words by Maggie Buchmann
illustrations by Kitsch Harris
As we navigate a global health crisis together, unease permeates our collective consciousness and disrupts our communities. We’re experiencing this together, yet everyone’s experience is different. The most important thing you can do is take care of you. (Yes, this means staying at home if you have that privilege and social distancing.)
But caring for your physical and emotional wellbeing goes beyond vigorously washing your hands, stocking up on toilet paper, and avoiding public places and travel. Maintaining your self-care routine as best you can and giving your body what it needs—from nutrition to protection to satisfaction—should be top priority when stress and anxiety are running rampant.
We’ve rounded up a list of non-essential essentials that can help ensure that even if you can’t show up to work (or school, or volunteering, or that concert you’ve been waiting to attend for months) IRL, you’re showing up for yourself.
In return for losing an hour of sleep, we gain longer days and warmer weather. The sun is shining and we’re getting more Vitamin D—an essential nutrient for cardiovascular health, a strong immune system, and healthy teeth and bones. But with that extra hour of sunlight, we risk overexposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays that can cause premature signs of aging (like dark spots and fine lines) and skin cancer.
Regardless of the season, you should be using some sort of sun protection. Every. Single. Day. Many people don’t. If you fall into the “no SPF” category, you might be thinking that you don’t need skin protection because you “never burn,” or you’re simply averse to the greasy, smelly sunscreens you associate with chlorine and coconuts.
Enter Supergoop. The cruelty-free clean-ingredient company is disrupting the sunscreen industry with its weightless, scentless, and invisible SPF packed with antioxidants that not only provide protection against skin damaging UVA and UVB light, but also the harmful blue light emitted from our multiple electronic devices—which you may be using more of while staying in. Supergoop’s ingredient-conscious vegan formula provides all day hydration without the oiliness of most sunscreens. This new reef safe formula is octinoxate-free, meaning it won’t contribute to environmental stress like reef bleaching, or personal stress like, well, skin cancer.
Kegg’s dual-use device helps strengthen your pelvic floor while tracking your fertility by assessing your cervical fluid to help predict a more accurate fertile window. Shaped like a kegel ball and smaller than an egg, this 100% body-safe, medical device can detect your fertile window up to 7 days in advance. With each use, kegg can help pinpoint your daily cyclical fertility and can better predict irregular cycles. Whether you’re trying to conceive, or strongly averse to becoming pregnant, kegg is the consummate tech tool of consummation.
The last thing you want to worry about is period cramps and hormonal acne. Food Period has taken the guesswork out of safe snacking to help regulate your cycle and reduce period related symptoms. By simplifying this functional nutrition practice called “seed syncing,” Food Period’s Moon Bites “support your body's natural ability to modulate sex hormone production and elimination,” which can be thrown off due to a number of reasons—namely prolonged use of hormonal birth control, overexposure to environmental toxins, and failing to fuel your body healthy, whole foods. Their monthly subscription system ensures that you’ll always have a pack or two of these portable energy bites on hand to help curb your appetite and your cramps when you just can’t make the effort in the kitchen.
Stay hydrated! Water is a helluva drug, so drink up, then spray this cooling water-based botanical toner from head to toe—after sex, exercise, or just when you’re over it and need a refreshing pick-me-up. The soothing blend of essential oils like rose petal, orange blossom, and lavender gives this hydrosol antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
You’ll want to spray it everywhere, from your underwear to your yoga mat—and we totally encourage it. But we highly recommend spraying a few pumps on your pillow at bedtime to help promote a good night’s rest. Research suggests that lavender may be useful in treating insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety while orange blossom’s citrus notes show signs of helping reduce stress by decreasing cortisol levels and lowering blood pressure.
Think of Quim’s Happy Clam Everyday Oil as an “eye cream for your vagina™.” It serves as a proactive vaginal health supplement, using ingredients like tea tree oil to keep UTIs and yeast infections at bay while it’s full-spectrum hemp-CBD has been shown to help moisturize delicate skin and alleviate inflammation and pain. Put it on before bed, just like you would your eye cream—Damiana, an ancient Mayan aphrodisiac, can help you and your partner(s) r̶e̶s̶t̶ ̶e̶a̶s̶y̶ get happy.
We’ve gone into detail about the different ways to use our Tonic oil, but in times of high-anxiety, perhaps a safe-for-your-skin soak is the solution. With antifungal and antibacterial properties courtesy of Tea Tree, Oregon Grape, and Goldenseal, a bath soak infused with several dropperfuls of Tonic may help clear up common skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, or dermatitis.
Not only does the ritual of drawing a bath help you focus on your mental and bodily well-being, the Cedarwood Virginia and Sweet Orange essential oils help stimulate blood flow, relieve tension, and act as an anti-inflammatory. It doesn't hurt that a hint of citrus elevates your mood!
Afterwards, give yourself or your partner a mini body massage—Sweet Orange and Cedar Wood Virginia are also known aphrodisiacs, making the tonic a natural alternative to sensual massage oils.
The world may be falling apart, but we gotta try to break the cycle in any way we can. Start small by investing in environmentally conscious companies. We Are HAH creates ethically made, eco-conscious swimsuits and underwear made from sustainably produced fabric that even protects your skin from harmful UV rays. We Are HAH is changing the undie game, proving that sustainability is smart and sexy.
We can agree that we’re all a̶ ̶l̶i̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ concerned about the coronavirus affecting our sex lives. But self-quarantine doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to self-pleasure. Made with body-safe silicone, the Lewand Deaux is the perfect accessory to keep on hand when you need an extra...hand. It comes complete with a travel lock, LED charger, and a micro-suede pouch for discreet and sanitary storage and you get 15 (yes, fifteen!) vibration modes and 6 speeds to stimulate your clitoris—or someone else's. It’s also waterproof, so you can take it with you in the shower (but shouldn’t be submerged in water deeper than 1.6 ft / 48 cm). Not to be trite, but this tiny double-pronged clitoral toy proves that size really doesn't matter. But your sexual satisfaction in times of stress does.
It’s important to point out that the virus cannot be transmitted through semen or vaginal fluid. Rather, it is spread through respiratory droplets that contain the virus, so it can be spread through kissing or touching something or someone that has the virus on it. Wash your hands before any touching, and, as always, clean your toys thoroughly before and after use.