This is a rough time.  Like everyone, I’m struggling through the COVID-19 crisis.  Some days are good, some are bad, and a lot of them feel like nothing at all.  I keep hearing people say “We’re all in the same boat.”  On a recent episode of Staying in with Emily and Kumail, they brought up this idea and shared what is perhaps a more apt metaphor, “We’re all in the same storm, but we’re in different boats.”  As for me, my boat is hardier than many but has its share of issues (like my wife and I both losing jobs at unicorn startups and having a cross-country move).  As I experiment with different ways of staying afloat, I thought I’d share a few things that have been fun or helpful for me.

Media Recommendations

  • Some Good News with John Krasinski – You’ve probably already heard about this feel good DIY show on Youtube, but if not, I highly recommend it.  I’m a big fan of The Office and I love that John is an unabashed Boston sports fan but you don’t need to like either to love this show and momentarily feel okay with the world.
  • Staying in with Emily and Kumail – The comedy powerhouse couple of Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (writers of the semi-autobiographical film The Big Sick) started a podcast to help provide some good advice and reassurance during the quarantine period.  Emily is both a trained therapist and an immunocompromised individual, while Kumail is her comedian/actor husband.  The two are both endearing and provide a hilarious and helpful take in these difficult times.
  • Standup Comedy specials – Netflix, HBO, Youtube, and plenty of other outlets have a ton of standup specials you can watch.  A few comics I have been enjoying lately: Allie Wong, John Mulaney, Nikki Glaser, Hannibal Buress, Whitney Cummings, Dan Soder, Chelsea Peretti, and Marc Maron.  I’ve also been enjoying listening to old episodes of Pete Holmes’ podcast You Made it Weird

Fun with Friends

  • Virtual Game Nights – We’ve done a couple of these with my extended family and they were a good bit of fun.  We played Code Names on and did some Jackbox Games as well.  Definitely a fun time.  Videoconferences with a lot of people can be tough but having the game as a focus helps
  • Virtual Open Mic Night – I hosted one of these last weekend and it was a great time.  From folk songs to standup comedy to Bach sonatas, it was a great creative outlet and a nice break from the typical movie or tv that makes up evenings most days.

Body and Mind

  • Bike Rides – Running is typically my cardio of choice (and I’m still doing that) but lately I have been doing more bike rides so that I can go further and enjoy some bodies of water.  Recent routes include a decent stretch of the Charles River and Jamaica Pond via the Emerald Necklace.
  • Lita Lewis’ 30 minute HIIT workouts – On bad weather days, I usually do a 30 minute interval cardio workout.  I found a few by trainer Lita Lewis that give me what I need and aren’t too over the top from a personality standpoint.  Lita strikes a good balance between providing a little encouragement and just letting me do the workout
  • Corner Studio Livestream Yoga – I’ve written before about my amazing friend Jenna Palm and her classes (via Zoom) have been critical in helping me stay grounded in this time.  I’m partial to her Wednesday afternoon Flow and Restore class but everything the studio offers is pretty spot on and with the livestream capability you don’t even need to be in the Boston area to enjoy it!

Useful Quote

  • “Your not working from home, you are stuck at home in a global health crisis trying to work.”  Not sure the source on this but I heard it on Staying in with Emily and Kumail.  Having been recently laid off, I’m not working but I am interviewing a ton and I think this can be broadly applied to any activity.  I’m not job searching from home, I’m stuck at home in a global health crisis trying to find a job.  Parents aren’t homeschooling their children, they are stuck at home in a global health crisis trying to teach their kids.  It’s easy to feel like we aren’t doing enough or doing what we are doing well enough but we need to be kind to ourselves and to each other right now.  With this little reframing it’s a lot easier to do that.

The recommendations above are not a cure all.  Many days (especially if the weather isn’t good) I struggle mightily.  For me, it’s issues sleeping and trying to present my best self in interviews while feeling far from it.  These are hard times and sometimes the best we can do is get to tomorrow.  I’m certainly still working on that but hope a few of these suggestions help and I’d love to hear what else is working for you.