On Sunday afternoon, my stir-crazy husband headed out of the house solo with his camera just to see how quiet things really were in key points across the city. While I have been strict about adhering to guidelines and staying at home, I honestly didn’t expect to see that things were truly deserted around the typically the busiest spots on weekends. From mall parking lots to the parking lots and garages at the airport and downtown the photos reflected just how little activity is happening. It’s clearly unsettling, but at the same time comforting. The views show that people are taking distancing seriously (so important!), and also proves that I am not missing anything by staying safe at home. Fear of missing out is impossible in this situation.
To say that we are all a bit freaked out by the state of the world is a bit of an understatement. And although we are all quite capable of adjusting to our environment in the current situation, it is a bit tough to shake the concern and worry that’s reinforced with every news headline. For businesses like ours, it is extremely difficult to make any kind of concrete decision as things seem to shift daily as to what the plan is for the future—even if that future only involves the next week. After tossing around operational ideas when the initial requests (now government orders) to lay low and stay in, we decided that a bit of quiet time reflecting without adding to the noise was the best course of action. It hasn’t been easy as during this time our anniversary print edition was released, and we were not able to celebrate this with our supporters and readers. With so many individuals and locally owned businesses facing extreme hardships physically, emotionally and financially it just didn’t seem right to flood inboxes with content based on topics we typically cover. I still believe that the choice to take a hiatus has been the best thing for us and for the community that we serve.
Rather than coming up with features that would be just more of the same coming from every other entertainment-oriented media source on the planet about what to buy, how to stay busy or what to stream – we have taken a true break. Based on the latest reports, it’s going to last a bit longer. Like all businesses, we aren’t happy about being closed – but we are trying to make the best of our new normal. And we are at peace with that.
Long term isolation isn’t something that anyone prepares for, but it’s definitely not unbearable when you have the good fortune of a place to live and the basic luxuries that so many of us are blessed to have. Whenever thoughts about boredom or being cooped up come to mind, the best solution is to consider so many without those basic comforts as well as the thousands dealing with both health issues and financial loss. I personally find that I have nothing to complain about in comparison. I actually find myself counting my blessings more now than ever. It goes without saying that we should all pitch in and help those in need when and where we can, but taking care of ourselves and our families is also extremely important during a time of crisis and uncertainty.
Finding joy in the details has taken on a whole new meaning. For me that means embracing the solitude. With the absence of pressing deadlines and a constant stream of emails and phone calls I’m finding that I can think more clearly, and with purpose. I have turned off my online notifications, put up auto reply onto my email accounts and have only occasionally glanced at social media. Keeping in closer contact with my loved ones and providing healthy meals and a soothing living environment are filling the void of being needed elsewhere. I’m actually thankful for the chance to not be rushed or in a state of constant catch up. Instead of allowing myself to feel worried or anxious about missed messages, an overflowing inbox or what’s next, I have just let it go for the moment. Getting organized, cleaning, comforting others and reading everything that I can get my hands-on works in my world. The tough part for all of us at EDIT is missing the daily interaction with one another. I’m lucky to work with people that I truly enjoy being around – and we will all be beyond ready to regroup once our country moves forward. For now, it is just a comfort to know what everyone is up to in the absence of our usual daily exchange. Below is a roundup from our team members and contributors on how they are spending their days. It’s all good – and might just give you an idea or two in filling your own downtime in the weeks ahead.
Staying physically and mentally healthy has been my top priority for myself and family. When the weather is pleasant, we take family bike rides around our neighborhood or hikes with our dog. We are also planting flowers in our backyard (which I cannot recall ever having the time to do). When the weather is not ideal I rely on Pure Barre On Demand classes and various live streaming Peloton classes including cycling, yoga, and core workouts. I am utilizing this time to get fit, organized and to connect with my family. I am also staying in touch with girlfriends through Houseparty. It’s a group video chat app that’s been a fun social break during long, busy days at home with kids.
I have been taking classes on various things through Udemy. They offer online courses for nearly anything with varying price ranges (from $12-200). It is a great way to continue learning or to pick up a new skill that you’ve been meaning to try out but never had the time for….until now.
Personal Time: I have been getting my daily workout in with online and live streaming classes from Pure Barre, Shed Fitness, and Simply Balanced Pilates. Between homeschooling and taking care of a family, it’s the one hour I get for myself. I’ve also been able to squeeze in some reading, which is normally rare as a full-time working mother. I’m currently reading The Guest Book (which I bought from Parnassus in Green Hills) as well as catching up on back issues for magazines I love like Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, and Elle Décor.
Family: We have been doing a lot of outside activities including hikes to get in some exercise. Our favorite is the Warner Woods Trail in Percy Warner Park. We have also started our garden by ordering vegetables and herbs to plant from Bate’s Nursery. We also take family walks to a creek close in our neighborhood where our son can skip rocks. Just being outside is what he loves most.
I’ve actually used the time to get totally organized, and now that’s out of the way so I’m focusing on learning new skills, like doing my own version of a spray tan. This DIY method is a little tricky when you live alone and have to figure out a way to make sure your back doesn’t glare white against the rest of your golden glow. So, I am learning to pour the solution (I like the locally founded Sunless Bloom brand) onto a big towel on the floor before laying down on it. Now there’s a picture to keep you spirits up. No clothes, staring at the ceiling and rolling around to ensure even color on a back that no one is going to see. Whatever it takes to laugh my way through this isolation!
To keep things interesting while at home with her husband and three young daughters, I’m digging into my DJ roots, and am practicing up to live-play! I’ve also turned into a terrible solitaire addict to relieve any stir-crazy induced stress. I am also trying to do my version of the ‘NYC walk’ everyday- consisting of up and down terrain and super speed-walking with a purpose. I imagine dodging all of the people, the subway steps, and hoofing it to meetings to avoid being late. It is guaranteed to challenge your mind while keeping you fit.
At night, I am embracing fast reads that include nothing too real or serious. Fortunately, I picked up countless books on my (previous) travels. I could never just pick up one, so now I have many to get through. My children love the “Peace Out” podcast which puts them to sleep in about 5 seconds. I highly recommend it!
I have been tackling home projects that I had put off including major spring cleaning and closet organization. I have been practically living in the Tribe Kelley butter sweats that I ordered online. They are super-cozy and cute enough to wear when walking my dog around my 12South neighborhood. For self-care, this has also been a good time to focus on skincare. Not having to wear makeup and having time to apply masks, (including Olaplex for my hair) as well as upping my skin-care routine feels right for the moment. To keep anxiety at bay, I use the Calm App for guided meditation.
I’ve been relying on açai for breakfast from Franklin Juice Co. in 12 South to jumpstart my day. Postmates typically deliver it straight to my door in under 20 minutes. For taking my mind off of the crazy times, I’ve relied on the surprising and alarming Netflix docu-series, Tiger King. Let me just say, if you think the first episode (or even the first few episodes) are insane – you’re in for a ride. While I watch the stories unfold, I put on a Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask for skin-soothing care.
I head out with my husband for a run or walk that takes up at least an hour every day. We choose different routes in our Green Hills neighborhood most days. To shake it up a little, we jump in the car and head to another area for a change of scenery and terrain. We like Percy Warner, Crockett Park and Marcella Vivrette Smith.