Dear Carolyn: I felt much better during the pandemic because it was much clearer to me which choices were the right choices. I social-distanced, so I didn’t have to decide which events to go to. I didn’t have as much choice over my time because I had to get my part-time job done when my husband wasn’t working and could watch the kids. I didn’t have to worry what food to get because I knew I should just get what’s available and not go to multiple stores or worry if something wasn’t the best deal, etc. All of the decisions had been exhausting, and suddenly I had so many fewer to make or second-guess. I might have been sad about things I was missing, but I wasn’t upset at myself for maybe causing it.

How can I stay in this same place now, with so many choices again?

— Decision Fatigue

Decision Fatigue: What a great question.

I can’t promise it’ll work, but I wonder whether you can install it into your working memory that when you are confronted with these decisions, the difference between A or B is usually minor, but the difference between sweating it and not sweating it is huge for your well-being.

So, in other words, instead of getting “upset at myself for maybe causing” a suboptimal decision, catch yourself in the moment as you get overly invested in these small choices, which mostly involve benefits that are marginal at best anyway.

And then in time, try to unhitch decision-making from getting upset or overinvested altogether … but, one step at a time.

Readers’ thoughts:

· I semiretired to a rural, undeveloped island in the middle of the Caribbean a few years ago. There are only a handful of small shops, so you can’t price compare, be picky about brands or look for the latest and greatest products. I had no idea how relaxing it would be to have so very few material choices to make. Ironically, I enjoy shopping so much more now, because I appreciate the thrill of seeing what’s available and what I can make with it.

· You WERE making decisions. Good decisions! They might have felt easier because a literal life-or-death situation made your morals and priorities very clear: You chose to stay home to do your part to fight this disease. You chose to focus on your part-time job because you and your husband agreed this division of labor best served your family during those hours of the day. You chose to shop quickly because you believed the benefit of social distancing outweighed any slightly higher costs. I think the peace you felt wasn’t that you weren’t making decisions, it was making decisions that aligned so clearly with your personal moral code and your family’s shared priorities. Perhaps this can help now.

· To anyone who finds there are way too many choices: take a look at psychologist Barry Schwartz’s “The Paradox of Choice.” [For the impatient, there’s a TED talk.]

· About five years ago I streamlined my day-to-day wardrobe to five pairs of the same black jeans and about a dozen of the same shirt, in different colors. Saves SO much time and the only decision is, “What color shirt today?”

You were on your game today, thank you.