb 2021 • 9 min read
    ©Anna Haines 2021 2020 was the least exciting year of eating I’ve had in my adult life. I miss restaurants, a lot. I feel terrible admitting it because I know a part of what I miss is being fed by som...
  • Almost Famous
    31 Jan 2021 • 5 min read
    A friendly fox before Tuesday’s blizzard. ©Anna Haines This week’s published stories were heavy lifts, so we’re skipping the essay (I promise there will be more!). But I’m still dishing up the cream o...
  • If A Cat Can Change In Isolation, Can A Human; A Country?
    24 Jan 2021 • 9 min read
    ©Michelle Moross / Shutterstock via ‘A Message From Joe Biden’s White House Cat’ in The New Yorker This week—something different. I’m sharing a non-fiction short story I submitted to The New York Time...
  • How To Be Happy
    17 Jan 2021 • 11 min read
    ©Glow Wellness/Getty via The New Yorker From ice baths in Mexico to inpatient treatment at the hospital—2020 was my year of “wellness” extremes, both of which left me questioning what it means to be “...
  • What Is Normal?
    10 Jan 2021 • 9 min read
    ©Anna Haines 2020 “Trust your body,” the instructor says as each person submerges their body into an aluminum bathtub filled with ice water. “Mind over matter,” we echo when we see each face tense up ...
  • How Will 2020 Affect Future You?
    31 Dec 2020 • 8 min read
    COVID-19 Self-Portrait ©Anna Haines 2020 Do you ever wonder what could’ve been? It feels like we’ve all imagined how 2020 might have played out had our lives not been muted by a global pandemic. The c...
  • Five Christmases Alone, Here's What I've Learned
    24 Dec 2020 • 9 min read
    ©Anna Haines It feels like a missed opportunity that I’m not alone this Christmas—it would’ve brought me so much joy to see others experiencing the loneliness I felt all those years on my own. Yet her...
  • Hospital Diaries Pt. III
    13 Dec 2020 • 9 min read • 1 2
    © Anna Haines 2020 I think I’m the only patient who hasn’t decorated my “quad” (my section of a hospital room I share with three other patients). One of my neighbours, an energetic mom, transforms her...
  • Hospital Diaries Pt. II
    06 Dec 2020 • 7 min read
    This is the continuation of last week’s hospital diary on movement. Read part one first (if you haven’t already), they flow better together. I’m mostly having nightmares in the hospital, thankfully th...
  • Hospital Diaries Pt. I
    28 Nov 2020 • 6 min read • 0 2
    ©Anna Haines 2020 I haven’t left this hospital, or even felt the air through an open window, in 25 days. Through double-paned glass, I watch muted assembly lines of cars roll down the street like I’m ...
  • After Witnessing Death, Halloween Lost Its Fear Factor
    31 Oct 2020 • 10 min read
    Image: ©Anna Haines 2020 Reasons Why Halloween Is The “Best” Holiday: It isn’t centered around family or romantic relationships (less potential for conflict or feelings of loneliness). You have an exc...
  • Avoiding The Global Gentrification Of Taste
    25 Oct 2020 • 10 min read
    Image: Shoplook I’ve done so much apartment hunting over the past month that my eyes have developed a filter for weeding out impersonal high-rise condos and dingy basement apartments, the two most com...
  • What Do You Really Own?
    18 Oct 2020 • 8 min read
    I’m writing this from a three-storey historic home in the suburbs. It’s my third stay here in the past few months. Every time my friend and her husband go away, I trade my cramped kitchen for one with...
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