As the lockdown continues, more and more of us have started experiencing screen fatigue. Sure, those online courses, virtual tours and animal livestreams have been a blast, but even the most seasoned surfers need to take a break from the web to avoid the blue-light blues. Whether you’re feeling mentally drained from yet another dissonant Zoom call or have strained eyes from cramming in that late-night work, it can be truly revelatory to unplug.
Of course, once you turn off one screen, it can be tempting to turn on another. We’re looking at you, TV. To help you escape the pixel prison, we’ve pulled together 10 luxuriating experiences that you can have in your own home to quiet your mind and restore your soul. Best of all, not a single activity involves a screen. You’re welcome.
Build Your Very Own Jaguar E-Type
Miniature car models have taken off in recent years, and now you can get in on the trend by making your own 1:8 replica of a Jaguar E-Type. Considered to be one of the most beautiful cars of all time, the original 1963 Series 1 was hand-built in Browns Lane, Coventry, and now its mini-me can be hand-built by you. Focusing on recreating those striking curves and distinctive lines is a surefire way to get your mind off a certain global crisis. Plus, you can tell your friends you bought a Jag during the quarantine. (They don’t need to know it’s a model.) In addition to the highly detailed model, you’ll receive a magazine dedicated to the E-Type’s story, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to assemble the car.
Find Your Signature Scent
If you’ve never taken the time to discover your perfect scent, now’s your chance. Artisanal perfume lab Le Labo has created a Discovery Set that is filled with 17 unique fragrances from the classic collection in perfectly sized 1.5 ml bottles. The hand-blended colognes can be worn solo or layered on the skin to create your own custom combination. Experiment and play until you find your signature scent. Once you’re ready to commit, the included gift card can be redeemed for a 100 ml eau de parfum of your choice, which is emblazoned with your name, of course.
Treat Yourself to a Restaurant-Quality Steak
Those who have previously dined at Simon Kim’s upscale Korean barbeque joint Cote will know that the Michelin-starred eatery can also serve up a mean steak. And that hasn’t stopped on account of the pandemic. The beloved New York City joint is now delivering its succulent American Wagyu Ribeye directly to your door for just $65. Prefer to prepare it yourself? You can do that, too, with a Steak Care Package ($105), which includes two 1 lb ribeyes from Cote’s dry-aging room and Korean accompaniments. On the West Coast, you can get a 32 oz bone-in ribeye from Gwen—Curtis Stone’s new restaurant and butchery—delivered for $135, or pick up a raw New York strip steak ($32) to cook yourself. We promise some melt-in-your-mouth red meat will automatically lift your spirits. So, conjure your inner Ron Swanson.
Flex Your Green Thumb and Make a Terrarium
For many, the hardest part of this quarantine has been the inability to immerse oneself in nature. Thankfully, you can bring the restorative power of the outdoors in by making your very own terrarium. There’s nothing like a little soil under your fingertips to make you feel more grounded. We like the Big Ol’ Egg Deluxe DIY kit, which was modeled after Arne Jacobsen’s famous egg chair. It features the glass vessel and five succulents, as well as decorative moss, sand, pebbles, activated charcoal, plant food and those much-needed instructions. Once you finish your terrarium, move onto a Bonsai next.
Give Yourself a Soothing Facial
Getting to a spa is certainly out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on self-care. Herbivore Botanicals, a leader in all-natural beauty, has just released a Peace and Harmony set that is perfect for your at-home spa. The trio includes detox soaking salts for your bath, jasmine body oil to nourish the skin and a clarifying mask to get your complexion glowing again. The mask’s pore-refining and calming mix of willow bark BHAs and Blue Tansy oil will transform your skin from dull to radiant and have you looking (and feeling) a helluva lot better on those Zoom calls. If you’re after a little extra grooming, treat yourself to some beard oil and give your whiskers some love.
Try Your Hand at Lino Printing
From Pablo Picasso to Henri Matisse, some of the world’s most distinguished artists experimented with lino printing. Now, you can channel all their great creative energy by making your own prints. In addition to stimulating the right side of your brain, the repetitive cutting will help to drown out anxiety and allow you to reconnect with your body. The Speedball Deluxe Lino Print Kit is a good option for beginners as it comes with all the necessary tools to get started, along with an ideas book and printing ink in red, blue and yellow. If you get really good, you can even start framing your creations or gifting your prints to friends.
Savor a Tasty Cocktail
The taste and smell of a cocktail alone has the power to transport you to a different destination; sip an Aperol Spritz to get to the Amalfi Coast or a Paloma to visit Mexico. It’s a nice way to escape when you can’t actually travel, not to mention that lovely warm buzz these friendly spirits bring. There’s no shortage of bars creating cocktails-to-go in an attempt to stay afloat, so do your research and support your local establishments. Another option is to purchase a pre-bottled cocktail. Our pick? Drnxmyth’s Eastside cocktail, which pairs fresh cucumber, mint and lime with sugar and dry gin. Shake it, pour it, and you’ve got a zingy cocktail to snap you outta your quarantine blues.
Expand Your Mind With ‘Stuff You Should Know’
Alright, Alright. You may need a teeny bit of screen time to complete this one, but only to find the Stuff You Should Know podcast and hit play. This award-winning podcast is as informative as it is entertaining, so you’ll laugh while you learn. Hosted by two ultra-smart gents, Josh Clark and Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant, the hour-ish-long podcasts cover all manner of topic, from mullets—yes, the ‘80s hairstyle—to the deep web. They say knowledge is power, and at a time when most of us are feeling a little powerless, learning more can only be a good thing. Carve an hour of your day and tune in. Since you’re not tethered to a screen, you can even listen while doing other things, like building a terrarium.
Master the Art of Chess
What better time than now to become an expert chess player. Challenge your significant other to a match or brush up on your skills solo and watch as your pandemic woes dissipate. You might be wondering how you could possibly turn this game from the 6th century AD into a luxurious experience. Well, feast your eyes on Tiffany & Co’s $75,000 chess set. Crafted from sterling silver and 24k gold, this set was meticulously handcrafted by Tiffany’s master artisans over the span of a year. It’s a breathtaking design that will make your days at home a little brighter.
Make the Perfect Cold Brew
Just because your working from home, doesn’t mean you should skimp on good coffee. In fact, since you have a little more time on your hands, why not master the art of the cold brew. With a cold-drip tower, which looks like your high-school chemistry set, you can make delicious cold brew by steeping coffee grounds in cold water. We suggest Yama’s 4-foot tall hand-blown glass rig. To use, you first add coffee to the middle beaker and then ice water to the top reservoir. Next, set the machine’s drip frequency between 1 and 1.5 seconds, depending on how strong you want your brew to be. Since the mesmerizing process will take at least four hours to fully complete, it makes for the perfect distraction from, well, everything.