There’s no “right” way to navigate this coronavirus pandemic — everyone lives and copes differently. That being said, fostering a sense of community may make getting through this time a little bit easier.
Enter this weekly guide. Every Sunday, we’ll bring you a short list of products, routines, workouts, recipes, apps and other things we tried the previous week that are making life easier during this universally stressful time. Take a look at this week’s suggestions below:
Making crafts for other people
I’m a maker and I stay the sanest when I can keep my hands busy (less time to stew in my dark thoughts!), so I’ve used self-isolation to churn out sweater after sweater after sweater. I have even made an entire quilt out of my dad’s old shirts since lockdown began. But those projects felt a little meaningless because they weren’t helping the greater good.
So this past week, when it became clear that we all should wear masks when we need to leave the house, HuffPost published a tutorial on how to sew your own mask, and another on how to make your own no-sew masks. Since then, I’ve sewn several masks for myself, friends, family and even some new nurse friends that I met through Instagram. This is a new kind of productivity that’s helping me feel like I’m finally able to contribute something helpful, which is great for my emotional well-being. ― Kristen Aiken, Senior Editor, Food & Style
Taking a virtual class or lesson
I’m taking virtual guitar lessons and I’ve found that focusing my energy on trying to get better at something is really helping my anxiety this week. This is not to say we all need to be spending this time bettering ourselves ― I so do not subscribe to that notion ― but for me, it’s been more about focusing on something I’m not necessarily getting right and throwing my energy into getting better. It’s frustrating at times, but it feels kind of nice to be pissed off about something other than the state of the world for a few minutes. ― Jamie Feldman, lifestyle and personal reporter
A web browser extension that helps you travel the globe
I added Google’s Earth View Chrome extension, and it adds a dreamy image from Google Earth every time you open a new browser tab. It might not take the place of planning a summer vacation, but it will satisfy my wanderlust for now. ― Kate Palmer, head of HuffPost Life
A camera feature that helps you find all the funny filters
Snap Camera has completely changed the game for my video calls. The downloadable tool from Snapchat has a built-in camera with countless filters that are everything from useful to downright silly. In an instant, I appeared to be wearing full makeup, and seconds later I could switch my look to a rainbow unicorn. Once installed, it’s super easy to switch the filters in and out. It certainly provided some much-needed laughs this week. ― Lauren Moraski, senior editor of strategic projects
Fiery lettuce wraps with flexible ingredients
I’ve been making this recipe for spicy chicken lettuce wraps on repeat. It calls for a few pantry-staple sauces, and the only fresh vegetable needed is lettuce — and if you don’t have that, it can be served over rice. And I’ve done some swaps that work too: ground turkey for the chicken, coconut aminos for the soy sauce, regular onion for the scallions, omitting fish sauce and just adding a little more salt or soy ... whatever works! Plus, it takes all of 10 minutes to whip up. Win! ― Ashley Rockman, senior relationships editor
A simple roast chicken that tastes like a luxury
I have made Athena Calderone’s sumac-loaded twist on roast chicken twice during the lockdown, and each time it blew me away. It calls for a few things that might be hard to find at the moment, but I think you can make a few substitutions and still make it work. (Sour cream or Greek yogurt for labneh, whatever potatoes you have, etc.) I’ve found it’s a great way to use up some of the carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes you might have lying around. And there’s something about this particular recipe that’s just so good and easy. Here’s a video tutorial on Instagram that inspired me to make it! ― Kate Palmer
A “Real Housewives”-approved daily class on Instagram
Ho. Ly. Burn. Isaac Boots is a celebrity trainer who will kick your entire ass into shape with his daily 11 a.m. workouts. It’s all teeny tiny movements that you repeat for what feels like FOREVER ― with amazing music and his awesome energy. I came for the workouts and stay for Lisa Rinna’s commentary. ― Jamie Feldman
A sweat session that brings back childhood
My fiancé and I went out with a basketball in the backyard the other day, and I got a good sweat just playing around. I didn’t approach the activity as a workout at first. I am not talented by any means ― I played the vital position of benchwarmer when I was younger ― but it took my mind off everything for a little while and got my heart rate up. Highly recommend turning your next outdoor (socially distant) venture into something that reminds you of what it feels like to be a kid again. ― Lindsay Holmes, senior wellness editor
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