The Workhorse team has been working virtually for some months now (for Abe, years). We seem to be flowing together as a unit pretty nicely and are lucky to still be taking on projects. We’ve been learning how to share work and talk to clients with our pets or children going crazy in the background. I find it incredible that our virtual interactions haven’t been impacted too much, internally, and with clients. Though everyone is going through the same thing and working extra hard to make it work. I wonder what the world will be like when we finally are back normal, whatever that is. Will we choose to go back to the office or continue to work virtually?
Dan at home in Baltimore
I think we can all relate to the stir-crazy feeling we’re getting from sitting in the same place all day. There’s no place like home until you have to be there all the time. As you probably know, I’m also going to Virtual University (aka Maryland Institute College of Art), so in addition to being stir-crazy, I’m going a bit Zoom-crazy. I feel like I’m eating, sleeping, and breathing Zoom calls and Slack Chats and endless searches on Google Drive. While I’m definitely blessed to have work during the pandemic, I do feel like I’m glued to my chair every day until quitting time. Which is exhausting. And doing this when you live alone makes it feel even more intense.
Margaret, parenting and working at the same damn time
One of Abe’s many children doing what children do
I love living alone, but I also miss having company, especially during this quarantine. My days have mostly consisted of working, skateboarding, and some cyber socializing. With every day being sort of the same, it’s hard to always feel sane and productive. So, I thought it would be helpful to share a handful of things I’ve been doing to change up my daily routine. These have helped me maintain my sanity to continue to be productive and happy while living alone in my one-bedroom apartment.
Tips for Sanity
Find Activities IRL
As a young person, I feel like my generation is obsessed with scrolling and liking random things on social media, so I’ve been looking for ways to get the hell away from my phone: drawing, cooking, skateboarding, and taking time to enjoy a coffee on my balcony, aka fire escape.
Define Your Work and Sleep Space
At the beginning of quarantine, I’m pretty sure I spent 75% of my day in my bedroom. It was making me a little nuts because my commute was exactly two steps from where I slept. So I decided to go to IKEA, as college students do, to find some clearance furniture to create a studio in my living room.
Find A Podcast
Podcasts have been vital for me to listen to during and after my workday. It’s nice to have something hilarious to lighten up the day. I’ve found that podcasts are also excellent to have in the background for whatever you are doing. A little mindless content while working never hurt anyone.
Rearrange the Furniture
Since the winter, I think I’ve rearranged my living room/printmaking studio about 5 times. Some would say this is me being indecisive about my surrounding, but I think it feels like a fresh start. The house gets cleaned, and have a new old room to settle in to.
Bring Back An Old Hobby
I don’t know if 22 is old enough to have an old hobby. I guess, if I were to really pick up an old hobby of mine, I would be playing with Lincoln Logs again. With all of that said, I’m getting back into my charcoal figure drawing and portraiture work.
Find a New Recipe
Growing up, the food we ate was pretty bland. My mother is not to blame here. My Irish ancestry is at fault, in that they did not know how to season very well. Now that I have been cooking myself, I’ve been broadening my pallet and making Jamaican and Caribbean dishes.
I know that while these specific activities have helped me to keep it together, balancing Workhorse, school and freelancing, they might not be for everyone. Maybe you like quiet and are happy that you never have to see anyone. Or you can’t take another minute of riding solo during these trying times. Whatever it is that helps you keep sane, the most important thing is that you are safe and happy and not infecting anyone else.