On the to-do list this week: Make your life a little easier. We have some takeout options you can feel good about, and some local businesses that have self-care items to get us through these cold, dark days. And we have a calendar of MLK Day events and volunteer opportunities so you can take care of other people, too. Plus: If you’re struggling with patience right now, it’s not just you. We have some tips for dealing with that.

And remember: We’ve collected our best Philly tips all in one place here.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, it’s still a good idea to stay home.

These local businesses have everything you need to wind down and recharge.
RichLegg / Getty Images
These local businesses have everything you need to wind down and recharge.

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Stay safe, do stuff

Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:

  • ❤️ Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service (MLK Day / virtual and in-person / multi-day) Both in-person and online happenings make up the 200-plus Martin Luther King Day of Service events in the Philly area. Organized by Global Citizen, the annual celebration of the Rev. Dr. King’s legacy includes a food delivery volunteer opportunity with the Jewish Relief Agency, a series of online programs about racial equity organized by Penn State Brandywine’s Center for Ethics and Civic Engagement, and a cleanup of South Philly’s Mifflin Square Park. Find some individual events and opportunities in our guide, or check the website for other ways to get involved. (Free, through Jan. 18, volunteer.globalcitizen365.org, various locations, add to calendar)

🔎 Find more of this week’s safe kid-friendly, outdoor and arts events.

Life skills

No, it’s not just you. Being patient is really hard right now. As Elizabeth Wellington writes: We’re waiting to get the vaccine, we’re waiting for the page to turn in Washington D.C., we’re waiting for more equity and fairness to manifest itself in our society. And if you’re finding the wait hard, that’s normal. Here’s some of why that’s true:

  • It feels endless, which makes it impossible to plan. “We all feel that we’ve been robbed of the power to manage our own destiny,” said New York-based psychologist Richard Orbe-Austin. “The goal post keeps moving: first we were waiting for summer, then we were waiting to go back to school, then we were waiting to get past the elections, then it was the holidays. All of these moments have passed and we are still waiting.”
  • It’s both hopeful and scary. We are optimistic that there are better days ahead, but also afraid of what will happen tomorrow, and these two forces are pulling us in opposite emotional directions. “One motivates us to avoid; the other pushes us to approach,” said Crystal Reeck, a Temple University marketing professor in the Fox School of Business, who studies consumer behavior. “Mentally this can be a very hard place to be.”
  • There is so much that’s unfair right now. Many people are flagrantly breaking the rules, gathering or traveling, or treating masks as optional. While many of us wait patiently, it feels like others are trying to skip the line. And while the rest of us wait for the system to work, we do this knowing that it doesn’t treat everyone equally.

If you want to get better at waiting, here are two things to try:

  • Shift your focus. Learn how to value the process more than the outcome. “Every time we run through different outcomes, we increase our sense of dread, fear and concern,” Orbe-Austin said. “This is why meditation during these times is helpful. It teaches us how to embrace the waiting.”
  • Take action. Taking safe actions inspires us to “embrace waiting so we are able to reframe, recharge and prepare for our futures even though we don’t know exactly what they will look like,” says Orbe-Austin.

Pamper yourself

If you feel like hibernating, we have the next best thing. While we wait for longer, sunnier days, a bit of self-care can go a long way to help us get through the winter. Elizabeth Wellington has found her favorite local shops for a bit of pampering, so you can support local biz, which is another reason to feel good about yourself. Here are a few of Elizabeth’s picks:

  • The Chandlery by Old City Canning Co. Self-care is incomplete without a candle burning in the background. Old City Canning Co.’s scented sprays ($16) and reed diffusers ($22) in a variety of scents from citrusy grapefruit to musky sandalwood get the job done. The hand-poured candles ($10+) are soy-based and last for about 20 hours. Have an idea for a scent of your own? Owner Stanford Ponson will consult with you to make a custom scent. Address: 1533 South St., Phone: 267-300-2183, Hours: Tue.-Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Website: oldcitycanningco.com, Instagram: @oldcitycanningco
  • Good Buy Supply Good Buy Supply Co.’s modest collection of body scrubs, perfumes, and bath bombs are selected from companies that create as little waste as possible in their manufacturing processes. (The store also reuses packaging as much as possible.) Try: the shower steamers ($6) — available in sinus-clearing lemongrass, mint, lavender and eucalyptus — to turn your shower into a coveted steam room. Address: 1737 E. Passyunk Ave, Phone: 267-225-2991, Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Website: goodbuysupply.co, Instagram: @goodbuysupplyco
  • Marsh + Mane It’s part spiritual apothecary, part haven for all things hair. Owner Jenea Robinson stocks the South Street store with tingling masks, essential oils, and luscious hair and body butter. And Marsh + Mane’s sage bundles ($9.50) — that believers smudge to smoke evil spirits out of the house — are among the best in the city. Address: 529 S. Fourth St., Phone: 267-273-0837, Hours: Wed.-Sat. noon-6 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m., Website: marshandmane.com, Instagram: @marshandmane

Better takeout

You want to eat better, but you don’t want to cook. We get it. Luckily, Grace Dickinson has collected the best vegan and vegetarian delivery and takeout in Philly. The full list is mouthwatering, but here are some highlights:

  • Triangle Tavern Known for a menu of comfort food fare, this South Philly staple offers vegan versions of everything from buffalo wings to mozzarella sticks to cheesesteaks and meatball subs. They’ve got red and white pizzas, too, topped with your choice of real or dairy-free cheese, and sides, like spicy broccoli and sweet potato fries, that regulars love. Website: triangletavernphilly.com; Instagram: @triangletavern; Address: 1338 S 10th St.; Phone: 215-800-1992; Delivery: Caviar; Price: $
  • Tomo Sushi and Ramen An entire menu section of this cozy Old City spot is dedicated to creative vegan sushi rolls, topped with specialties like tomato-based “tuna” and “eel” made from eggplant. There are hot bowls of noodles to warm up with, too, including three vegan ramen options. Website: tomosushiandramen.com; Instagram: @tomophilly; Address: 228 Arch St.; Phone: 215-519-0209; Delivery: Caviar, DoorDash, GrubHub; Price: $$ (for two+ rolls, or ramen and a roll)
  • The Nile Cafe Housed on the main drag in Germantown, this laid-back shop serves up vegan soul food by the platter. Find entrees like jerk drumsticks and ginger chicken, to be paired with nourishing sides like okra, collard greens, and plantains. Website: nilevegancafe.com; Instagram: @thenilecafephilly; Address: 6008 Germantown Ave.; Phone: 215-843-6453; Delivery: through restaurant website; Price: $

(If healthy eating is not what you’re feeling today, we also get that, and can we also recommend Mike Klein’s roundup of the city’s best new fried-chicken sandwiches?)

Bookmark it

We’ve been answering questions about COVID-19 for many months now, questions like When do I replace my face mask?, Can I get the flu and the coronavirus at the same time? and How can I wear a mask and not fog up my glasses?

We break down all the answers to your questions. And we’ve collected all of our stories at inquirer.com/covid-tips