Simply put, things have been a little uncomfortable lately. We (like so many others) have been adjusting and just trying to figure out what this new, temporary, normal is – so, we want to share it with you. By introducing our #buckleathome series, we hope to continue to share with you a bit about us while learning together, and creating content that just feels good; that feels real to us, and to you.
So, today looks a bit different from last Monday. Instead of sitting in collaborative spaces, calling to each other from every which way – we’re home, still trying to figure out how many people is too many people on Zoom, and trying to set up an office on a coffee table without pet interference.
Here’s a little look at how a bunch of creatives are working to create, and stay on task, while home.
Keeping Your New Coworkers Busy
Artwork by Kourtney McConville // @kourtneygracemcconville
As a mom of two [adorable, yet highly active] red-headed toddlers, let’s face it, working from home, binge-watching Netflix, or crossing off that archived list of “To-Dos” just isn’t going to happen. At least, not without involving them or occupying their minds in engaging ways.
What kids don’t get excited about the opportunity to “watch” something on mom’s phone or Dad’s iPad? Here are some virtual field trip tours allowing them to visit places around the world without leaving the comfort [and quarantine] of home. Or, maybe you just finished Frozen II on Disney + for the umpteenth time. Now is the perfect chance to let them experience the Frozen Ever After ride and more virtual rides at the Disney Parks.
Let’s give those little minds some credit. They’ll remember much of what they’ve learned in school. But, if learning [and teaching] is something you both gravitate towards, there are a number of resources available – from interactive learning websites, to storytelling apps, and homeschool curriculum – to continue stimulating those minds.
Don’t forget that some of the smallest things are the biggest things to them. Build a fort. Read a book. Bake cookies. Look at old photos. Watch movies. Make an obstacle course. Go on a scavenger hunt. Paint their nails (yes, boys can too – you won’t be seeing anyone for a while anyways!). Take this time to spend time together – we’ll never wish we’d spent less time with our children.
You guys, the truth is that there is no right way to feel right now. Give yourself grace. Remember, that for our kiddos, home is a place to feel safe, loved, and connected. Make the most of this time with your babies – we all know far too well, they don’t stay little for long.
Callie, senior manager of brand marketing
Comfort in the Kitchen
When faced with uncertainty, one thing I can count on is my baking skills. Not going to lie, I use baking as a way to unplug and get my mind off everything for a moment. Following a recipe step-by-step or focusing on how I can make it my own helps tune in with myself for a moment.
One tried and true recipe I can count on right now is classic white bread. I use this one from Betty Crocker. I’ve been making it since Jr. high and the cookbook version opens it with “There’s something soothing about homemade bread,” and I couldn’t agree more. Kneading dough by hand relieves my stress, plus, eliminating even one thing from the grocery list is something we could all use right now.
Bonus tip: For that part of the recipe in step 4, after flattening one half of the dough and before rolling it, lather it with 2 tablespoons butter then sprinkle ½ cup sugar and 1 and ½ tablespoons of cinnamon for a sweet treat. You can thank me in the comments. (:
With more than 200 vinyl records on hand, along with easy access to my record player, it’s a better time than ever to jam to classic tunes while answering emails and planning social content in my WFH situation. The same concept could apply with your old collection of CD’s. Not only am I discovering all the music I have right at my fingertips, I’m getting up and moving every 15 to 20 minutes when it’s time to flip or change a record. (And maybe having a solo dance party here and there to prevent some stir craziness.)
Currently jamming: Billie Joel’s “Greatest Hits, etc.”
My review: It’s his greatest hits up to 1977, so it’s actually missing some pretty important pieces from his complete discography, but to be honest, perfect for working from home, since none of them are too poppy and it’s overall quite relaxing.
Hannah, social media specialist
As a working mom of three active kids (plus one pup and two beta fish), I guess you could say I understand a thing or two about what it means to be busy. We live in such a crazy, fast-paced world and right now, more than ever, I’m feeling the impact of how beneficial intentional movement is to my day….some might call it a workout, but that word can come with a lot of stigma…so for this post, let’s just call it intentional movement.
