‘I feel bombarded with to-dos’: the hell of life admin and how to get on top

Errand paralysis might be the most boring and overwhelming anxiety of our age. How did we get so swamped? It was the eyes that I noticed first; where before hed made soothing eye contact, now he kept his gaze averted. What are you doing? I asked as he tapped at his computer. Eyes down, he replied, Im taking you off the flight. But… but I stuttered. He handed my passport back. Im sorry, he said, looking at me, now flinty eyed. You cant go to India without a visa. Youll have to go back to London. I was 18, in Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, not boarding the second half of my flight to Delhi. My mum had suggested I visit a …

My 24 years without eating (nearly) any vegetables

I grew up in Texas, where food is fast and portions are vast. Its time to ditch the chicken and waffles and embrace the greens September marks the end of summer and the start of a new school year for US students. Parents and caregivers will soon begin packing school lunches or dispensing money into their childrens lunch accounts, leaving them at the Food deserts form the tapestry of American cuisine,and most suburbs have a McDonalds or a Burger King lurking nearby. Drive-thrus serving burgers, fries and milkshakes are common, but drive-thrus serving salads are rare gems, if any exist at all. Time and accessibility are factors that determine what the average American family decides to eat for dinner. You …

Five ways to look after your joints

Its not all about stretching. Varied exercise, good posture and changing your diet can help you stay nimble Maintain a healthy weight Essentially, the heavier you are, the greater the impact on the joints and the stronger the muscles have to be to control movements, explains Laura Jamieson, a chartered physiotherapist. Ensuring that muscle-mass percentage is higher than body-fat percentage is crucial to maintaining muscle strength, which helps to ensure you move well. Registered dietitian Sue Baic, a spokesperson for the crucial for bone development: it is believed an online guide tackling common posture mistakes. It is also important to wear the correct, supportive footwear for exercises and activity.

‘No food should be taboo’: how to tackle your child’s weight without giving them a complex

A third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. Heres how parents can help them forge good habits and avoid creating lifelong insecurities Jusna Begum lives near the South Bank in London with her four children, aged between one and 11. When a health visitor told her that her three-year-old girl was on the chubby side, Begum was surprised. I didnt think she was at all; I had felt like my children werent eating enough. She did, however, accept an invitation to join a six-week healthy parenting programme called 2% of those aged five to one-third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, yet many adults dont see …

Fit in my 40s: I love parkour, but running at walls is even harder than it looks | Zoe Williams

Anything that is too high to vault, you have to approach with a cat leap Andy Pearson, the founder of London Parkour, maintains that anyone can do parkour if they want to enough. I have always seen it somewhat differently, as a kind of street version of Cirque du Soleil, suitable for only the skinniest kid with a death wish. Walking towards a cul-de-sac full of low walls, I am disbelieving. Even someone carrying a lot of extra weight? Yes, as long as you start with what they are able to do safely. Even the strongest man on Earth? Yes, as long as you allow for his muscle ratio. We come to some walls. Pearson wants to start with focus …

Most of us feel sleepy in the afternoon. Why cant work fit round that? | Andre Spicer

Now a third of Britons are sleep-deprived, work should be more flexible, says Andr Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour at the Cass Business School In the early afternoon, I often catch myself listlessly staring into the computer screen. I have things to do, but I cant concentrate. I try writing the same sentence five times and delete it six. During one of these afternoon torpors, I came upon a word: acedia. It seemed to perfectly define my mid-afternoon weariness. I discovered this originally Greek word was widely used by medieval Christian monks to describe a sense of indolence, a mood of lethargy, a feeling of being completely unconcerned about their duties and purpose in the world. Christian mystics who lived …

‘I wanted to explore my own pleasure’ how I rebooted my sex life

At 35, I realised I had no idea what I really wanted in bed or how to ask for it. So I went on a sex odyssey, one orgasm at a time My story, like all the greats, starts with a disappointing wank. I was on one of the big free porn sites and I saw something that disturbed me. Now, I was used to porn; I had been using/watching/waiting for it to buffer for years. It was just what you did, if you were feeling aroused and alone, wasnt it? But on this night, I found myself thinking about a young woman in a thumbnail picture, hoping she was all right. I turned my computer off and thought about …

One step ahead: how walking opens new horizons

Whether its to the North Pole or across LA, walking is the fastest way to make more time for life As a child growing up in 1970s Norway, with parents who didnt own a car and loved to hike, Erling Kagge believes one of his first full sentences was: How much further is it? By his late teens, though, hed begun to embrace his parents ethos. By then, for me, walking wasnt just getting from A to B, he says. It had a value in itself. So much so that at 27, he walked to the North Pole and, less than three years later, became the first person to walk to the South Pole alone a 50-day trek with no …

Feminism with no human warmth leaves me cold | Zoe Williams

Im a fan of the acclaimed young writer known as the Slumflower. But her sexual creed of exploitation appals me, says Guardian columnist Zoe Williams A couple of years ago, the feminist society of Deptford Green secondary school convened a conference. It was there that I met Chidera Eggerue: aka the Slumflower, author of #saggyboobsmatter movement. She was a remarkable woman. I dont want to call her a remarkable young woman, even though she was 23 at the time: young is such a modifier and she would have been remarkable at any age. Her broad message was one of body positivity: if you love yourself and your shape, nobody can shame you. She built what I thought was a brisk, …

Our goal is to halve the male suicide rate: why no-frills therapy works for men

Every week, around the country, groups of men meet for some straight-talking therapy. Could this be the answer to the male mental health crisis? A stranger has just thrown a ball at me and asked me how my week has been. Its Monday night, and Im sitting in a circle of a dozen men in a chilly community centre. This ball obliges me to tell the gang about my current emotional state. I have spent my entire adult life carefully avoiding situations like this. I came to Andys Man Club with my eyes open, thinking I was ready to share. But thats because I expected a different sort of group therapy session; a place where normal blokes could open up …

Women with Allergan breast implants may sue over cancer link

UK women claim they were not told enough about potential risk of rare breast cancer A group of more than 200 women are considering legal action over controversial breast implants that have been linked to a rare form of cancer. The women claim they were not sufficiently informed about the risks of textured Allergan implants, Women who have the implants and capsules removed can make a full recovery, but if left untreated the disease can spread throughout the body and become life-threatening. Last year, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) advised its members to stop using Allergan implants as a precaution, but said the scientific data did not suggest the need to remove or exchange any current implants. …