Ways to Stay Calm During Quarantine: Candles, Plants, and Other Tips

Diffusers are generally simple to operate. Pour water in the main chamber, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, then choose the desired run time. MUJI’s can run up to three hours, and its whirs aren’t very audible. It’s recommended for spaces around 100 to 133 square feet, but the Japanese brand has a larger version for bigger rooms.

Let Greenery Grow

Plants can transform any living space, making it feel like your own oasis. I tend to lean toward the artificial kind, eliminating my unwavering ability to kill plants with even the lowest amount of maintenance. Target and West Elm have a lot of great faux options.

If you want the real deal, Lula’s Garden has excellent succulents that are easy to take care of, including this Glow Garden that I am currently attempting to keep alive. Everything comes in a pretty gift box that doubles as a planter, so you don’t have to repot them until they grow out of it; they also come with plastic droppers for easy watering.

The Sill also has a beautiful selection, including this snake plant that is easy for beginner plant parents. If you have pets and aren’t sure what plants you can have around them, the company has a pet-friendly subscription box, too.

Learn to Knit

Photograph: Shit That I Knit

Now is a good time to pick up a hobby. That doesn’t mean you need to be an expert overnight. Take it slow. Hobbies should be fun, not stressful. I’ve found knitting to be relaxing (and it takes up a lot of time), perfect for the present moment. I’m not sure if the rectangle I’m knitting will turn into anything wearable, but the repetitive motions have kept my mind occupied and my hands off my phone.

It’s easier to learn than it might seem. All you need to get started is yarn, knitting needles, and a darning needle to sew completed projects together. Plus your phone or TV to watch how-to videos on YouTube. There’s are a ton of good tutorials on the web. I’ve found Kristen Mangus of GoodKnit Kisses to be an exceptional guide.

The company Shit That I Knit also has Quarantine Knitting Kits that make jumping in really simple when you don’t know where to begin. Each kit includes 100 percent merino wool yarn in beautiful colors and all the tools you need, plus access to a private Facebook group and weekly Zoom classes. It’s pricey, but given that it’s a small business with every member of the team acting as a fulfillment center (they’re putting together kits and shipping within two days), it might be justified if you can afford it.

Color Outside the Lines

Creating art is soothing and rewarding, but it can be daunting when you don’t feel like an artist, and expensive if you need supplies. No one expects you to emerge from quarantine as the next Jean-Michel Basquiat, but if you want to get out some creative energy, consider coloring to reduce stress.

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