Our small team works remotely, and from home! A typical day “in the office” means lots of group Zoom calls, messaging on Slack, and a lot of good faith effort to stick to the boundaries we’ve created for ourselves between our computers, phones, and the rest of our lives with our families, roommates, friends and pets. Here are some ways our team makes the most of our time working from home, as well as some ideas for working in daily creativity, community, and connection during this time of social-distancing.
Make your home office a garden
Reconnect with your house plant! Rearrange them around your at-home workstation to create an outdoor-indoor greenhouse effect. Plants have been proven to boost your mood, improve memory, and increase productivity – and they’re also nice to talk to if you need to work through something out loud before you get on a call or write an important email. Check out some inspiration for your green workspace here.
Cook throughout the day
We like to have a kitchen project going throughout the day that forces us to take little breaks and get up from the computer. Baking bread is great because it allows for hours of focused work while rising, and then a satisfying break to kneed the dough and form it into loaves. Using your hands and doing physical work like this lets the mind wander and daydream and gives you space to come to new conclusions about what you’ve been working on. At the end of the work day, you also end up with loaves of fresh bread to eat with dinner and a house that smells amazing! Here's an easy sourdough bread recipe.
The trick is to keep your yoga mat out, so that every time you walk by, you get down and do a few stretches. Go upside down in an inversion or just lay flat on your back and breath. Sometimes a change in perspective is all you need. Right now, many yoga studios are streaming online for free so you can keep a practice at home. Try the Down Dog app.
The most fun we’ve ever had exercising at home is by throwing ourselves a dance party. Do you have wireless headphones? Put them on! Tune into Dance Church – streaming live – to have a virtual dance party and invite your friends over Facetime so you can dance together. You can find a fun dance music playlist here.
Before checking in with the news, social media, or your emails, pull out a journal or some copy paper and write down what’s in your head this morning. Check in with yourself, read your pulse, write down how you’re passing the time, the things you’re ruminating on, what’s making you feel joy and gratitude, what’s bringing you stress or anxiety. Make a call list of the friends and family you want to check in with today. Maybe your morning pages turn into a letter to someone you’ve been thinking about a lot recently, or a poem about a moment that inspired you. Your pages can be boring and whiney, they don’t even have to be complete sentences. You can throw your pages away if you want to, the idea is just to get it all out of your body and onto the page, clear your head for new and interesting ideas. Start your Morning Pages practice here.
Read before bed + out loud
If you have someone who’s willing to listen, share a chapter of a book with your roommate or partner or kids at night. It’s fun to be swept up into a story with other people. Is it time to start re-reading all the Harry Potter books? Maybe. Probably. If you need a recommendation, we just read How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell and found it calming, inspiring, and timely – especially as technology becomes our primary connection point during social distancing. You can start by reading this transcript of a keynote talk Jenny gave in 2018, which was adapted into the book to see if it strikes a chord.
Cultivate home hobbies
Start birding. Seriously, it’s cool and easy. All you need is a window and your attention. Sprinkle some birdseed on the windowsill, on your porch, or in your bird feeder and see what new friends fly in. Keep a video journal of what birds you see and learn to identify them with the best birding apps and read How to Begin Birding article on Audubon.org.
Knit, sew and mend. Wool and the Gang has easy knitting and crochet kits for sweaters, hats, bags, blankets, and more. Mending Life: A Handbook for Mending Clothes and Life by Nina and Sonya Montenegro is a beautifully illustrated, practical toolkit for repairing the clothes and belongings we love. It is also an explorations of how mending can be a gently healing practice in our daily lives and a powerful act of restoration, both for our clothes and our relationship to the world. It was just published last week and we can’t wait to get our hands on a copy!
Make a collage. Pull out some old magazines, photographs, scissors and glue. Search for images with fun colors and textures, cut them out, arrange them and glue them together for new refrigerator or home office art. Get started by watching this video for a helpful introduction below. Also see the Brooklyn Collage Collective for amazing inspiration.
More Thing To Try While Social Distancing
Explore artwork, museums, galleries and archives from around the world and throughout history with Google Arts and Culture.
Have a tea party with your finest china and Skype in your friends, parents, grandparents! Make it a Sunday ritual.
Learn more about what makes you tick with the Enneagram Personality Type Test.
Start planning your summer garden now, and grow some delicious fresh produce this summer. Here’s a guide to Vegetable Gardening for Beginners from The Farmer’s Almanac.
Go on a bike ride in the open air and feel the wind on your skin.
Stay well everyone, and stay positive. We are lucky to live in a time when we can stay connected even when we can’t be together physically. We will continue posting what inspires us here, and please share how you're making the most of your work and life at home with us on Instagram @aksalmonsisters or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.