When times are especially tough it's smart to identify the things that reliably soothe your nerves. A good book, beloved recipe, or perhaps taking care of a new house plant — anything is fair game when it comes to calming down your quarantine anxieties. There are some universal relaxation methods that have entered the zeitgeist (ahem, baking bread), but if you haven't nailed down the rituals that work best for you just yet, examining the self-care shopping lists of your creative peers and role models should spark an idea or two.
As an initial exercise, consider writing down things beyond traditional self-care practices that bring you personal joy. From there, explore how women across an array of disciplines, including CBD entrepreneurs, dancers, photographers, medicine readers, and sommeliers are finding solace and calm. While no one's experience during this time is alike, embracing new hobbies, authors, and exercises can help ease the stress of social distancing.
Continue ahead to hear firsthand some unique ideas for pivoting your mood on days when staying indoors feels especially lonely or difficult. Thankfully, their choices prove that getting through this experience creatively and mindfully is accessible to anyone and everyone, no matter where you're hunkering down.
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Self Care Shopping List: Kailey Kramer, Women's Creative Director At Jack Erwin
Jack Erwin footwear designer Kailey Kramer has been living out of a carry-on at her parent’s home for the past few weeks. As such, a uniform of sorts has become a necessity. "My Khaite ‘Kyle’ boyfriend jeans have become my daily work-from-home uniform," she shares. "Getting dressed every morning is a small but meaningful thing that helps me stay productive and maintain a bit of normalcy; throwing on my favorite jeans really shifts my mood and focus for the day."
Self Care Shopping List: Verena Von Pfetten, Gossamer Co-Founder
"If there's one thing we could all probably use more of right now ... and always ... it's sleep," Gossamer Co-founder Verena von Pfetten tells TZR. Her company formulated a tincture that offers "elevated amounts of CBN, a sedative cannabinoid, and hand-picked terpenes engineered to help you rest." As a self-proclaimed troubled sleeper, it's something she swears by. "A bottle of Dusk on my nightstand is non-negotiable."
"I wish I could say that I've taken up knitting or some other more soothing, if sedentary, hobby. But mostly I'm just drinking more," von Pfetten quips. "I love both of these bottles because they're delicious and made by good people running small businesses who could use all the support we can give them."
Self Care Shopping List: Susan Alexandra, Designer
Like most, social distanced walks is proving to be a lifersaver during isolated times. "One of the nicest aspects of my quarantine lifestyle is taking long, decadent walks with my dog Pigeon," Jewelry Designer Susan Alexandra shares with TZR. "Sans makeup, jewelry, cute dresses or anything dazzling at all, I feel naked. That's where my Merry Crossbody bag comes into play. Totally hands free and easy, I wear it every time I leave the house. It's so light I barely feel it and it holds all my necessities and perks up my shlubby loungewear."
Self Care Shopping List: Sandra Semburg, Photographer
Photographer Sandra Semburg is well-known for her impressive street style and fashion editorial images that have been commissioned by the likes of French Vogue, Glamour, and Elle UK. "I've been quite lucky (for now) because I was able to work the full fashion week season and it's quite normal for me to be working from home on my archives after that," she explains to TZR. "Now that most of my photography work is on hold, I would say one thing that keeps me excited is painting, which I have picked up on the side. For one, it keeps me both focused and relaxed, the second, it adds cheerful colors to my home."
Self Care Shopping List: Nicola Collie, Dance Artist, And Choreographer
"Putting pen to paper is cathartic," Brooklyn-based dance artist and choreographer Nicola Collie shares with TZR. "In a world that's so often digitized, the charm of handwriting has become all the sweeter, just like perfectly fluffy buttermilk pancakes drenched in berry compote and maple syrup for breakfast." Collie recommends a Moleskin notebook for jotting down recipes. "When quarantine hit, I decided it was time to write out all my favorite recipes by hand. I much prefer seeing them on a page than having to refer to my phone or laptop. I also dreamily imagined perhaps it would one day become somewhat of an heirloom to pass down. My grandma had one and I adore it."
