Self-Care Items That Brought Us Joy And Got Us Through This Week

HuffPost Canada editors share the things that brought them joy during this quarantine.
You might think a worm on a string, a mime, and a scented candle have nothing at all in common. But reader: they do!
You might think a worm on a string, a mime, and a scented candle have nothing at all in common. But reader: they do!

In the however many months since the start of our stay-home orders (reader: it’s been five, in case you’ve lost track), we’ve all been scrambling to find ways to keep our moods intact.

The fact alone of a global pandemic is enough to make any grown person cry, and so it’s as important now as it always is to take care of ourselves, and to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us.

Here at HuffPost Canada, our team of editors have been sharing some of the things we’ve been doing to bring a little joy to our lives. It’s much easier now to take a moment to look at the arrangements of our lives and notice all those little things we often take for granted. The dog walks in the sun. The great television show we can’t stop thinking about. The favourite meals, cooked for comfort. The finer things, which don’t always have to be fancy to make us happy.

Now is the perfect time to celebrate the small, private joys we love to indulge in — and it’s an even better time to share those things with you!

All product choices are made independently by our editors. HuffPost Canada may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

Le Creuset tableware in sage
For most of my adult life, I've added to my tableware piecemeal, mostly from estate sales, thrift stores, boxes on the sidewalk, and friends' cast offs. I decided, during the pandemic, that my stay-home treat would be to have good dishes that actually matched. I waited until Le Creuset Canada did a sweet two-for-one deal on tableware, and then opted for sage plates and bowls from the classic collection. I also bought a French oven on sale, in flame, because I've wanted one for two decades. And then mugs. And then a balti pot. After that my kid wrote a mock e-mail to Le Creuset saying, "If my mom orders anything else, just ignore her... this obsession has to stop." So now I have to check their Specials page at night when everyone else is in bed. Here's the link, so you can too.
— Valerie Howes, Parents editor
Scandal eau de parfum, Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier
I got a free sample of this from the Shopper's Drug Mart, one of my few regular outings during the early part of the pandemic, which were so welcome but always tinged with low-level anxiety. I miss stress-free shopping, y'all. But, I spritzed this on my wrists and it made me feel like I was in a big, shiny department store, maybe Nordstrom's, or, if you want to really escape, the Rinascente near the Duomo in Milan. I imagine myself browsing in the cosmetics section when a well-dressed woman in neutral tones whisks by me to the exit. I catch a waft of her fragrance as the warm air rushes into the air-conditioned store, and it's Scandal. And for a second, I don't worry about whether she's two-metres away.
— Lisa Yeung, managing editor, LIFE.
Lighting candles in the morning and at night
Brooklyn Candle Studio Instagram
For my 23rd birthday, which just recently passed, a friend from New York sent a box of scented candles from Brooklyn Candle Studio. There are four of them: jasmin, “Italia,” palo santo, and one called “Woman No. 3,” which smells like sage, pine, spruce, and heaven, and which made me wonder what happened to the other two women. I’m not a terribly scent-sensitive person, but lighting candles in the mornings — while reading old Fran Lebowitz columns and drinking a cup of coffee — or just when I’m unwinding and preparing to go to bed — and watching, say, Sex and the City — has been a perfect way to relax: it’s like romance, but for one.
— Connor Garel, associate editor, LIFE.
Watching random episodes of "Sex and the City"
HBO
Lately, I find I can’t focus. Blame the pandemic. My attention span is flying dangerously close to ground zero, and there's little to be done about it. What I’ve found comfort in — what I turn to when I can’t seem to concentrate on anything — is watching random episodes of Sex and the City, on Crave.

It doesn’t matter which episode. Any will do. There’s something soothing about revisiting familiar things. Like old sweaters, or childhood blankets. Nostalgia, or whatever. Watching Sex and the City works because I have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of it, and because I can still get lost in the busyness of the characters’ exciting lives in New York as my own stands still in the suburbs. It's entertaining even when it's playing in the background. Low commitment, high reward. Plus, it’s easy to get swept up in the zest of the romantic entanglements, the inevitable bad decisions, the constant hysteria, and the loving candour between friends that makes it all OK in the end. In short: it makes me miss life!
— Connor Garel, associate editor, LIFE
Worm on a string
Amazon
Meme mutation is one of my favourite internet niche topics, especially brain-related catchphrases right now. With pandemic mental fog rolling in thick sometimes, I relate to owning “one brain cell,” “no thoughts head empty,” or having “worms for brains.” During one of these foggy weeks, a wonderful friend pulled out all the stops to make a pandemic care package as stupidly lovable as possible. Among the stickers and candy was an infamous worm on a string.

I had worms for brains. It was a worm with no brain. One look in its googly eyes was all it took. This blue pipe cleaner pet now has a forever home on my desk (when my roommate’s cat isn’t toying with it) and is a reminder that good friends (and silly gifts) can make even the foggiest times a little better. — Al Donato, associate editor, LIFE.
All of "I May Destroy You"
HBO, via Bell Media
Joining the chorus of people who recommend “I May Destroy You” — which is good company BTW, considering Maija's excellent piece on why everyone is obsessed with Michaela Coel's HBO show and early endorsements by Maija and LIFE's resident taste-maker, Connor. I love being emotionally destroyed every episode and you will too. Major content warnings for survivors. — Al Donato, associate editor, LIFE.
The mime scene from "The Real Housewives of Potomac"
Bravo TV
Yes, a lot of people are going to see a "Real Housewives" title and dismiss it as trash. That's their loss, because the housewives boast some of the most truthful, funniest, and delightfully over-the-top women on television. Potomac (an affluent Maryland area near D.C., if you were wondering) is a criminally underrated franchise, and I'm genuinely baffled more people don't watch it.

Just peep the scene (and then its followup) where one of the women sends a mime to invite her friends and frenemies alike on a trip to France, and he creeps in on a tense conversation between two strong-willed matriarchs, who assume (fairly!) that he's just a random weirdo. I guarantee it's one of stupidest and most joyful things you'll see this week.
— Maija Kappler, associate Life editor