I'm kind of a compulsive spender. By this I mean that when I get the impulse to buy something, 9/10 times I will buy it right then and there. A lot of the time, I do it out of boredom, curiosity, or in the late hours of the night when I can't fall asleep. I'd be lying if I said I haven't made some unnecessary or irresponsible purchases in my time, but these ones are different. Here is a list of my 19 best quarantine purchases, for which I have no regrets and 10/10 would buy all over again.
1. A ferret
The very first purchase I made on the first day of quarantine was my ferret, Galileo (Leo, for short). I always had pets growing up, but since I've lived on my own, not having a pet made me miss the feeling of sharing a pure love with an animal. He was only three months old when I got him, and he is now a year old. He is silly, clumsy, mischievous, sometimes lazy, cuddly, laid back and crazy all in one. He entered my life when I was freshly out of a relationship, and over the past nine months he's helped me cope with a variety of different emotions, especially loneliness. He makes me laugh every day and has been hands down one of the best additions to my life.
2. A writing desk
You know you're adulting when the idea of getting a new desk excites you. Prior to getting a desk, I did all of my school work from bed, and while I didn't mind, my body did. Sitting at the desk during online lectures helped me focus on learning rather than sleeping, made me more productive, and improved my posture. Additionally, since I've had the desk, I've been writing, drawing, and painting more. It has been a total game changer.
3. Art supplies
After I got my new desk, I felt inspired to create more. My art supplies had been dwindling for months, so I treated myself to a couple books of mixed media paper, some watercolor markers, a lovely set of oil colored pencils, and a few fine line markers. New supplies inspired me to try new things and create more consistently.
4. Blue light blocking glasses
As a full time student in the midst of a pandemic, all of my classes are online, and hours a day in front of a screen emitting blue light is not the least bit good for your eyes. It didn't take long for me to order blue light protection glasses, and I would recommend them to anyone who also sits through a considerable amount of screen time daily.
5. Vibram Five Finger shoes
I affectionately refer to them as "feet shoes". Incase you're not familiar, they are the shoe equivalent of toe socks, where you can see each individual toe. They are incredible for walking, running, hiking, and working out (especially leg day). A lot of gym goers remove their shoes for squatting, deadlifting, and other leg exercises, as shoes can throw off your posture and force your feet in an unnatural position. These shoes, however, are minimalistic, lightweight, and are the closest thing to being barefoot, next to being barefoot, that is. There are so many benefits to wearing them. The feet get stronger, posture improves, and for me, who would be barefoot all the time if I could, they allowed me to have an intimate relationship between my feet and the ground beneath me, while still providing protection from harmful things on the ground. I honestly think I will own a pair for Vibram Five Finger shoes for the rest of my life.
6. Hiking boots
I have never owned a pair of hiking boots until now. When I first began hiking in the summer, I used my Vibram feet shoes, but they were neither insulated nor waterproof, and on rocky terrain I could feel every sharp edge, rock, and pebble. I got myself a pair of hiking boots when the weather started to cool down and the ground got way too muddy to trek through in my Vibrams. With my hiking boots, I am confident on any terrain, no matter the weather, so my hiking doesn't have to wait for the perfect day.
7. A tripod
I value having pictures of the memories I make, but I do a lot of things alone, and sometimes it is hard to get the right picture if I want to be in it as well. I am new to having a tripod, but looking back it would've been great to have on my road trip travels and solo hikes. For now, I use it to record myself doing yoga so I can observe my form and body movements, spot imbalances, and improve my practice. The possibilities are endless, though, and I can't wait to use it for bigger and better things in the future.
8. A 64 oz water bottle
I'm the type of person that needs one giant thing of water with me at all times if I plan on drinking enough water each day. I used to buy gallons of water and carry them around, but I always wanted a large reusable water bottle so that I could live a more sustainable life, and save money on buying gallons every day. I've brought it on road trips, errands, to the gym, and even keep it next to my bed. After having a giant water bottle, I never want to go without it.
9. Fitness bands
Since gyms were closed for a while, I finally decided to get workout bands. They are so easy and convenient to use, both at home and at the gym. They improve my workouts immensely and leave me more sore than I would have been without them.
