These are strange times we’re living in. Many of us are stuck at home in an endless cycle of Groundhog Day monotony, and those with essential jobs have the added stress of knowing how much more likely they are to get sick. Needless to say, the anxiety levels are through the roof. Weekends and holidays like Mother’s Day used to provide time for self-care, but now that every day is the same, time passes in a haze and it’s harder than ever to fit in ways to make yourself feel better. Hopefully, we are all making time for exercise, getting fresh air, talking with friends, and baking comforting recipes like lasagna or sourdough or banana bread—but here are a few more things to buy or do to ensure you are treating yourself right.
Explode a bath bomb
If you have a clean bathtub, your bathroom can easily be turned into a momentary sanctuary. Light a candle and throw in a bath bomb of your choosing. I think the options at Soap Cherie, a Brooklyn-based, female-founded company look perfect. A trio set will only run you $20. They look like candy and come in cheerful colors and scents like Midnight Rose, Asian Pear and Fresh Aloe. Although the Soap Cherie storefront is closed, they are still taking online orders and can arrange pick-ups at their Bushwick studio for locals. www.soapcherie.com
‘Book’ a trip
If lying on the beach on a far-flung hotspot doesn’t look in the cards for your immediate future, don’t worry. The Wild Detectives, a Texas-based bookstore, will be your new travel agent with their new interactive website, Book A Trip. First, choose a destination, and then they will find you a book based in that location, send it to your doorstep, and then you will crack open the novel and escape from this COVID-catastrophe we now live. The book options are great and the site is fun to play around with. Bon voyage!
Indulge in good skincare
Being inside, a new daily wine habit and general anxiety are all contributing to my skin dehydration. Taking fifteen minutes to do a sheet mask is time well spent on yourself. If you want to up your facial game, you could choose between detox, hydration, radiance or recovery at Shen in Carroll Gardens. The masks are a bit more expensive than a drugstore sheet mask ($65 and up) but the bottle will last a while. You can also erase all the worry lines furrowing your brow with the popular Pai rosehip biogenerate oil ($44), good for all skin types. During COVID Shen is doing local pick up and deliveries. www.shen-beauty.com
Raise a Toast
If you are drinking a glass of wine every day to help make the quarantine go away, you may as well sip something good. Rooftop Reds is closed, but delivering care packages to Manhattan, Long Island City and most of Brooklyn with red, white and rose options—or spirits and sake. Located on a rooftop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, this is Brooklyn’s only vineyard and worth keeping in business. Additionally, you could order one of their interesting packages like a special Mother’s Day package that comes with a cheese plate ($70) or a Rooftop Reds & Puzzle package that comes with a custom jigsaw puzzle ($20). www.rooftopreds.com
Comfort your feet
If you thought compression socks were only for old ladies, think again. These tight-fitting socks help bring circulation to your legs, preventing blood clots and swelling, but also help tired, aching feet. Although you may not be doing as much walking and exercising as you normally do, think of these as a gentle massage to your legs and feet just by putting them on. I recently bought a pair of Sockwell socks that are made of light wool (prices between $17- $26). They are nice and warm—plus they come in cute colors and don’t look like old lady socks.
Play your sound machine
Remember sound machines? I dug an old one out of the closet and have kept it turned on to the ocean setting for nearly two months now. The effect, when you retire to your bed at night, is like returning to the womb. I look forward to the day I turn it off, but for now it’s helping to tune out the deafening quiet. The Strategist has ranked the best ones on Amazon, but any white noise or sound machine will do, and there are countless retailers if you’re opposed to supporting that juggernaut.
Make things smell better
While you are inside all day, it makes sense to upgrade your air quality. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t say if diffusers actually make you breathe better or strengthen your immune system as advertised. But with the essential oils, your home will smell better than it ever has, and since you aren’t cleaning as much when you are lying in a fetal position, the nice smells will help. I’ve been recommended this diffuser for its clean, modern lines which will look nice on your side table. Stone Diffuser, $119, vitruvi.com