Four weeks into our work-from-home (WFH) mandate, the ELLE team is starting to adjust to our new normal. But for us, like many of you, it’s been a challenge. Figuring out how to work – often in cramped spaces – alongside partners, roommates and/or kids while managing the feeling that we need to be operating at 100 percent like we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic is…stressful, to say the least. Here, we’ve rounded up a list things that are bringing us joy beyond sending one another TikTok videos on Slack.
Vanessa Craft, Editor-in-Chief
Dance. I can’t get to my beloved regular classes due to social distancing, but I keep active by taking online tutorials or live classes from incredible dancers based around the world, like the prolific Parris Goebel and legend Debbie Allen. I also support my fave local teachers who are doing classes or Instagram live, like Brandon “Bizzy” Owusu for soca and dancehall, Oleg Kasynets’ #TwerkFromHome, Jac V for hip hop and Nicholas Rose from the National Ballet for barre that isn’t boring.
Music. Watching all the songwriter and producer battles, DJ sets or John Legend and Chrissy Tiegen serenading us on Instagram Live has brought me so much happiness and reconnected me with my love of music.
My Apple AirPods Pro. Wow, noise cancellation in a house with kids and a husband working from home is the self-care I didn’t know I needed.
My “comedy only” rule for television or movie streaming right now.
Perfume. Wearing a different spritz of perfume from my (admittedly overcrowded but so necessary) collection. Depending on what scent I choose, it grounds, uplifts, calms or energizes me to the start to my day.
Victoria DiPlacido, Digital Director
Euphoria. Yeah, yeah. I know I’m a year late to this, but I’m finally watching it and it’s just as good as every single person in the world told me it was. If you can’t go out and party (responsibly, obviously), live vicariously through teens on a scripted TV series – that’s my motto.
Art. I ordered this print from tattoo artist Tammy Kim and now am scouring the internet for a frame so I can hang it in front of my “desk” (Ikea dresser) in my “home office” (bedroom) and stare at it all day long.
Jumpsuits. Pre-quarantine, I bought this extremely coveted leopard print boiler suit from Red Sky. It was delivered to my house during quarantine and despite it being two sizes too big (I’ll have it tailored when I’m allowed to be within 6 feet of other humans again), I haven’t taken it off since.
A techy lamp. The Dyson Lightcycle Morph is very, very fancy and on its way to my house as we speak. I already know it will bring me joy for many reasons, least of which is because it’s a delivery and receiving packages counts as a greatly exciting activity these days. I’m particularly stoked about the fact that the lamp tracks daylight and automatically adjusts its colour temperature, reducing exposure to blue light. (If you’re curious about blue-light-blocking glasses, get info here.)
Storage. Show me one renter in Toronto who has enough storage space. No? You cannot? That’s because they don’t exist, folks. I bought two of these under-the-bed shoe-storage containers from Bed, Bath & Beyond and reduced my likelihood of tripping over the pile of shoes by my front door and falling down the stairs to my death by at least 75 percent.
Cheap weights. I bought these three-pound weights from Sport Chek because I was tired of using cans of food to do Toronto-based SoulCycle instructor Liv Mcilkenny‘s daily 10-minute arm class on Instagram Live. (FYI, the weights shipped super quickly, this feels pertinent to note.) I’ve also been using this Nike band for glute workouts I shamelessly copy from Instagram fitness influencers.
Jed Tallo, Art Director
Crash Landing on You on Netflix. The overall premise of this K-drama is rather farfetched but the chemistry between the leads is REAL and I’m here for it! The hour-long episodes are a great – nay, much needed – escape.
Typography experiments. I’ve started a daily typography project at the beginning of this month using Merriam-Webster’s word-of-the-day and a photo taken during my late afternoon walks (always practicing physical distancing). It’s been a really rewarding mental, physical and creative exercise.
Ready-to-bake croissants. I’m no pastry chef so thankfully these pre-made pastries from Good Food exist. The smell of a freshly baked pastry is just pure bliss!
Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist and Hermes Eau de Citron. I’ve recently added these two beauty products into my morning routine. The combo feels refreshing and invigorating and signals the start of my WFH day.
Local Natives Café Amarillo. I put this music on when I’m in a bit of a rut and it’s an instant mood-booster!
Melissa Perdigao, Beauty Editorial Assistant
Skincare. I’ve taken it upon myself to get through as many of my half-used skincare products as I can while self-isolating. There’s something so satisfying about finishing off a product (is anyone else addicted to Caroline Hirons’ “empties” videos?) and once I actually put a dent in my current lineup I won’t feel so bad cracking open some of my “nicer” products – you know the ones that are “too pretty to use” that you’re stashing away some sort of occasion? Well, this is the occasion!
Cooking. I’ve made it my goal to cook all of my meals while in self-isolation. As someone who adores cooking but is usually too busy to properly grocery shop and plan out healthy meals, this is a big one for me. I really miss the atmosphere of dining out, but through cooking, I’ve been able to connect with a part of myself that’s been neglected for a long time.
RuPaul. I watch hours and hours of RuPaul’s Drag Race on my days off and it brings me great happiness. Something about the formulaic nature of the show soothes me deeply.
Christina Tourloukis, Editorial Assistant
Skincare. Something that has brought me joy lately is trying out new skincare products. Although I’ve always loved doing this, I find myself taking it to new a level during self-isolation. No one’s going to see me? What better time to start using retinol or deep condition my hair for three days. And since (legend) Lesa Hannah dropped her full routine, I have an easy place to find must-try products.
Reading. I’m also finding joy in reading some of the books I have collected over the years and haven’t had time to get through. Some of my favourites so far include All About Love by bell hooks, Tonight I’m Someone Else by Chelsea Hodson and The White Album by Joan Didion.
Patricia Karounos, Associate Editor
Florence Pugh’s Cooking Videos. I already went in deep on the soothing charm of the Brit’s IG story cooking sessions here.
Schitt’s Creek. Long before we were living through a global pandemic, the Canadian sitcom was my go-to happy place. Its relentless positivity — not to mention the delight of hearing Catherine O’Hara pronounce common words in completely new ways — can make me forget everything else over the course of an episode. To say I’m not coping well with the fact that the series is wrapping its run this month is…not at all an understatement.
Erica Ngao, Fashion Editorial Assistant
Peach Pit’s new album “You and Your Friends.” The new release from this Vancouver-based indie pop quartet is full of beachy riffs and stories of love and loss – the perfect antidote to live music being put on pause.
Trying different face masks. With isolation comes ample time to luxuriate in various lotions and potions. I’m currently into Glow Recipe’s Watermelon + AHA Sleeping Mask and The Body Shop’s Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask for a combo that keeps my skin smooth and clear.
Watching documentaries. In an effort to stay connected with the outside world, I’m catching up on all the documentaries on my list, including the second season of Netflix’s investigative docuseries Dirty Money, which premiered last month.
Phelisha Cassup, Intern
Hosting online quizzes with my friends who live abroad. It’s very rare my whole group of friends can get on a call together since we’re all in different time zones – work and school always get in the way. But since we are all home now, we can finally have big group calls on Zoom or Kahoot with everyone.
Baths. I took a really lovely bath the other day and did a body wrap. I don’t think I’d ever used my bathtub before that.
Making things. I’ve made soufflé pancakes, soap and candles. I also started a garden. I planted tomatoes, cucumber and peppers in a pot and when they sprout, hopefully it’s warm enough to transfer them outside.
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