As everyone is quickly accepting, disease knows no borders despite the fact that all the borders closing. What we are also learning quickly is that self imposed borders are our best chance of survival. Though staying home is the best thing to do for the greater good, it may be taking a toll on some people’s sanity. So, what can you do to stay sane and make the best of your new normal? Here’s my go to list, which will be updated as the situation progresses. I will be avoiding the obvious like reading a book or bingewatching series on netflix, because, duh…
Breathing exercises are good for two reasons—one, breathing is relaxing if you do it correctly and two, it may be a good indicator of a health concern if you are having difficulty or irregularity in doing so.
To calm anxiety, I like the 4-7-8 breathing method. It is a rhythmic breathing method, similar to exercises practiced in yoga and it’s simple stupid, since the counts are the same as the name.
1-Empty your lungs of air by breathing out.
2-Breathe in deeply through your nose for 4 counts
3-Hold your breath for 7 counts
4-Exhale forcefully through your mouth for 8 counts
5-Repeat exercise 4 times. Practice twice a day.
Once you are calm, you can also take this self-assessment test.
Just because we are stuck home, doesn’t mean we still can’t enrich ourselves. Here are some ways you can nurture your lust for life at home.
If you miss your museum visits, did you know that you can access virtual tours from a few museums around the world? Here is a great list of 12 museums from Travel Insider of some of the museums that offer virtual tours. Another good resource is Google Arts and Culture. They have many virtual art exhibits up there including an interactive Frida Kahlo Exhibition with over 800 paintings, photographs and objects ready to view at the click of a button.
One of the things I will be doing is getting my Opera fix nightly. The MET Opera will start streaming past recorded performances Monday, March 16th at 7:30pm ET. Just go onto their website to stream. For this week’s schedule, check it out here. If you can’t watch it live, each performance will be available for till 3:30 pm the next day on their site. And if you are more of a Broadway aficionado, you can also catch some of your favorites like Rent on sites like YouTube and Amazon. Check out Playbill’s list of 15 Broadway shows you can stream from your own home.
You can also teach yourself a new skill or learn something new. If you have children, they have most likely moved to online courses too. One of my publishing contacts is actually watching her daughter’s college lectures online with her because the subject matter actually interests her and it’s stuff she never learned in school. If you don’t have a child in college, you can still get the same benefit by enrolling in online courses. There are many out there, but Coursera seems to have a great assortment and offerings from great companies and universities. If you just want to explore what’s out there overall, this is a really helpful article.
Ok, so I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about books, but would not feel right without sharing this information as most people don’t know this. You can access over 300,000 books for free from the New York Public Library. They have a great selection of e-books and audiobooks ranging from children’s books to best sellers. You just need to download the Simply E app to your device if you don’t have it already. It’s like having the world’s best literature at your fingertips!
Just because you can’t go to a physical gym anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit. As Elle Woods said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands,” And living in close quarters for the unforeseeable future, believe me, you will want to kill your S.O. And even in these troubling times, I’m sure you don’t want to go down for murder!
Here are some places where you can get your happy on:
I’m a bar junkie so my go to workout is from the Bar Method. For those of you not familiar with bar, it is a low-impact, high-reward, ballet-inspired workout that burns fat while building long, lean muscles. They have also gone to a virtual model and you can take their classes online here.
Obé Fitness is also a live and on demand fitness site fitness site that I use. Think of it like Peloton without the bike. They are also offering one free month with the code “ATHOME”.
Instagram is also a great place to find some great workouts. One of my Paris go-to studios, Studio Rituel, is broadcasting some of their classes on Instagram live.
And, If you aren’t into the whole online class thing, you can also run in place, do jump rope to get your heartbeat going. For more on some work out from home tips, check out “The Non-Commital Multi-Tasker” from an earlier blog post.
And don’t forget to get your stretch on. If you already don’t have your own routine, this 6-minute one is easy as apple pie!
Who knew not killing your significant other could be so invigorating?
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOURSELF
As a natural introvert, I prefer my time alone and use it to channel my creativity, for me that is writing. Is there a dream of yours that you put off because you were logging in all those hours at work? Or is there something you never have the time to do but wish you did? Use this time to explore what drives you spiritually, whether it be writing in your journal, learning how to play a new instrument, singing a song or taking up painting. Use this time to find your inspiration and channel it into something great. Who knows, maybe you may even come up with an idea that may save lives.
What this time is showing everyone is that we are only strong as our community. These are hard times, especially for the elderly and homeless. You can still do your part to help them and other parts of your community.
Here are few ways:
1- Start a what’s app or text group with people on your street to shop for the elderly and those in isolation. Support your immediate community—If you are going out to get necessities, others who are not able need them too.
2-Volunteer your time to organizations such as City Meals. The frail and elderly need our help now more that ever. There are contactless measures they have put in place to ensure that people are getting what they need with minimal risk.
3-If you cannot volunteer your time, you can also donate to City Meals. Another great organization is Feeding America, which is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs.
4-If you are still in an area that allows food delivery, support local businesses by ordering from them. In states like NY, NJ and CT you can still order, plus during this time you can also order anything that would normally be on their menu, including alcohol. I’m not telling you to get drunk, but this is a good way to help keep these businesses afloat while dining out is not an option. Make sure to tip the drivers well—they are doing a great service by bringing you what you need. Most online delivery services are offering a contactless option as well. You can still tip in cash by leaving an envelope taped to your door that they can retrieve when they leave your food.
5-Buy gift cards from your favorite restaurant or watering hole. Even though you cannot dine out now, you will be able to do so in the future. This will help the restaurant subsidize costs during this period and can help them pay their rent and their employees.
If your job has been affected by the outbreak and you need to find supplemental income, there are still people hiring whether it be for online positions or positions that need to be filled based on the current situation. For example, Amazon is currently hiring 100,000 employees to help meet the demand of the current pandemic.
If you are working in the bar industry community, you may be able to get financial support from the USBG.
Another good method for supplemental income is focus groups because all the work is done remotely. My friend who normally performs on Broadway shared this—
For entrepreneurs and small business owners, WE RULE started an initiative featuring small businesses who offer products, services and digital events (also a MISC section for random asks). The list will be searchable by these categories as well as location & industry. The project is inspired by the salary spreadsheet that is now such a great resource.
Since launch of the form they’ve seen submissions from all over the world.
Here is how you can help/get involved:
* If you are a founder: Share your service / product here. This will be public and available to be shared in a few days.
* If you know of an entrepreneur group: Let us know if you have a connect to a founder group that you think would want to co-promote this
* If you are a journalist / in PR: we’d love to write a story about how we’re all coming together to support each other & help promote this list
Bottom line, there are many online outlets out there and ways to help yourself and others. So use your time researching things that will actually help you vs staying tuned into media outlets 24/7 or promoting panic on social media.
Whatever your situation, the best thing to do is to stay calm and not panic. If you are even able to read this post, your are fortunate than most people, so just let that sink in for a second. Make the best use of your time and remember we will all get through this TOGETHER.