What To Do When You Have To
Stay At Home
Rainy weekend days, snowed-in weekdays, and hearty-soup sick days invite us to cancel plans and slow it all down for a change. These days, to help protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19, we’re staying home unless necessity calls us out—a privilege we do not take for granted. Right now, we’re loving blankets, soothing beverages, and calm reassurance that it’s okay to rest. (Adults are, after all, just grown-up babies.)
When I have a day at home without work, I find myself puttering around, tidying up clutter I’ve ignored for too long. Once my apartment is clean, I open up the windows, light a candle, and turn on soft music as I sit on my couch and enjoy the calm. My brain, which usually feels like an ever-expanding ball of rubber bands, starts to sort itself out. The phone that’s always ringing somewhere in the distance of my mind has stopped. I can unwind.
The Good Trade team has staying-in at the top of our minds these days as we’re practicing social distancing. So, in the spirit of keeping ourselves cozy and cared for, our editors each pulled together a slow and sustainable stay-at-home starter pack.
Be sure to share your stay-at-home essentials in the comments below!
I’m all about sensory experiences when I’m staying at home. If I’m sick, I just want comforting reminders that my rest is supported and necessary. I don’t do much on sick days other than press play on an endless loop of “30 Rock” episodes as I fall in and out of sleep.
On days where I’m fortunate enough to be well and settled in for the day—perhaps because of a long bout of Los Angeles rain—I like engage with tactile experiences. First, because they give my hands something to do that *isn’t* scrolling on Instagram or favoriting pink blazers on thredUP. And second, because my mind is otherwise racing a million miles a minute. I rarely treat myself to the meditative rhythm of crochet or the quiet of immersing myself in a good read, so I relish these slowed-down days. One tactile experience I never go without, no matter how busy I am? Petting my rabbits.
For my starter kit, I’ve selected a cozy DIY sweater kit and leggings to keep me snuggly. Mugs are super important to me—for coffee with creamer, I prefer a thin-lipped mug. For black coffee, I prefer a medium-lipped mug, and for tea it’s a thick and chunky mug all the way. This mug from The Little Market should suit the peppermint tea from Celestial Seasonings that I *sips* am currently drinking. Finally, I always light a candle when I’m at home to keep me grounded, and this book of poetry by Tracy K. Smith literally transports me to another world. Highly recommend.
I tend to overextend myself in terms of plans and promises made to others—I’m working on it!—so, on the off (but welcomed) chance that those arrangements fall through, you can find me truly leaning into homebody-hood. Staying in means I’m making the most of my newfound time, and everything I do is solely a means to an end for pleasure and peace.
Now that both make-up and a rushed skincare routine are needless, I can take the full 20 minutes recommended for this Tata Harper brightening face mask. And since I’m never truly comfortable unless my bra is off and a buttonless pant is on, a thick, stretchy, Egyptian cotton jogger is my (very soft) weapon of choice.
Just looking at Jerico Mandybur’s gorgeously illustrated and richly colored Neo Tarot deck brings me joy. Even if I’m not meditating over it with inquiries, each pulled card still comes with an empowering affirmation and suggested self-care task that reminds me to stay present and active in my personal care. And if I could read its accompanying book in front of a fireplace, I would but, alas, my unequipped apartment means I have to warm myself from the inside out. So a chamomile tea infused with sleep-inducing lavender is perfect, because that’s honestly where the night’s heading (after a Netflix show or two). A good night’s sleep. Ensured by a weighted blanket.
Social & Community Lead
Ah, staying in! What is seen as a delight for some makes me feel a little stir-crazy, but I know it’s beyond necessary from time to time. Staying in for rest and relaxation is important, whether it’s capitalizing on a lazy Sunday or to recharge when feeling a bit under the weather. For me, I tend to love baking, tidying, and giving myself some love on a house day.
First things first, I am never without my slippers from The North Face. My sweet partner bought me some not too long ago, and I don’t know how I ever lived before them! They’re like individual duvets for your feet. On a stay-home day, I like to treat myself to something more than my standard morning coffee, like a turmeric latte using Diaspora Co. turmeric (the best!). As someone who makes ceramics, tons of mugs are a given in my house. That said, I still reach for my first ever “adult mug” every day: a white Large Heath mug. I’ll usually give myself some time to scroll Instagram on the sofa while I drink my morning beverage, often wrapped up in my favorite Pendleton blanket (seriously—I have two).
Lazy days can go a few ways: I’ll either bake something (been loving on #BasicallyBaking from Bon Appetit lately), read a bit, look at adoptable dogs on PetFinder, or scour Craigslist and FB Marketplace for new-to-me furniture. Sometimes, I’ll do it all! She truly cannot be stopped. Regardless of what the day has in store for me, it always ends with a face mask (this clay one by Lulu Organics is divine), a glass of wine (Scribe Winery Pinot Noir, usually!), and a favorite classic film.
Co-Founder & CEO
I truly love to stay in, but when I spend extended time at home it’s extremely important for my mental health that I stick to a routine, feel productive, and find ways to connect to others (pets included!!). A few of my go-to at-home activities include puppy snuggles, preparing and enjoying hearty, healthy foods, reading novels, and some deep-cleaning.
Who wants to snuggle smelly dogs? Not I. Top of my stay-in starter pack list is Malin+Goetz’s very splurge-y, very dreamy-smelling pooch shampoo. Clifford and Bentley (pictured above) are a ‘lil bit fancy, and they will be thrilled by this acquisition. Everlane’s cashmere sweatpants are my perfect go-to for around the house, they’re comfortable but also chic. (FYI, they’re on sale right now!) This multi-purpose Staub Petite French Oven puts my current rice cooker to shame and is making my mouth water by just the thought of all the wonderful aromas I could create in my kitchen. For some not-so-light reading, I’m halfway through Still Lives, it’s a pretty intense thriller, and I’m hooked. Last but not least—I’ve been eyeing this dish cleaning bundle with fully compostable brush heads (bye, bye plastic) for some vigorous kitchen cleaning.
Malin+Goetz Dog Shampoo | $28
Still Lives by Maria Hummel | Varies secondhand
As an ambivert, I can embrace staying in, allowing myself to turn inward, and surrounding myself with nourishing comforts. When I’m staying in, I keep myself grounded with good books, yoga/meditation, supplements, and cuddling with my two cats often.
Books are an important tool for me that I use daily to help my mind escape and relax. One of my best friends gifted me this book for my birthday, and I have found it profoundly inspiring. This true story is a fascinating concept that explores different people, time periods, and accounts in history. It’s given me a deeper sense of empathy to humanity at large
Aside from reading, I like to add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil into my humidifier to purify the air and give our home a fresh, spa-like feel. To calm my nervous system, I take these adaptogen-infused CBD drops made from organically grown hemp in Colorado.
For at-home movement, I am in love with Kait Hurley’s online classes that blend yoga and cardio with meditation at the end of every class. While lounging at home, I like to still feel pulled together and these wide-leg ribbed cotton pants are a lovely lounge staple. Socks are such a cozy necessity and this brand has some amazing give-back initiatives as a bonus.
Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She’s a Los Angeles transplant who was born and raised in Indiana, where she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her reading or writing, caring for her rabbits, or practicing at the yoga studio.