I’ve learned something a little alarming about myself during the Coronavirus quarantine, and that’s that I only do most of my beauty and hygiene routine for other people. Sure, I have my boyfriend here, but I need to interact with lots of other people if I’m going to feel motivated to pluck my eyebrows or brush my hair. Hey, I’ve been with my dude for a long time—he’s not going to leave me over messy hair at this point. I almost envy newer couples who are quarantining together because at least they still feel some pressure to put on appearances for each other. But I only almost envy them, because I can’t imagine surviving this while also trying to get my footing in a new relationship. The comfort that comes from being with someone for a long time is saving me right now.
That same comfort is also causing me to get a bit lazy, too. But it can happen to any of us when we don’t have our usual routines—we let ourselves go. But some of our habits shouldn’t just be for others. Neglecting some can actually leave us feeling depressed, and can even mean some pricey medical visits when this is all over. Here are hygiene and beauty habits to maintain during quarantine.
Just because you’re off the hook for that April dentist’s visit doesn’t mean you get to stop flossing. You can’t just make up for months of not flossing in the days leading up to your eventual dentist’s visit later. Skipping flossing now could mean paying for expensive deep cleanings and fillings when this is over. And nobody wants that.
If you are wearing makeup during this time, I commend you—you’re a greater woman than I am. Now make sure you properly remove it each night with makeup remover. Even if you’re too tired, sad, or wine-drunk to do so. You’ll look even more tired and feel more sad if you let your makeup clog your pores and ruin your complexion.
I dropped the ball on this one the first couple of weeks of quarantine. Then I realized that I’m going on a lot more walks than usual, just to keep myself from going stir-crazy, and was exposing myself to harmful UV rays a lot. Sunscreen isn’t just for beach days and pool parties. It’s for quarantine walks, too.
Trim those nails
I see you hobbit feet! I know what’s going on because everyone in my household had a moment of “Daaaamn. My nails have become straight-up weapons.” Trim those nails. Even if you can’t get your usual mani/pedi, it’s important to just keep your nails trim and clean for morale. And so you don’t accidentally stab your partner with your toe nails in the middle of the night.
Clean your sheets
Doing laundry in general is important right now, but it’s easy to slack off on and let piles just stack up around the house. Having clean sheets makes a world of difference in just feeling like you still have your life together, even when the world is a bit weird.
Clean your contact lenses
Doing this in normal times is an annoying task. Now you probably feel less inclined to do it. Protein can build up on your lenses, making them uncomfortable. And getting new ones might be hard right now with deliveries being delayed.
I know the excuses. You aren’t going anywhere. You aren’t working out. You’re barely moving. Yeah, but you’re still sweating and your body naturally releases odors, even when you stay still. And nobody in your house needs to face strong BO in addition to the strong BS going on.
Wash your bras
Okay first off, wear a bra. I mean, sometimes. To go for walks and to go to the grocery store. You’re scaring the neighborhood children. And you’re exciting the poor young boys working the deli counter at the market. But also, wash your bras. It will seriously make you feel like a new woman. And I know we are all bad at washing our bras under the best conditions.
Wash your face at night
If you’re like many who have unfortunately been turning to booze to get through this thing, then you may feel too buzzed at night to wash your face. But ease up on the vino and do your nightly skincare routine, or your complexion will be looking haggard when this is over.
Clean down south
Even if you and your partner aren’t having much sex because you’re depressed and not in the mood, that doesn’t mean you get to stop running some soap down there. Do it for yourself. Don’t neglect your va-jay-jay right now. She’s your life force.
You don’t have to shower every day. In fact, you can conserve water and do our planet a favor while reducing your costs by showering every other day. Get the whole household on that plan. Alternate shower days. But don’t skip your shower day because you have nowhere to be. You need to show up for yourself right now, so you can stay sane.
Take your supplements
Right now, it can feel like Coronavirus has determined who stays healthy and who gets sick. So taking your supplements can feel futile. But there are a lot of other ailments that can get you besides COVID-19, so you should continue to boost your immunity through supplements. And while you’re at it take fish oil for your heart and mind.
Treat your period with respect
It’s easy to get sloppy with periods right now, not changing pads enough, using paper towels instead, ruining underwear, and not caring. But this will quickly make you feel that you’ve lost grasp on real life and your wellbeing. Treat your period with respect. Clean down there. Change pads or tampons regularly, or order a diva cup if you can’t get those right now.
Clean your towels
You know the feeling you get when you’re at a day spa and you get a big, fresh, fluffy, warm towel? You feel like everything is right in the world. Gift yourself that right now. Don’t let your towels get ratty.
Do some of the special stuff sometimes. Take a long bath with tons of healing stuff in it. Exfoliate. Do a mask. Don’t just do the bare minimum on beauty and hygiene—it’s good for your mental health to treat yourself to the special stuff to remember that life can still be special.