Collie also suggests The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. "I'm particularly fond of books that depict India [in large part due to the fact that] I spent two months working there for an NGO a decade ago," she shares. "Lahiri is a brilliant writer. She doesn't rely on being verbose or long-winded. Instead, she leads you into the minds of three central characters and into their worlds" If you're searching for a new book to read during quarantine, Collie thinks you should make it this one. "There's nothing quite like it to get you out of your own head and into someone else's point of view. Something I've always found to be very important."
Self Care Shopping List: Trinity Shi, Founder Of Cube House Jungle
"I've been focusing on giving my house plants extra care and maintenance," CubeHouse Jungle Founder Trinity Shi tells TZR. Her website and Instagram are devoted to plant tips, care, and design inspiration. "I love using my Haws indoor can for my watering routine. Routines are so important right now to keep a sense of normalcy. The watering cans come in several fun colors and it just brightens my day when I use it."
Self Care Shopping List: Monica Mendal, Freelance Writer And Creative Consultant
"My skin is so dry from so much time spent in my apartment that my Soft mask is a must," New York-based Freelance Writer and Creative Consultant Monica Mendal tells TZR. "The brand is also donating 100 percent of profits to get medical masks to doctors and nurses in New York."
"Also, I love drinking Hilma's all-natural immune support packets in hot water," Mendal adds. "Lord knows we need an immunity boost right now!"
Self Care Shopping List: Mimi Plange, Fashion Designer
"One item that is helping me through this quarantine is a book by Credo Mutwa, a South African Sangomaor Spiritual Healer, who recently passed away," fashion designer Mimi Plange shares with TZR. Plange's designs have been worn by the likes of Rihanna, Michelle Obama, and Serena Williams and her work is celebrated for its artistic representation of African heritage. "I found that Mutwa's stories were magical and inspiring ... He offered a fresh perspective [that] I hadn't come across in a long while and he brought me back to thinking about spirituality and how our energy plays a role in the world in which we live. The stories are about how we are all connected and how things came to be. I've had the chance to get lost and inspired in the stories, and it's a welcome distraction."
Self Care Shopping List: Victoria James, Sommelier And Author
Victoria James is the youngest Michelin sommelier and recently penned a book — Wine Girl. She's also the beverage director and a partner at New York's Cote. "Luckily we can deliver wine though our restaurant and there are so many goodies for people to choose from ... myself included," she tells TZR. "One wine I am loving right now is a clean, savory white that my husband makes in California with his brother, a Vermentino that goes well with everything in our cupboard," James shares. "The wine is a dream with seafood, canned anchovies, and all greens and veggies. We also had it the other night with steak ... seriously, incredibly versatile!'
Self Care Shopping List: Chloe Kernaghan, Sky Ting Co-Founder
Sky Ting yoga Co-founder Chloe Kernaghan is tapping into her inner Julia Child during quarantine with Alison Roman's cookbooks. "Alison is a dear friend and her direct, simple, no nonsense way of creating beautiful, delicious food has got me living in a wonderland where I may one day be Julia Child," Kernaghan tells TZR. "But seriously, like most of America (and many across the world) know, Alison's food is tasty and accessible. And, as her friend, it makes me feel close to her and our other friends when I whip something up successfully."
Kernaghan is also relying on her iPhone tripod for the extra time spent at home. "Whether it's for filming yoga classes or family Facetimes, not having to figure out the phone prop-up situation has made my life so much easier for both my new self-produced Sky Ting video work as well as my social life," she shares. "I bought it last year to help when I wanted to film choreography, but it's become a lifesaver during this time."
Self Care Shopping List: Ashley Sophia Clark, Photographer
"I have been in an absorbed-meets-distracted state over making custom office supplies," Photographer Ashley Sophia Clark shares with TZR. "Postcards, magnets, stickers and such from images I've created. It's fun to send some cheer and joy out into the world and to utilize the postal system which I have always had a deep affinity towards."
Self Care Shopping List: Jasmine L. Pierce, Food Publicist, Podcast Host, And Writer
Understandably, food publicist Jasmine L. Pierce has been spending her quarantine time cooking more than usual. "My cast iron has been with me for many years but it's really put in work during this quarantine and I'm so thankful for its durability and versatility," she tells TZR. "I cook almost everything in it from bacon to brownies, fried zucchini, roasted potatoes, you name it. It's truly kept me sane."
