If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that this summer has been strange. It seems as though time has been nothing but an illusion since March. (What day is it even?) Don’t worry, though. You’re not alone in your unrest—and your feelings of impending doom are totally valid.
This crazy string of apocalypse-like events has left many of us feeling stressed, making it imperative to find happiness and joy wherever (and whenever) possible. So in an effort to ease that overwhelming sense of dread, here are 23 items that will hopefully—as Marie Kondo so eloquently put it—“spark joy.”
Athleisure and Activewear
We’re not about to push yoga on anyone, but exercise has been proven to boost the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals (AKA endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline). In fact, some studies suggest that even low levels of exercise, like walking around the block or gardening, is an effective way to cope with depression and anxiety.
Books and Journals
Sure, technology is great. Too much tech, however, isn’t. According to the Mayo Clinic, screens have quite an impact on our sleeping habits, vision, and overall happiness. The easy fix? Powering down. If you’re not into reading, consider “writing your way to happiness.” (Not sure where to start? We definitely recommend checking out “The Magical Writing Gilmore” by Lisa Marie Basile.)
Intimate Toys and Personal Lubricant
Believe it or not, loving yourself is a type of self-care. Masturbation provides us with a healthy way to release stress, let go, and enjoy our bodies without feeling guilty or remorseful. What’s more? Orgasms have been proven to relieve pain, improve sleep, and boost the immune system. (We’re already cooped up inside, so why not make the best of it?) Bonus: The O-glow is real.
Candles and Affirmations
Wait, don’t roll your eyes. Affirmations aren’t just positive, fluffy thought clouds. There’s actual science behind the self-affirmation theory. So the next time you’re feeling down, light a candle (candlelight has been proven to reduce stress and increase self-awareness), run a bath, and tell yourself how you really feel (i.e. “I believe in my dreams,” or “I love myself for who I am.”)