I try to carve out a little time every day to actively move my body. It could be anything from a 5am HIIT workout, to a leisurely long run on a weekend, to a simple walk with my family and pup after dinner…all I know is, when I move, I feel more clarity in my thoughts. I feel grounded. And I feel connected. Being cooped up inside all day makes me a little crazy, not gonna lie. But a day that includes a bit of intentional movement (there’s that phrase again, you’re welcome) paired with the absorption of some vitamin D, makes a world of difference for my mood and day.
Artwork by Kourtney McConville // @kourtneygracemcconville
Intentional movement doesn’t have to be this big, intense goal-driven task…it can be as simple as a quick walk around the block between Zoom meetings. But, I would encourage you to move with intention by staying connected to yourself and your people. Walks are a great time to catch up with a best friend or parent when we can’t otherwise be physically together. If you have kids, go on walks with them…I’ve found it to be an amazing time to connect with our preteen. He talks more to us in those 20 minutes than he does all day! Or, grab your nearest fur buddy…I’m sure they’d appreciate the fresh air, too.
How are you planning to keep yourself moving over these next few weeks? Let me know…I would love to stay connected. Happy moving…with intention! ☺
Rutheah, manager of creative content
Our Muse: Meditation
Something to know about me, I operate exceptionally well in stressful environments. I love big picture planning, and so when stresses come up, I really love to find overarching solutions. I also thrive on a deadline – so, I guess that’s why I work in a constantly evolving space like social.
My coping with any sort of stress typically involves more, never less, movement. When it comes to workouts, I’m a cardio girl through and through. Stillness is not my forte.
Which I guess is why it maybe took my coworkers back a bit when I said I wanted to write about adopting meditation into my routine while working from home. (Plus, Ru was taking the ‘intentional movement’ prompt 😉)
But hear me out, I had thought it through (that dang big picture). I knew that if I couldn’t be as active, I had to get a lot more comfortable with being still – and it wasn’t going to be easy.
Like I mentioned, I work in social – so I turned to some of the influencers we’ve partnered with to see what they recommended for practicing meditation. The two overwhelming recommendations: Headspace and Melissa Wood Health.
I downloaded my trial of both, and got to work – and, honestly… well – I loved it.
The idea of not attaching myself to everything going on helped me focus on the things I *am* attached to.
I’m definitely still a rookie, and probably am not doing this by the book (since my bulldog’s head is typically planted in my lap the entire time) – but it feels good to step out of a comfort zone and just be ok with being still.
If you have any tips or favorite meditations to listen to, let me know in the comments! I’d love to keep learning (=
Madalyn, manager of social media + content marketing
I’m the kind of person that buys three planners a year because I love to stay organized and all things must aesthetically live together, so getting things done isn’t something I stress about. But, my day-to-day has been off this past week. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Type A person that doesn’t have a paper out of place, but I just physically feel off. I’ve realized that my routine when working from home is way different (like way different) than at the office.
So, I’ve tried to keep myself on set schedules, similar to work, because chaos will in fact induce if I’m not crossing things out on my list. Here’s what I’ve done to keep myself motivated:
(1) First things first, seems self-explanatory, but shower. Don’t worry, just because you haven’t been doing step one doesn’t mean you can’t move on to step two. (2) Set up your ‘office’ somewhere without the distractions of TV. (3) Plan to take lunch at a specific time each day, that way you don’t keep lounging closer and closer to your fridge. *Has anyone else heard of the COVID 15? Like Freshman 15? Yeah, scary. (4) Keep it casual. Luckily, we all work for an amazing company that lets our style be present every day. So, making that sweatshirt look chic is in fact a thing.
Today is busy, and different, and not your typical ‘case of the Mondays’, but we’re all learning along the way. Our ways may not be the right way, but if you incorporate love, family, and focus on your inner self, your day-to-day will thank you. And don’t forget to accidentally face-time all of your work friends, because you know they miss you, too!
Alison, producer of brand marketing