For those 15 minutes, I am not working; I am not reading the news on my phone; I am not doomscrolling through Twitter; I am not being “productive” (read: checking my email, learning Spanish on Duolingo, checking my email again). The process has proved more enjoyable and rewarding than any meditation I have ever tried. Sometimes when I close my eyes while sniffing, I’m transported to India or Lebanon or Mexico, on a sensory tour of multiple cultures and culinary ideas that has taken my brain far beyond the confines of quarantine in New Jersey.
Gabe Friedman uses his parents’ spice cabinet to retrain his nose after Covid-19 took his sense of smell. Read more in The World in My Nose: After COVID stole my ability to smell, I found a solution that reawakened my senses—and much more at Slate.