How do we keep sane in quarantine as creatives? In reality, it’s been less than a week, but it seriously feels like it’s been like a month, right? You guys feel me, right?? RIGHT??? ?????????
How do we not have a meltdown every hour on the hour in a time like this? How do we keep our minds occupied and stay productive? As a VERY anxious woman, I’m here to offer some suggestions to keep you guys optimistic, productive, and maybe slightly less anxious.
The first thing I have been doing when I wake up (after crying for an hour (LOL just kidding, for real, kidding – trying to keep you LOLing)) – is to acknowledge that I AM NOT ALONE. Especially here in San Diego. There are SO MANY small businesses, entrepreneurs and creatives here and we are all feeling this, hard. And the future is uncertain. We don’t have any control over what happens, we just have control over how we respond to it. It provides some comfort to know that you aren’t dealing with something this serious and traumatic alone. It builds community – and if there’s a time to lean on each other, THE TIME IS NOOOOOWWWWW. I also have been making/looking at a little list I made in my notes on my phone to remind myself of these simple things to be grateful for that some people may not have, and I encourage you to make one and keep yourself in check with it:
Another very simple thing that you can do to keep your spirits elevated is to stop reading, watching, or listening to depressing-ass stuff. I’m not saying to live under a rock and not pay attention to the news (you should do that, but give yourself a time limit to watch the news or read some articles online). The world is already a real-life horror movie right now, so lighten the mood in your brain a bit. Put on a comedy special (I HIGHLY recommend anything by Tom Segura, Iliza Schlesinger, Bobby Lee or Chris D’Elia) or watch a feel-good romcom. It seems so simple, but it really makes a huge difference. Give yourself a break with some laughter. Just because we have these wounds doesn’t mean we have to salt them 🙂
If you need a break from business stuff – take that break. Make your favorite comfort food and share it with those you live with or post the recipe online. Read a book you haven’t had time to start/finish (I’m almost finished with Josh Gondelman’s “Nice Try” – because I love stand up comedy way too much). If you’re bummed you can’t get to the gym or the yoga studio – youtube is your BFF now. I am so grateful for my garage gym, but when I need a day to chill a bit and stretch/relax, I do yin yoga videos on Youtube – the channel that I like is called Boho Beautiful. Look up some bodyweight at-home workouts that you can do if if you don’t have access to any at-home gym equipment. Your body will thank you for the endorphin rush.
Take this time to catch up on the things you put off. Call your mom. Facetime with your friends & have a virtual dinner party. Catch up on SLEEP. When else are you going to have an undefined amount of time to have a FULL NIGHT OF SLEEEEEEEEEEP??
Now for some tips to stay sane AND productive
We don’t get breaks like this. I think instead of wondering when it will end, we should be taking this time to dive deeper into our creative sides that we don’t get to access throughout the year because of our normal day-to-day obligations and responsibilities. WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE GIFT OF TIME.
Yes, I’m a photographer, but rarely do I have the time to set something up and play around with lighting, subject matter, and get creative without restriction. I’m making it a goal to do this once a week. It’s great to be able to create work that you want – but also, it’s great content for social media. If we create and post more work that we’d LIKE to be making regularly, you never know who might see it and hire you to create something just like that for them!
Where are you falling behind in your business? For a lot of creatives, your answers are probably something like blogging, advertising, posting on social media, etc. – the list goes on. Well, look what I’m doing here! I am aiming to write two or three blogs a day and just schedule them out to post throughout the month – and maybe by the end of this, I’ll have 2 or 3 months all set up that I won’t even have to worry about!
Sit down, make a list of the things you think you’re falling behind on, and see which things you can cross off the list TODAY. Got an hour? Write one blog. Come up with an ad campaign on google or Facebook. Plan out your social media posts for the week and try to have one post for every day. Show your face on instagram and build some community in a difficult time. Update your website. Engage with your followers, check in on your clients – little things can go a long way.
I’ll end this with a PSA – please try to stay inside as much as possible. Just because you may not be considered high risk for covid19, you risk spreading it to someone else that may be high risk. We need to stick together, but from a distance during these times.
Support local small businesses by ordering delivery, buying gift cards & merchandise online, reposting their posts, or mentioning them in your story. Helping someone else will keep your mind off of yourself and your problems. No one ever regrets helping someone in need (or exercising) – so take some time away from your sulking, and use this gift of time to your advantage. You’ll be way ahead of many other people if you try to stay productive – and you can only be so productive if your mindset is negative, so let’s get those endorphins ~flooooooooowin~
Stay safe & healthy my friends!