10. Pepper spray
I've had pepper spray before, but for a while I went without it. Since I travel, hike, and do most other things alone, carrying pepper spray is a no brainer. I do my best to be responsible about my safety, but it makes me feel better that in the event that I am in the wrong place at the wrong time, I at least have a bit of protection.
11. A jiu jitsu gym membership
I spent my whole life playing sports, up until college that is. Not playing sports left a deep void in my life that working out alone did not fill. In the summer, I attended a random jiu jitsu class in Virginia with some friends, and I loved the way it made me feel. At the end of 2020 I made the spontaneous decision to go to a class near me, then signed up on the spot. It gives me something consistent to do and work at that I truly look forward to, which is something I haven't been able to say in a while.
12. Curology skincare products
My skin went through a very rough patch, where over the course of a few months, there wasn't a single day I felt confident with my skin. I have always taken care of my skin, but nothing I did seemed to help. I got a lot of pimples on my cheeks and jawline area, some of which were very large and deep (possibly cystic). Looking in the mirror made me want to cry, and I would complain about my skin regularly. One day I saw an ad for Curology, a skincare system that is designed specifically for you. I signed up, answered some questions about my skin, what my acne is like, and what I want to improve in my skin (texture, complexion, wrinkles, etc). I took pictures of my face, and Curology used all of that information and sent me a customized skin care regimen, with a facial cleanser, moisturizer, topical medicine, and emergency spot dots (for random pimples). My skin has improved drastically, and I don't foresee myself not using Curology in the future.
13. Colloidal silver face mist
When my skin got really bad and progress with my Curology regimen was slow, I looked into the benefits of colloidal silver. Silver has been used for centuries as a "cure-all" home remedy for things from tuberculosis, to sore throats, to skin disorders from herpes, to chicken pox, to acne and skin infections. I read many reviews saying colloidal silver miraculously improved people's skin quality, reducing pimples and even eczema. I was desperate for a solution, so I gave it a try. Where Curology didn't help, I believe the colloidal silver did. I use it multiple times a day in combination with my regular skincare routine, and I couldn't be happier.
14. A silk hair cap
I have curly, frizzy hair, and when I wake up in the morning after a good hair day, my hair still needs work to look presentable. I have read many things about the benefits of silk pillow cases, head wraps, and night caps. I love my bed sheets too much to commit to a silk pillow case yet, but a hair cap I was willing to try. Silk, unlike other fabrics, does not wick moisture or products away from your hair. It also reduces friction that tugs on hair and causes breakage. As a result, it helps with overall hair appearance and hair health.
15. My favorite vinyls
During quarantine, I discovered Leon Bridges and The Teskey Brothers. I love having physical records and supporting my favorite artist by purchasing their albums, so I ordered Coming Home by Leon Bridges and Run Home Slow by The Teskey Brothers. They remain two of my favorite vinyl records that I own.
16. Candle making supplies
I love candles, but if I bought one every time I wanted to, I would be broker than broke. So, around Christmas, I ordered everything I needed to make candles- wax, powdered dye, essential oils, dried flowers, wicks, empty glass containers, etc...- and I tried my hand at candle making. It was a long process, but it was fun, and I got to customize the scents and appearances. I made one for myself and one for each person on my Christmas gift list. I'd like to continue making candles and improve my craft. If you're bored in quarantine and enjoy candles as much as I do, I'd encourage you to give it a try.
17. A starry night light projector
I will admit, I totally didn't need a night light projector, but I figured if I'm going to spend hours upon hours staring at my ceiling, I could afford to spice it up. I got one that projects what looks like a mix between an ocean and a galaxy on the ceilings and walls, and it has green laser "stars" that fade in and out, as well as different colors and different movement speed settings (it moves kind of like a body of water). It's super relaxing to look at, and I also put it on for my occasional night yoga sessions or to impress my easily entertained guests.
I have purchased several books during quarantine, from poetry, to philosophy, to fantasy. Getting a new book makes me excited to read (despite having shelves of books I haven't gotten to yet), and I have never regretted buying a book yet.
19. Many plants
Oh yes, I went a little plant crazy. I cannot count how many plants I have bought, grown from seed, or otherwise acquired so far during quarantine, but I am running out of surfaces in my house to put them. Am I mad about it? Not in the slightest. There is something rewarding about caring for and keeping something alive other than yourself. Watching them grow brings me joy. Not to mention, they're super neat to look at.