You knew it had to be bad for you in some way, right? But it turns out watching all six seasons of Schitt's Creek on a single Wednesday (it's possible; don't judge) is not just a time-killer, it's actually making you more anxious (ok, judge).

Suze Berkhout, a doctor with the University Health Network and an assistant professor at U of T's psychiatry department, says binging rewires us in bad ways.

"If you're constantly distracted from the challenges that are going on around you," she tells Narcity, it "enhances the anxiety because you're sort of feeding into those brain pathways that say that this is a situation that I can't cope with."

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Distress or worry or anxiety, it's all still part of that [...] flight or fight or freeze system that we have.

Dr. Suze Berkhout

So it's probably best — for both of you — if your relationship with David Rose remains casual.

She says quarantinis and even pot aren't great either, because they end up creating a boomerang effect, and you can actually end up more stressed than you were pre-toke.

And it turns out stress and anxiety can have complicated and unexpected effects on our already complicated pandemic lives.

She says the best defence is a sort of combination therapy of getting outside to connect with the world outside your head, and being sure to do things that give you what she calls a sense of "mastery" — setting goals and accomplishing them — and connecting to something bigger than yourself, like a charity or religion. 

"It's an unsettling and exhausting sort of time to be in," she says with a masterfully academic sense of understatement, "so to whatever degree you can find meaning and importance and a sense of purpose within this difficult kind of liminal state, I think that's what helps people get through."

 
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