Self Care Shopping List: Nomasei Co-Founders, Paule Tenaillon And Marine Braquet
Newly-launched footwear label Nomasei is designed in Paris and crafted in Italy. Co-founders Paule Tenaillon and Marine Braquet are both using their time in quarantine to rewatch old movies. "Any film where photography is beautiful makes us feel good," they share with TZR. "On our Instagram account, we have created the highlight 'Happiness' where we are sharing a movie scene each day. This weekend, we will be sending out a newsletter with all of the movie references, as we have received a lot of requests from our followers for our full list."
Tenaillon is also turning to summer photography to help her get through quarantine. "Based on my passion for summer life and all that it represents — horizon, travel, happiness, freedom, friends, family, nature, sea, beauty and life — summer photography makes me feel good and close to my beloved South of France and Italy."
Braquet also nods to cooking as a way to relax during uncertain times. " @thesocialfood is an Instagram account that shares food recipes presented in a way that it is easy to make and follow," she explains. "My boyfriend and I are really into great food, so we are taking this time to develop our cooking skills together."
Self Care Shopping List: Deborah Hanekamp, Author And Healer
"Ritual Baths are helping me so much during this time," Author and Healer Deborah Hanekamp shares with TZR. "They help me feel connected to nature even though I'm stuck inside in the city." Her website Mama Medicine offers insights into healing modalities like medicine readings and ritual baths that are especially relevant during social distancing.
Self Care Shopping List: Loisse Herger, Hotelier
Puerto Rico native and hotelier Loisse Herger (and her husband) are behind the island's stylish Olive Boutique Hotel and newly-opened O:LV Fifty Five. Her quarantine activity of choice? Language. "Being constantly inspired by travel, I've been taking this time to learn Italian on Rosetta Stone to utilize in trips ahead," she shares with TZR.
Self Care Shopping List: Samantha Eason, Founder Of Mother Of Chunk
Lifestyle influencer Samantha Eason is a go-to for all things photography, motherhood, food, and clean living. During quarantine, an easy daily uniform is a must for Eason. "I sleep in and wear my 03 set in white from Deiji Studios," she tells TZR. "It's light and cozy at night plus makes me feel instantly put together when I roll out of bed in the morning. Bra or not (I suggest the latter), I live in my top paired with jeans, leggings, or biker shorts. Style and sustainability are always a good pairing."
Self Care Shopping List: Gabriela Comela, Founder Of Gabriel For Sach
"Quarantine is giving me some free time to write," Gabriel for Sach Founder Gabriela Comela tells TZR. "These days are allowing me to finish my book of poems and I'm hoping to launch it next year."
Self Care Shopping List: Jules Miller, Founder Of The Nue Co.
The Nue Co. Founder Jules Miller, like so many of us, is missing frequenting her favorite coffee shops. In the meantime, she's reworking her at-home caffeine strategy. "I have a Lavazza A Modo Mio MilkEasy Milk Frother that makes for a more enjoyable morning during lockdown and limits my coffee cup usage, too." She notes that you can use it for an oat milk cappuccino ("my interpretation of golden milk"), which she creates by mixing coconut milk with The Nue Co.'s Debloat + Prebiotic supplement (ingredients include turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger).
Self Care Shopping List: Natalie Ebel, Co-founder Of Backdrop
"My husband and I are co-founders and trying to work from home while taking shifts with our toddler, Colette," Backdrop Co-founder Natalie Ebel tells TZR. Their direct-to-consumer paint business is a must-try if you're considering revamping your home during quarantine (or anytime, really). "On the rare occasion we can have a drink together, we try to make it count. We use this jug for cocktails and lemon water, and it just makes simple moments feel a little more special."
Self Care Shopping List: Eva Zuckerman, Creative Director And Co-Founder Of Eva Fehren
“My drawing supplies are getting me through social distancing," Eva Zuckerman of Eva Fehren tells TZR. The jewelry brand's creative director and co-founder notes that "at the end of the day, all I really need is my imagination and my sketchbook to get my work done and stay sane. My favorite pens, pencils, and sketchbooks — nothing fancy.”
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.