A: Malia polled the NG’s, and here are some themes: exercise, mindfulness, getting outdoors, making connections with friends and family (by phone or Zoom, outside, or within our pods), doing what we love (and avoiding what we don’t love), takeout, and … bad TV. In fact, our back-channel chat on this question devolved (evolved?) into a lengthy list of our favorite mindless TV shows. We can recommend: Real Housewives, Million Dollar Listing, Love it or Leave it, Below Deck, Jane the Virgin, Selling Sunset, Madame Secretary, Tiger King, The Matchmaker, The Great British Baking Show, Top Chef Junior, and Tiny House Nation.
Aparna says: simple exercise even if 10 minutes. maintaining connections with friends (even talking on a walk), helping others when I can (it helps me too), focusing on things that I love (and not those that I don’t), brewing kombucha.
Gretchen: I start my day with a long walk every morning. It helps calm my mind, keeps me moving, and I get my socialization in with lots of other neighbors who are out walking at that same time. So it serves several important purposes for me. I also have social distanced, outdoor coffees and happy hours with neighbors/friends in addition to zoom get-togethers. I order my groceries delivered but will run to my local store to grab one or two things. My rule of thumb is in & out in 15 minutes or less.
Lindsey: Outdoor socializing with other families and friends. Daily meditation. Getting into nature whenever possible. I do head to the office a couple times a week to have some peace and quiet!
Malia: Right now, learning to stand-up paddleboard and the glow of my recent full week unplugged in the wilderness in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Swimming laps at the pool. Foraging, hiking, and indoor cycling on my Peloton bike, which I bought for myself in December in a move that was truly prescient. Gardening, digging in the dirt, and building things are my favorite activities for when it all gets too much or I need to think things over. My husband and I love to play board games and we’ve been connecting with friends using Jackbox Games (virtual/remote gaming)! I have a semi-regular BYO Everything backyard happy hour with my mom-friends–the ladies even bring their own chairs.
Amanda: Taking our 8-month old pup out running and spending time outside each day, re-arranging/organizing the house to facilitate virtual learning/home office spaces for myself and all of our kids (ages 4, 9 and 11), and take-out…lots of take-out in support of our local restaurants.
Shoshi: Reading novels, limiting screen time, prioritizing 8 hours of sleep a night, getting outside, and re-watching Arrested Development.
Sandra: Walks by myself. I’m a huge introvert and being at home 24/7 with 2 young kids who demand non-stop attention is an incredible drain. But, I’ve also gotten a haircut, gone for doctors/dentist appointments, gotten new eyeglasses – in other words, errands that involve taking care of ME. I was also blessed with a really large family and have prioritized regular communication and safe contact with them. Oh and I watch Bravo religiously.
Jenn: We created routines of long walks, zoom workouts and Netflix with the teens. Money Heist/Casa de Papel was a huge hit (and of course Tiger King!). We go to very few stores so lots of food delivery which is easy here in London. Trying to savor the unexpected upsides like no commuting, family dinners, and no social obligations (also introvert!). And wine.
Alison: Self-care comes in many forms: indulging in a growler of the best chai on the planet; writing postcards to voters; listening to podcasts, mostly not about COVID; baking chocolate chip cookies over and over again; and reading Because Internet (a fascinating book on linguistics in the Internet age).
Lauren: I miss being with people and since I have two young kids, I also miss being alone. My self-care involves a mix of both social and solo activities. Socially, I enjoy playing Jackbox games or Ticket to Ride with my kids or meeting a friend outside for a socially distanced glass of wine. I’m mostly over the Zoom happy hour stage of this pandemic, but it’s nice to touch base with friends and relatives one-on-one through video-based devices. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen — cooking, listening to NPR, and chatting with my mom. I find my “just me” time in the early mornings, which usually involves coffee in my vegetable garden or sitting on the front porch. I try to take walks and listen to podcasts, although I could do more of that.
Ashley: Spending time outside and family. We started hiking in March with our three kids and I have found this therapeutic. We also kept our extended family in the bubble. I enjoy the socialization and support of this consistent crew. I miss our friends but watching the cousins play and spending time with my parents and siblings provides strength and fulfillment. There were some very serious discussions about risk and rules when we first met up in June and those conversations continue to evolve.