My favorite things: Quarantine Edition!

I’ve been in self-isolation since mid-March, actively trying to avoid COVID-19. In the early days of lockdown, I was keeping things pretty normal. I stocked up on groceries, I was working a full-time load of clients, and I was taking regular virtual workout classes.

But, things have gotten much worse in Texas and even in Austin, so I am no longer going to the store. I’m going to the post office and that’s pretty much it. So, I am relying on things already in my apartment or things that can be delivered.

Over these months in self-isolation, I’ve developed some things that I really look forward to everyday and I figured I’d share them with you, in case you’re searching for simple joys.

Noxema – Yep, I’m talking about the OG Noxema in a navy jar that you stick your hand in and scoop out the icy cleanser. I made a trip to Big Lots (one of my favorite places) at the beginning of quarantine and saw this on the shelf. I didn’t even know they made it anymore! It was $4 for a giant jar and I use it every morning, first thing. It’s so refreshing, especially on these hot summer days!

Sunless Tanner – I really wanted to get a tan this summer, and it’s proven to be quite difficult. I do have a patio, but it never gets full sun, so I can’t really “lay out.” So, I’ve been trying all kinds of different sunless tanners. They won’t cause any skin damage and if I mess up, no one is going to see it. Right now, I am using two different tanning foams: the SOL by Jergens and the Tarte.

Sleep aids – I have struggled with my sleep for years. Therapy, plus a vegan and alcohol-free diet helped me get to a place where I could sleep without taking any type of sleep aid before bed. But the pandemic put all of that to shit and I’m back to relying on over-the-counter sleep meds to help me get rest. At first, I was frustrated, but then I realized that it’s okay. This is something completely new and I have to deal with it however I can. So, I have been taking either the Olly Bedtime Beauty (I used an entire container of the Olly Sleep + Immunity) or the Liquid I.V. Sleep Multiplier.

Playlists – I have always loved making playlists, but I’ve made several during quarantine. I made one that has all acoustic songs that I like to listen to when I meditate or write in my journal. I made another of all cheesy boy band songs, mostly from the 90s and early 2000s. I dare ANYONE to play it and not sing and dance to some old school Backstreet Boys hits. I am certain my neighbors have seen me skipping down the street while lip syncing to “All I Have to Give” and I do not give a damn.

Books – I was a reading machine pre-pandemic, but books have been my compulsive purchase. I’ve been attending any virtual author event I can; I write them in my planner and look forward to them all week! I’ve been buying books from local shops (including a black-owned shop) and have started using the Libby app to rent ebooks since I can’t go to the library. I set my reading goal at 15 books this year because I felt like work would take over, but I just finished reading my 31st book of the year earlier this week.

Walks – I mentioned that I was taking virtual classes at the beginning of quarantine, but it just wasn’t working for me to eat, sleep, work, relax AND workout in the same place. I was distracted and I wasn’t getting a good workout. So, I started taking walks 3-4 times per week, just around my neighborhood. It gets a little boring walking in the same place each time, but I usually listen to a podcast, an audiobook or one of my playlists and it’s a good way to get moving. After my first several walks, I realized I didn’t own a good pair of walking shoes, so I bought a pair and they’ve been a good addition.

Anything that delivers – I am relying on anything that can be delivered to my home now. I have gotten meal kit deliveries for years, but now I get wine deliveries, cat food deliveries, frozen food deliveries, anything anyone would need to live, I get it delivered. Before, it was convenient to get something like Green Chef right on my doorstep, but now it’s my only opportunity to get fresh produce for meals. Without Green Chef, Blue Apron, or Daily Harvest, I’d be eating 100% carbs from boxed pantry meals, so I’m thankful to have these fresh options available.

Nostalgia – At the start of quarantine, I watched “She’s All That” one night when it came on TV. I had forgotten how FANTASTIC it was and have watched it likely a dozen times since. For someone who loves to plan, being told I can’t plan… anything… without some sort of end date… it’s torture. We can’t look ahead, but we can look BACK. Old movies, songs, electronics, I say we pull out all of it and look back on the good times.

Projects – It took me a long time in lockdown to realize that the weekend were the hardest. Pre-COVID, I wasn’t bar hopping or throwing parties, but I would at least go out to eat, shop, and maybe see a movie. with zero options, I found myself scrolling social media, often seeing others living normal lives at the beach or even out to eat. So, I’ve taken to weekend projects that keep me from mindlessly scrolling. I’ve organized my pictures and cleaned out giant bins of old things — leaving me with a very tidy hall closet. I still have to clean out my clothes closet, sort through my recipes and somehow organize all of my craft supplies, but I’ve got time.

So, that’s my list of favorites right now! What kinds of things are keeping you going this year?

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