Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

It's the little things: the small comforts that have brightened up days at home

From treating yourself to flowers to upgrading your home workout tools, these little home comforts have provided just that while in isolation

The little things are making life nicer for people in self-isolation. Getty Images
The little things are making life nicer for people in self-isolation. Getty Images

The vast majority of the country has been staying home and isolating for weeks now, and in these times, many of us have found that it's the little things that are the most comforting.

From dressing up for evening Zoom calls and making fancy dinners once a week, to some blooms brightening the place up and technology upgrades, we are all handling the current circumstances in different ways.

Here, we have rounded up the small comforts the team at The National have turned to ...

Putting on jewellery

I might not brush my hair most mornings or wear anything that doesn’t have a stretchy waistband, but I always, always reach for my hoop earrings. I know I will have to take them off later that day before bed, and no one will even see them tucked beneath my unkempt mane, but they just help to give me a little injection of sass, and who doesn’t need that right now?

– Sophie Prideaux, assistant features editor

Treating myself to flowers

A bunch of flowers from UAE florist, Florette. Supplied 
A bunch of flowers from UAE florist, Florette. Supplied

I tend to only purchase bouquets as gifts, but in these uncertain times, I’m gifting them to myself. Seeing a fresh, colourful bunch of peonies or a sprawling mass of silvery eucalyptus really brightens up my working-from-home space, and tends to lift my mood while I’m typing away. Plus, ordering fresh stems is a great way to support small businesses at the moment – I’ve been using Florette, which can only deliver throughout Dubai during the current climate. Check out their Market Flowers section to see the best blooms of the day.

– Emma Day, deputy features editor

Dressing up for Zoom chats

It'll probably sound silly, but when I get on social Zooms in the evenings I've been popping on earrings and lipstick, just to differentiate from work. It's strange spending so much time seeing your own image broadcast back at you on video chats, so it's good to mix it up a bit.

– Louise Burke, homepage editor

Making fancy coffees at home

Popular TikTok coffee craze, a Dalgona coffee. Farah Andrews / The National 
Popular TikTok coffee craze, a Dalgona coffee. Farah Andrews / The National 

Day-to-day, I am a black americano drinker. But thanks to hours in the house, I have become creative with my blender and added some variety into my daily cup of coffee, inspired by the Dalgona coffee trend, perhaps. I have even tried my hand at making homemade caramel syrup, which is surprisingly easy.

– Farah Andrews, assistant features editor

Making time for skincare

I'm spending a little longer on skincare these days. I sorted through my make-up and skincare stash and discovered lots of products that I never get around to using. So I'm doing more sheet masks, taking time to exfoliate regularly, applying serums and oils, and even spending a few minutes before I go to bed every night ironing out my wrinkles with a face roller. A little bit of self-care can go a long way in these uncertain times.

– Selina Denman, head of magazines and travel

Having homemade hummus on tap

We have started making massive batches of our own hummus now so we always have some in the fridge and we're not spending Dh20 on a small (plastic) tub with every takeaway. As people who eat hummus a lot, this has made a big difference to how nice our life is.

– Katy Gillett, Weekend editor

Making treat dinners

Once a week, we’re sitting at the dinner table, instead of on the sofa where we’re usually found, to have a three-course dinner. We’ve also started theming it around international cuisines so the last one was Italian and Portuguese is next. I have also splashed out on a milk frother and am using it to pimp up my morning filter coffee, along with a sprinkling of chocolate powder.

– Hayley Skirka, travel writer

The odd spritz of perfume

I have certainly not been making the effort to get dressed up or made up every day. Although I do weirdly miss putting make-up on, my skin is now pretty grateful for the break. In the meantime, I have found that the quickest way to add a little pep to my step is with a spritz of my favourite perfume.

– Farah Andrews, assistant features editor

Technology updates

I'm in the process of updating my eLife package from Etisalat, which is something I haven't properly done since 2014. Usually I don't bother spending the extra money but I figure since I'm self-isolating and spending all my time at home, at least I can make it more enjoyable with a faster connection and more channels to watch.

– Evelyn Lau, assistant features editor

Studio-standard yoga at home

Buys from yoga brand Rumi have brought a little happiness to one member of 'The National' team. Instagram / rumiearth
Buys from yoga brand Rumi have brought a little happiness to one member of 'The National' team. Instagram / rumiearth

I just bought myself a Rumi yoga bolster and block, which weren't cheap, but they give me everything I need to properly do yoga, which ultimately makes me happier. The quality of the products is great, they'll last me a really long time, and now I don't have to scrabble around for old pillows and towels I can use instead.

– Katy Gillett, Weekend editor

Strategic micro-napping

I have started taking timed micro-naps on my lunch break on work days. Just 10 to 15 minutes max (much longer and you fall properly asleep and risk being more groggy) using the timer on my watch, but it means you can come back to your work station in the afternoon feeling more refreshed.

– Louise Burke, homepage editor

Not blow-drying my hair

I've stopped blow-drying my hair, which is something I really hate doing usually. So every time I remember I don't have to do it, it makes me happy. It really is the little things in life!

– Katy Gillett, Weekend editor

Updated: April 23, 2020 08:06 PM



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