What have you bought during the pandemic? A tie-dye sweatsuit? An air fryer? Home gym equipment? A banana slicer? As we’re now in year #2 of the pandemic, it seems like nothing can shake up the monotony of commuting only from bed to the kitchen day after day. This is why we created a list of 10 things that will not only make your home lift a little more delightful, they’re also totally worth the money. Even though none of these items are cheap, we promise that they’ll all make you (finally!) excited to do things at home, and might even keep you sane until we’re all allowed out again.
It might be almost a year since you got your last pedicure. And if my winter toes are anything like yours, we both need this awesome set up. But you’re probably wondering if you should invest in this pedi system when future normalcy is so close, but for the price of 2 in-salon pedicures, you’re set. And I mean set for life. Once the pandemic fades into the background, you’ll still have this awesome set. You’ll love having the spa in the comfort of your own home so much that you’ll never feel the need to venture into a real salon again (except for when you need someone to paint your non-dominant hand. We get it.) Even though the price may seem like a lot for nail polish right now, it’ll cover plenty of future pedis for free, and pay itself over and over again.
Who else has been pumping up the heat way too high every time they turn on the virtual yoga? Because it only takes one Bikram class to realize just how much more we get out of our yoga workouts when our muscles are all warmed up. Enter: This amazing tent. Blow up this baby anywhere and get your sweat on. Is the price tag steep? Yes. Is it totally worth the money? Also yes. With pages and pages of great reviews, the Hot Yoga Dome *might* just replace ever heading into the studio again. Which means you pay once, and then yoga is free. Forever. (Pro tip: This is also a great place to hide from the kids when you just need a moment of solitude.)
Out: Ordering takeout. In: Cheffing it up at home. In 2021, we’re channeling our inner Ina Garten every. Damn. Day. Which means it’s finally time to replace those pots and pans that you’ve been promising yourself to get rid of for, let’s be honest, at least a decade. And because the last year has been pretty much the worst one of all time, we’re giving you full permission to treat yourself to the best cookware on the market. Since you’ll finally want to cook at home with these beautiful (and magical turn-out-perfectly-every-time pots) it won’t take you long before you start saving big money on takeout and food delivery fees. Plus, you’ll knock two things off your 2021 to-do list at once: Cook more AND be healthier. You’re welcome.
When in doubt, sage it out. And by “it” I mean the horrible vibes from 2020 still lurking in the corners of your home. You can get some super-legit sage at places like Shamans Market or Taos Herb (as recommended in this incredibly helpful guide to saging from Vogue). And remember, the sage you have in your cupboard just won’t get rid of the negativity like this stuff will. So, why’s this worth the buy? Because, pandemic or not, 2021 is going to be our year. (Even if it takes until Fourth of July for us to get there in a REAL way). We’re turning over a new leaf — pun intended — and getting back on track.
5. A Travel Rewards Credit Card
Yes, the thought of traveling anywhere but the kitchen right now sounds insane. But, at some point in the (hopefully near) future, we’ll be jet-setting around the world once again, seeing sights and reuniting with friends and family. That’s why it’s worth the money now to open a travel rewards credit card — because swiping on normal purchases, like groceries, can help you rack up miles that you can trade in for a plane ticket sometime soon, explains Benet Wilson, Credit Cards editor at The Points Guy. Wilson offered a few that are currently running unbeatable deals.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve allow you to rack up points and miles on non-travel spending. “You can earn 3 points per dollar spent on the Reserve and 2 points on the Preferred for up to $1,000 in monthly grocery purchases through April 30, 2021. Those points can be transferred to 10 airline and three hotel partners, including Southwest Airlines and Marriott.”
- The American Express Gold Card is offering “4 points per dollar spent on dining worldwide (including take-out and deliveries) and at U.S. supermarkets (U.S. supermarkets capped at $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x).” Once you get the points, you can cash them in for airline tickets or hotel rooms.
- The Capital One Venture card “offers a flat 2 miles per dollar spent no matter what you buy, with no caps.”
Sweaty gyms with heavy breathers are not the ideal COVID-friendly situation, and anyway, who wants to work out with a mask on? That’s why it’s totally worth it to spend some money every month on a real-deal virtual fitness subscription. But, it’s only worth it if you’re actually going to use it, explains Brad Olson, Chief Membership Officer at Peloton. Based on his research, those who subscribe to Peloton’s $12.99 per month membership average 20 workouts per month per household, making that at-home gym setup a worthwhile investment. But if you’re someone who won’t reliably log in, be sure to head to places like YouTube or TikTok. A plethora of fitness influencers are constantly offering their workout magic for free.
In recent weeks, I’ve been struggling with the most giant knot in my back. Yes, it’s from being hunched over my laptop all day, thank you very much. But let me tell you, the $50 laptop stand I got from Amazon resolved the problem faster than any massages and stretches could have. So, a year into the pandemic, if you’ve only done the bare minimum for your home office (like me), take the time and the money to get yourself a situation that works. No, it doesn’t have to be super fancy with 3 monitors and a desk twice your size, but it should be ergonomically checked out and up to the demands of your day job (and by the way, spending a little more on this factor is totally worth the money). “But Rebecca,” you’re saying to your screen right now, “I’ll be back to the office in no time!” And to that let me just ask: “Really?” If you’re not sure, ask your boss. Is this really happening anytime soon? And if it is, do you really want to be there five days a week? The real takeaway here is this: The time to improve your WFH situation is now.
In 2020, we got really good at washing our hands. In 2021, let’s get even better at washing our phones. Just in case there’s another shortage of Clorox Wipes coming in our future, try one of these blue-light phone sanitizers instead. The best part? Your phone will still be disgusting post-pandemic, so it will be worth the buy as you continue to use it.
After spending so much time inside, and with no promising reprieve in the future, the latest in self-care has us longing for a humidifier in these cold temperatures. Cracked skin is not in, and one of these little guys can remedy that without you going through a tube of hand lotion a day. Plus, if you get a dehumidifier combo, your summertime frizzy hair will thank you.
10. Things to Keep You Optimistic About The Future
It’s hard to imagine a world without masks and shelter in place orders. To keep the light at the end of the tunnel super bright, Therapist Dr. Barbara Greenberg recommends a few practices. For one, if you’re longing for a home renovation, treat yourself to home design magazines and bookmark pages that really excite you. If you’re feeling especially bored, sign up for an online class to learn a new skill and keep you (and your mind) busy. Finally, invest in spending safe times with friends and family. If that means buying a Zoom membership so you don’t get kicked off after 40 minutes, or biting the bullet on that heating lamp to see people outdoors, then do it. We’re totally in support of whatever it takes to keep you happy and healthy.
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