And other life advice.
Good news for couples who prefer to stay in: A 2016 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that binge-watching TV shows and movies together can improve relationship quality and commitment, especially in couples who don't share the same group of friends. So go ahead and tune in to season 5 of House of Cards—just make sure you're cuddling while you watch.
Stress less, make more
If you've been tempted to play hooky because your current gig is stressing you out, get this: There is such a thing as a high-paying, low-stress job. We combed through the website PayScale, which gave us the average annual salaries of professions in Canada, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network, which ranks the stress level of careers, and found 10 plum gigs that pay an average of $60,000 per year and have relatively low levels of on-the-job anxiety. One caveat: You're going to need quite a bit of schooling for some of these occupations (hello, orthodontist), but others require only a bachelor's degree and a healthy dose of motivation. Who knows? More relaxing Mondays to Fridays (and more dollar signs) may lie ahead.
Be money smart
When the news hit earlier this year that employees at the Big Five Canadian banks feel so much pressure to meet their sales targets that they sometimes break the law—increasing customers' credit-card limits or lines of credit without notifying them, for example—I felt terribly for those workers but, I must admit, also worried about my own bank account. It was a reminder that it's important to actively monitor my finances, keeping an eye out for rogue service charges or changes I didn't authorize. As for avoiding the upsell, the best approach is to say no. Even if you think you need a new credit card, line of credit or mortgage, don't accept a bank's "deal" impulsively. Do your research to make sure you're getting the lowest interest rate, then apply for the product that best suits your needs.
June's to-do list
Watch: Orphan Black
The fifth (and final) season of this much-lauded sci-fi thriller debuts on June 10. Tatiana Maslany stars as Sarah, a con artist who discovers she's a clone after witnessing her doppelgänger commit suicide. (She also plays all of the clones, naturally, including an assassin, a soccer mom, a PhD student and a detective.)
Listen: Dear Sugar
This long-running podcast is a must-listen, especially if you're a fan of advice columns, like we are. Hosts Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond offer real talk on everything from infidelity to sibling rivalry to being ghosted. Nothing is off-limits for the Sugars!
Do: Plan your summer festival schedule
Taking the kids to a music festival is totally a thing in Europe, but closer to home less so. That might be changing, though, due to a crop of family-friendly events. Take in Toronto's Field Trip (June 3 and 4), the Calgary Folk Music Festival (July 27 to 30) or the Canadian debut of Jamie Oliver's The Big Feastival (Aug. 18 to 20), a food and music fest in Burl's Creek, Ont.