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"For every challenge encountered there is opportunity for growth." - unknown -

I have been looking forward to this life change since the beginning of January when I told 72andSunny I would be leaving to pursue a more location independent lifestyle. Little did I realize, my life would become more location DEPENDENT than ever! Enter Coronavirus.

I have done a lot of reading the past few weeks and have concluded that there are various ways of coping with the uncertainty and confinement to our homes. I am grateful that I don’t normally experience anxiety and can’t imagine what it must be like for some people during these times. Here are some ways I have been trying to stay positive and healthy.

WhatsApp Groups: In an effort for me to stay connected with my close group of friends (a/k/a my Framily) while traveling the world in 2017/2018, we set up a WhatsApp group. This became our primary source of communication during those years, and is still the foundation for our non-stop group conversation on a daily basis. We laugh SO MUCH and also engage in important conversations about the current state of the world. Sometimes, there are 5 different conversations happening at once! Staying connected to my Framily during these times, has kept my head clear and my loneliness at bay.

All forms of video chat. Google hangout, Google meet, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Zoom. You name it, I’ve used it. Hailstorm uses video chat everyday to connect with our clients and each other. The most fun part of the week is our team meeting where we all catch up on the status of projects and our personal lives. Under quarantine, I find myself connecting more often with friends and family. This week I played Pictionary with my nieces and nephew (and their adorable parents)! We have never done that before, but I foresee many more game nights in the future. I find the need for connection stronger and it has been wonderful connecting through video.

Finding the positive online. You have to dig through the crazy, but sometimes you come across things that are focused on positivity. I have found myself looking for things that make me laugh like Ellen DeGeneres’ IG account and Jimmy Fallon’s At Home Edition. I have also found things that make me hopeful and curious like this article about the future and DJ Nice’s Dance Parties.

Reading books. During my normal life, I have every intention of reading, but seem to get through books very slowly due to lack of time. Since I have extra time on my hands now, I have set a goal to try to put a dent in the stack of books on my nightstand. I want to come out of this feeling accomplished in all the ways possible.

Podcasts. We don’t have to be in a pandemic for me to devour podcasts. In normal life, I am listening to podcasts at every moment possible during my day, which adds up to A LOT of podcasts. I have learned a tremendous amount from listening obsessively to podcasts over the past few years.

Dining Room Yoga. I live in NYC. I feel lucky to have space to do yoga even if it is in my dining room. I have found some yoga classes on my podcast app or I just turn on a Spotify yoga music playlist and flow to my own tune.

Hailstorm was born as a remote company, so we haven’t had to scramble to figure out how to do our jobs remotely. This has given me the opportunity to use the free time to concentrate on my well being during this crisis, instead of how I am going to struggle through doing my job differently.

I hope this situation will show agencies and brands that our work can be done better in a remote setting. In fact, going remote and then returning to an office setting has made me realize how disruptive an open office space is to our work. It is very difficult to draft or read contracts when co-workers are able to interrupt anytime to ask questions. We LOVE answering questions, but it’s not efficient in the middle of another task. 95% of the work we do relies on deep concentration. That has become impossible in an open office setting.

I am fascinated at the possibility of changed perspectives after this moment in time. I look forward to catching up with everyone in person when we are through this. Stay safe and healthy! #safehands #stayhome #hailstormio #modernBA

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