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I haven’t left my neighborhood since March 16. For the most part, my days involve a thrilling combination of walking from the living room to the kitchen and back again, with a morning break to walk the dog. For ten days, I haven’t gone to the grocery store, any take-out restaurants, or any other businessess.
Ten days feels like a surprisingly long time (14 of “almost isolation”, when the only trips were for groceries and an unexpected water heater purchase). It shouldn’t feel this long, but when days alternate between stress, boredom, and frustration, it adds up to more than you think.
While I haven’t crossed the line into insanity yet, it’s only because I’ve got a good support network. Thank goodness I have my husband and my dog — I think if I lived alone, I’d be even more unsettled. And shout-outs to my family and friends who lovingly chat on the phone, send me zillions of Whatsapp messages, and get on video chats. Out of everything, it’s these connections that helps me the most.
But there are also a few physical items that are making my life a little easier, and that’s what I’m hear to share today. This post has nothing to do with travel, but life seems to have nothing to do with travel right now. If you’re not interested in reality right now, that’s totally okay. I won’t be offended and you can peruse hundreds of archived articles and dream about travel again. But for anyone who’s still reading this, here are a few of my favorite things, new-reality edition.
The Products That Make Life a Little Easier and Less Stressful
Down Dog App
I have to thank Anne Lowrey for introducing me to this yoga app (free through May 1). It's the best I've used and will be great in the future when I'm traveling, too. Before each workout, you choose the type and intensity of yoga you're looking for and how long you want to practice. I've used it for tough exercise and for mind-clearing stretches and it's great either way. Pair it with a Prana yoga mat if you don't have one already.
Tree To Tub Lotion
I don't normally use a lot of lotion, but now that I'm washing my hands twice as often, I need a daily moisturizer and this is my favorite. There's no weird stuff in here -- just natural ingredients -- and it never leaves your hands sticky. Plus, a dime-size amount keeps my hands feeling great all day long. A winner in my book.
Weighted Eye Mask
Have you been relying on tech too much lately? I feel like I've been using my phone, laptop, and TV more than normal (since the world is closed) so my eyes end up tired by the end of the night. This eye mask -- which I usually only use with migraines -- is awesome at helping your eyes rest. Lie down, put it over your eyes for 10-15 minutes, and try to relax. If you can sew, these pillows are simple to make...just use a soft fabric and fill with flax seeds.
Silicone Keyboard Cover
I've been working from home for 5 years and this keyboard skin has helped me more than my expensive desk or chair. I originally bought it to keep moisture, grease, and crumbs out of my keyboard but it has the added benefit of being easily sanitized. Just take off the skin, spray it with Lysol, let it dry, and put it back on. It's a bonus way to improve your hygiene without ruining your laptop. (Hint: they come in lots of sizes and colors, so shop accordingly).
Purple Carrot Meal Kits
If your grocery store looks anything like mine, you're probably making a lot of recipe substitutions because you can't find the right ingredients. For dinners that avoid that problem, there's meal delivery kits. If you haven't used one yet, they ship you the recipes and ingredients for a few meals a week which makes meal planning (and shopping) super easy. Purple Carrot is super yummy and there's a lot of research that shows plant-based diets keep your immune system in tip-top health. If you're not into plant-based eating, try EveryPlate.
We've had two cases of wine shipped through Naked Wines even before this whole thing started and now we've ordered number 3. No need to face the crowds in public because they send great wine right to your door. We were pleasantly surprised by some uncommon varietals and winemakers we've never heard of and you can't beat the price of your first box.
Stanley Insulated Cup
I actually got this cup for free at a conference one year and I loved it ever since the start, but now I'm using it so often that I bought two more. This cup keeps your hot drinks piping hot for a few hours, which is great when I sit down to get work done and don't want to put my tea in the microwave every thirty minutes. It keeps my frozen protein smoothies ice cold, too.
First: this air filter does NOT trap viruses, so let's get that out of the way. However, it does filter pollen, dust, pet dander, and more. Now that I'm spending my whole life in the same space as a dog (in the same season he's blowing his coat, ugh!) this definitely makes a difference. This one is easy to use and clears the air quickly.
I've been having a hard time with turning off my phone in the evening and I end up getting sucked into news late into the night (and then not sleeping). The FREE AntiSocial app allows you to block certain apps -- like news apps or Twitter timelines -- at set times of the day. I started blocking myself at 10pm and it's made a big difference.