Here are some of our favorite quarantine ‘stress buys’


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Being isolated at home has people stress-doing a lot of superfluous things.

Stress-texting exes? Check (but please, stop.) Stress-baking sourdough bread? Sure. Stress-losing sleep? Absolutely. Stress-working out? Yes, things have gotten that dire.

But one of the most common stress-induced activities brought on by the pandemic has been stress-shopping — for both essential and extraneous goods.

According to the Mercury Press, online shopping has surged 25 percent across the United States as residents stay home in compliance with social distancing suggestions from the CDC. Goods included in the uptick include everything from hand sanitizer to workout gear.

Although making online purchases during a pandemic can feel irresponsible, E-commerce is also “an essential part of our economy,” as fashion critic Vanessa Friedman wrote for the New York Times, referring to the practice as “catnip to boredom and cabin fever.”

“Retail [is] an enormous source of employment and creative expression,” she added.

Although Friedman cautioned readers to be mindful of where and how they shop online, a bit of retail therapy is certainly a quick way to appease boredom — even if it’s only temporary.

With that in mind, here are some of our team’s favorite quarantine stress buys, all of which sparked at least a little joy amid these difficult times.

Tie-Dye Rainbow Set

Credit: Jennifer Kline

“Oh, you want to talk about versatility? Meet my tie-dye set, which has proven appropriate for all my recent activities, including Zoom calls, panicked grocery runs and walking in circles around the living room. I’m asleep, I’m awake, I’m wearing my tie-dye set. Now that it’s getting warmer, I’m eyeing this variation.

Also, as a rule, my family dismisses anything I recommend — movies, TV shows, restaurants, vacation spots. If I’m enthusiastic, they’re not interested. We’re not much of a board game crew, and they’d never heard of Settlers of Catan, but I forced it upon them. They loved it! It was a rare, perhaps unprecedented, win for me.” — Jennifer Kline, producer

“Please Wash Your Hands” Hoodie

“A couple of weeks into working from home during the quarantine and listening to friends and coworkers touting online purchases that they’d made during flash sales, I finally gave in and made my first lockdown buy: The “Please Wash Your Hands Hoodie” hoodie made by Scott Disick’s company, Talentless, which I’d seen on the Kardashian/Jenners’ Instagrams countless times. While it was a bit pricey for an impulse buy, once the black hoodie arrived, I was immediately content with it — it’s soft, fits well and makes for the perfect stay-at-home uniform. Plus, as proven by a honk and a wave from a bus driver during a social distanced walk to the pharmacy, it helps to spread a message that we all need reminding of during this time.”Gibson Johns, host and producer

Jars and jars of Horman’s Best Pickles

Credit: Alex Lasker

“I love pickles. To me, they are the end all be all of snacks — in that they are salty, crunchy and satisfying, and I can eat more than ten in one sitting without feeling sick. And Horman’s? They are the top of the brine. G.O.A.T. status gherkins. I tried them for the first time at a Long Island farmer’s market years ago and have been hunting them down at stands around New York City ever since. When I learned they were available for online purchase, I lost my mind and ordered seven jars (mostly for me but also to share with my family) — and they were delivered two days later. Brown mustard is their best flavor, followed closely by red flannel. They are seriously the real dill and any pickle king or queen is sure to enjoy. Please support them so I never have to live without them!”Alex Lasker, writer

Classic Tie-Dye Graphic Crocs

Credit: Kelsey Weekman

“Crocs are the perfect shoe for someone who is always on their feet, someone who gardens or someone who spends a lot of time on the beach. As a sedentary, plant-killing city-dweller, I’m not the brand’s target audience, but the Classic Tie-Dye Graphic Clog entranced me nonetheless. The shoes are extremely comfortable, and the tie-dye color blends with their unusual shape to create a perfect balance of hideous and gorgeous. My Crocs contain a multitude of contradictions, just like me. An added bonus? They match the pink hair dye I recently used, too.”Kelsey Weekman, writer

A24-branded tube socks

Credit: Dillon Thompson

My saddest quarantine buy is a pair of A24-branded tube socks. Somehow, I decided this was the time in my life to let everyone know — via my feet — that yes, I have seen “Midsommar” 14 times in the past year. Exactly two people (my mom and my step-dad) have seen my feet during the past 7 weeks, and I can say this for sure: Neither of them enjoyed “Uncut Gems,” and neither of them cares at all about how my socks look.” — Dillon Thompson, writer

