We are living in very strange times. The stress of the unknown compiled with working from home, homeschooling children, scheduling Instacart deliveries, and trying to convince our aging parents not to go out– can be completely overwhelming. I have always been a proponent of self-care, but in these uncertain and stressful times it is more important than ever to look out for number one.
I have struggled with sleep on and off my entire life. I have a hard time falling asleep, and often stay up way too late for the 6 AM wakeup call from my toddler. I'd heard about weighted blankets before, but was skeptical about their effectiveness. After tons of reading and research I decided to try the Quility premium blanket because it consistently had good reviews (over 11,000 5 star reviews just on Amazon!), and was affordable enough that if I didn't like it I wouldn't be out a huge amount of money.
It took a few nights for me to get used to, but now that I am two months in, I don't ever want to sleep without it! The minky cover that it comes with feels soft and luxurious, and ties to the blanket so it doesn't slip and the blanket remains evenly distributed. It's a huge plus that the cover can be removed and washed, especially if you have small children or pets – you know what I'm talking about.
The weight of the blanket feels good against your body, and is just enough to make you feel cozy, like your blanket is giving you a hug. I have been able to fall asleep earlier, and stay asleep with my weighted blanket – which tends to help my mood, stress levels and overall anxiety throughout the day. Overall it's a win-win for me! And if you still aren't convinced, check out this article from Penn Medicine that explains why it’s thought that deep pressure touch can help with stress and anxiety.
I love a good sheet mask, but they can get annoying not staying on my face, or being too big around the eyes. The BrightJungle Under Eye Collagen Patches are great because they stay put and you can easily be doing other stuff while wearing them and not worry about them coming off. There is a nice cooling sensation when you put them on, and they are actually really pretty to look at.
I've been plagued with under eye wrinkles and dark circles probably since my first son was born (thanks bud) to the point where I am self-conscious about it. I've tried a lot of creams and a lot of other beauty masks out there and these are by far my favorite. While this is not going to be a miracle product, I have noticed that my skin looks refreshed, and my wrinkles look a little less pronounced. They are easy to put on and take off, and a great value for the price.
One of the most effective things keeping me sane while social distancing are my home workouts. Wine helps and I’ll never turn down a snack – but working out has always been the ultimate mood lifter for me. While I would prefer to be working out at the gym or taking a spin class, there are plenty of ways to get in a good sweat from your own home. One of the simplest things you can invest in is a yoga mat.
I bought the Jade Harmony Yoga mat after having owned countless other cheap yoga mats, that disintegrated with use or got slippery in sweaty situations. I specifically bought this mat because it absorbs moisture and helps you maintain traction. It has a spongy, supportive feel but it is still compact and easy to carry. I use this for yoga, body weight exercises, and mat dumbbell workouts– and expect to have it for years to come.
Half Baked Harvest Super Simple: More Than 125 Recipes for Instant, Overnight, Meal-Prepped, and Easy Comfort Foodsamazon.com Check Price
At this point in social distancing, I am OVER cooking so many meals and sick of all my go-to recipes. I ordered this cookbook to get me out of my rut, and it has been amazing. Not only are the recipes unique and delicious, but they are also easy to follow and hardly take any time to make.
The photography in this book is stunning! I like that it is well organized into sections, including basics, breakfast, appetizers and sides, pizza and pasta, vegetarian, meat and fish, and dessert. The author also include a ton of helpful workarounds to fit your lifestyle, like– "if you don't have this ingredient, use this instead," and how-tos for both stove top and an Instant Pot.
I'm a huge believer in the power of scents to evoke emotions. When you smell something that brings back a good memory or makes you feel excited, your body releases feel-good chemicals into your brain, and it can change your mood.
The Yuni spritz is an aromatherapy mist made with Neroli, Geranium and Sage to help soothe your mind, refresh your skin and uplift your mood. The smell reminds me of a day spa and makes me feel like I am getting ready for my massage. You can spray this mist on your body, in your room, or on your bedding. I spray it on my pillows before I go to sleep – and it totally relaxes and calms me.
Working from home with 2 boys under 5 years old can be completely mentally exhausting. One of my new favorite ways to take care of my mental health is to go for a long walk, ALONE. I typically wake up before anyone else in my house, grab my phone and my headphones and head out for a long walk to listen to my favorite audio book.
Atomic Habits was a book I heard a lot about for a while, but after reading the cover, I figured I'd gotten the gist. I was wrong. I've been listening to this on my walks recently and it is so incredibly motivating! While the premise seems simple, the anecdotes and practical advice from author James Clear are fantastic. This book has challenged the way I think about my daily habits so much that I even ordered the accompanying Clear Habits Journal from James Clear to track my progress. 10/10 highly recommend.
Let's be honest, one of the best things about social distancing is the lack of bra wearing required. I have been living in these super comfy leisure bras. The fabric is soft, stretchy, and lightweight. The bottom band around the rib cage and the shoulder straps are wide, so there is no digging or discomfort.
The bras do come with optional padding, but even without the padding, the fabric is thick enough to give good coverage.
This blanket may or may not be my new WFH uniform. The older I get, the more I appreciate soft things and stretchy fabric. Maybe I should sign up for my AARP card now, or maybe I've just learned to appreciate the finer things in life.
This blanket really is an amazing value. It is large enough to easily cover my husband and myself on the couch (I bought the 63 x 87), and it's heavy enough that you feel cozy, but not like you are drowning in 50 pounds of blanket. It was super easy to wash and didn't seem to lose any fluffiness or leave fuzzy residue all over everything I washed it with.
Being tan makes me feel good. I have tried every self tanner out there and this is by far my favorite. It's easy to apply with a tanning mitt, and doesn't leave you orange or streaky. If I diligently exfoliate and apply this right after I shower, the tan lasts for almost a week. I workout and shower almost every day, and still have a glow with this stuff.
Even if it's just for my coworkers to see my friendly tanned face on a zoom call, having a tan makes me feel like maybe I was on vacation last week.