A lot of people are working from home today, myself included. It’s not exactly unchartered territory for me—I’ve done my fair share of working from home before—but the sentiment surrounding the reason why I am working from home is something entirely new. I’m trying to strike the right balance between vigilance and chill, but it hasn’t exactly been easy given that I’m already prone to bouts of anxiousness on any given day of the year. I’m getting better, though, and a few tools have really helped. This New York Times relaxation article for one, and a few other things I’ve set up around my apartment. Let’s talk about those.
My friend Dayna put me on to Pasta Grannies. It’s a YouTube series that gives you what you see in the name: grannies making pasta. Each episode is short, averaging around 10 minutes each, and believe me when I say there’s nothing more soothing than watching an octogenarian hammer out a sheet of pasta dough. Besides, I could use the tutorials, especially since all my upcoming dining out plans have been curbed.
Another series that I’m getting into is Sophie Chang’s ASMR Facials. A colleague directed me to these a while ago, but I’m only just now getting hooked. I wouldn’t call myself the target demo for ASMR videos in general, but maybe that’s because I hadn’t found the right kind of ASMR? These videos hand off the mental equivalent of a deep tissue massage: so soothing, so comforting. And really, right up my alley.
I’m really bad about painting my nails. It’s not that I don’t like to, or somehow struggle with it—not at all! It’s just that given the choice between scrolling through Twitter and buffing my nails, I normally choose the former. But I deleted Twitter from my phone this week (too much mania, not enough fact-checked news), so now I don’t have any excuse. So far I’ve done my toes, and each careful stroke is time spent not worrying about the things I can’t control.
The best part about working from home, without a doubt, is the skincare. Now I can take my time! No need to rush through things and head out the door. On top of that are the masking opportunities—I’m masking all the time now. If I needed to give myself a little break at Glossier HQ I might have scavenged for a snack, or taken a coffee break outside. But at home? I’m heading for the fridge, grabbing a chilled face mask, and giving myself a few moments of uninterrupted zen.
I’ve written about my amazing weighted blanket before, but it was just this morning that Emily Ferber reminded me that I can (duh!) use it outside of my bed. Can’t believe I didn’t think of this myself, but kudos to Emily, because now I’m writing this post to you under 20 pounds of pure comfort. Not everyone has a weighted blanket on hand I know, but a few layers of regular blankets and a duvet ought to pull off the same effect. Not to mention you’ll look like the monarch of your home—no crown needed.
Netflix and Twill
These last two come as recommendations from Utibe Mbagwu and Ali Oshinsky. Utibe suggests watching The Great British Bake Off, a show that GQ quite literally dubbed “the most relaxing show on television.” I haven’t gotten into that yet, but it’s on my list. Another thing I want to try is a small hobby to keep my hands (and mind) busy. Ali told me that she’s getting into bracelet-making, and has the piles of embroidery floss in her apartment to prove it. I’m not sure if I have the finger dexterity to pull that off, but what I do have is a calligraphy book and lots of paper. I think that’s more my speed.
Photo via ITG.