BirdRock Home Wood Bed Tray

Credit: Morgan Greenwald

Quarantine has taken my lazy to a whole new level. For the first few weeks, I took the time to get up, get dressed and work from my desk in the living room — but now, I just use this handy dandy bed desk. When both my fiancé and I are on work calls, it makes it easier to work in the bedroom of our one-bedroom apartment.” — Morgan Greenwald, writer

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel pads

Credit: Laura Galvan

“As someone who gets dressed up every single day, I am enjoying giving my wardrobe a rest. Instead, I’ve put 100 percent of my effort into my skincare routine. It’s seriously become the highlight of my day. And thanks to all of these crazy online sales, I’ve gone … well, overboard in the skincare department. Some people panic buy paper towels, but I got three boxes of Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel pads (for reference, each box comes with a pack of 30 — so you do the math). I basically have a lifetime supply, but the deals were so good to pass up! I bought my first box from the Nordstrom sale and the other two from SkinStore. The peel pads are a celeb-favorite with the likes of Chrissy Tiegen, Zoë Kravitz and Naoimi Campbell as fans. The handy two-step acid peels exfoliate your dead skin cells away to uncover the ultimate glow. It’s made with potent antioxidants such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and green tea extract.”Laura Galvan, commerce writer

Black + Decker 12V Max Cordless Lithium Drill

Credit: Justin Chan

I’ve spent the past four or five weeks staring at an empty bedroom wall (don’t ask me why I’ve been doing that). After noticing parts of the wall that had chipped paint, I decided that it was time for me to do something. Instead of ordering paint like any normal person would, I figured it would be better to hang a huge poster on my wall. The only problem? I didn’t have a drill. I mean what 30-year-old bachelor has a drill in his home? No one. So being the cheapskate I am, I searched far and wide for the most affordable cordless drill. Lo and behold, the Black + Decker 12V Max Cordless Lithium Drill came into my life for just $29.99. I haven’t looked back since — my wall now looks like a damn masterpiece. Lesson of the story? Get yourself a freaking drill.” — Justin Chan, writer

Kiehl’s Face Fuel for Men Set

Credit: Nordstrom

“I am quarantining with my boyfriend (brag) and became physically ill over the fact that he really does go about his day without washing his face and still has great skin. He has had the same tube of ‘manly face wash’ in ‘lightning bolt scent’ sitting on his sink since I met him. I got him a travel-sized Kiehl’s face set because A) I am projecting my skincare concerns onto him and B) I wanted to try the scrub (I love it).”Katie Mather, writer

Loop’s Beauty Variety Loop

Credit: Loops Beauty

It seems like everyone and their mother is on the same page these days — quarantine is the perfect time to do every kind of mask that you can get your hands on. I first came across Loops Beauty on Instagram and, after thoroughly stalking their page, I was fully on board and bought their “Variety Loop,” which is a variety pack of their five different face masks. I’ve been using the masks for the past few weeks and while they definitely leave my face hydrated and refreshed, I’m more into how fun to use they are. Not only are they made of a cool gel consistency, but they’re all different colors and have been something I’ve looked forward to using every few days. I also have been loving the Maui Moisture Shea Butter Mask. This drugstore hair mask is super thick, smells incredible and leaves my hair feeling really soft. I also love that it’s free of silicone and you only have to leave it in for 5 minutes.” — Julia Webb, commerce writer

Everlane Luxe Cotton Jumpsuit

Credit: Everlane

“When I envisioned this Everlane jumpsuit on my body, my mind took me to a balcony overlooking the water in the south of France. There I am, in this jumpsuit, effortlessly tan and eating fresh fruit, thinking about how I will later bike into town to buy flowers and a baguette. My life in this jumpsuit was going to be so much better — I was finally going to learn French! In reality, it is just hanging in my closet.”Katie Mather, writer

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Credit: Game Stop

You’ve probably heard it a million times at this point, but if you own a Nintendo Switch and you haven’t already bought ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons,’ order it now. The game — which allows you to build, design and run your very own island — is a welcome escape from the hell that is reality, especially since you can play with your friends using a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. There’s a reason why even celebrities are playing Animal Crossing: It freakin’ rocks.” — Morgan Greenwald, writer

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