It’s rare to have one singular entity that tethers the entire world to each other, but COVID-19 has swiftly united all of humanity through fear, uncertainty, and, in a strange way, a sense of solidarity. We’ve all been affected by the virus (of course, at widely varying degrees), and suffice to say, we’re all looking for a bit of levity as we navigate this difficult period. As we shelter in place during this far cry from normalcy, sometimes even the smallest indulgences or practices can help us exhale a bit easier. For us at Byrdie HQ, these have come by way of things like exercise, music, and simple morning rituals. We feel an immense amount of privilege to be able to continue working our day jobs in good health and know that for frontliners and essential workers, caregivers, those whose jobs have been affected, and those who have been infected, the daily grind looks much different—but we hope that in some small way, sharing what’s worked for us will help offer a bit of solitude, even if just for a moment. Read what we’re doing to instill calm in today’s climate below.
Faith Xue, editorial director
"I've always been a night owl, but the past few weeks have changed me. Now that I'm at home 24/7, I go to bed a lot earlier, which has resulted in me waking up earlier. This has made a huge difference in my mental state. Waking up early, taking a walk around the neighborhood, coming home and making breakfast... I can't believe I'm this person now, but I am—and I'm starting to see what all the fuss around being a morning person is about. I also was gifted a subscription to the Calm app by my friends at Tatcha, and it's become a new favorite part of my morning routine. I love that that there's a quick and easy meditation for whatever mood you're feeling, whether it's to increase focus at work or to decrease anxiety. Plus, it's also full of bedtime stories (!) read by people like Matthew McConaughey and Laura Dern (!!), which sounds like it'll soon become a part of my nighttime routine, too."
Lindsey Metrus, senior editor
"I'd gotten into a really good workout groove just before my gym shut down (and life as we know it did a 180), so I've been turning to different online workout classes to help stay in shape. Melissa Wood Health has been awesome for this as her method involves a fusion of yoga and Pilates with a bit of meditation mixed in—plus her voice is so calming (and sounds just like Maggie Gyllenhaal?). I've also been loving Peloton's bodyweight exercises. The playlists are super fun, the instructors are high-energy, and each class ends with a hands-to-heart motion that instills a sense of gratitude I need to keep in check despite the current circumstances. Even more so than staying fit, working out immediately after a long work day and first thing in the morning on weekends has helped me decompress and move through my anxiety."
Star Donaldson, associate social media editor
"Thanks to senior editor Lindsey, I’ve recently turned to P.volve for my daily stress relief. Being at home all day, I knew I needed an active outlet but never expected to enjoy it. P.volve has totally opened my eyes to at-home fitness and what it feels like to comfortably engage my muscles. The workouts make me feel energized, tastefully flushed, and more dewy than sweaty. It’s wild—I never thought I could feel good after a workout instead of depleted and annoyed. Speaking of annoyed, getting dressed to work out can be hard when you’re trying to feel confident. Throwing on my IFG Fit Contour Ergonomic Posture Shorts makes me feel like a fitness queen. They’re flattering and supportive and actually help to improve posture by keeping your pelvis aligned."
Hallie Gould, senior editor
"Keeping to a ritual in the morning has become really important to my sanity, so I really try to make it a calm experience. I think I'm permanently scarred from years of over-sleeping and the subsequent mania that comes along with it. Now, I schedule in time to move slowly.
"I get up at 7:30 a.m. but stay in bed until 8—I like to spend a few moments in bed checking my phone. Mostly it's to make sure I don't have any pressing emails or unanswered text messages from the night before. I like to make myself a cup of coffee and sit in the living room to collect myself for the day (check my calendar, prepare for any important meetings, scroll through Instagram, etc.). It feels pretty meditative to spend a half hour in silence on the couch. After coffee, I go through my skincare routine and take a 15 minute walk around my neighborhood. It's become a really calming part of my day; the quiet, the routine, the sunshine. It's helpful."
Elspeth Velten, group editorial director
"I've been enjoying yoga more than ever right now, due to a combination of being in my own space without feeling like others are judging my beginner-ness, and also being stronger than ever after nearly a full year of doing CrossFit. Instead of simply being too weak to hold my body in each pose, now the only thing holding me back is my flexibility, which I feel improving each day. I've been alternating days between my 8 a.m. CrossFit Zoom classes and mid-day Modo Yoga sessions on IG Live—both workouts are keeping my brain happy!"
Holly Rhue, associate editor
"For me, the trickiest part of WFH is separating my work day from... the rest of the day. My emails can quickly bleed into what should be my self-care time, and I've found that having a specific activity to serve as a cap on my work day helps me enjoy my evenings more. For me, it's putting on a pot of tea (in an actual tea pot), cozying up with the fluffiest blanket I have, and reading a chapter of a book. It gets me in the right headspace—that work is over for the day and it's time to do some things that are good for my body and mind, like making a meal and doing a (virtual) workout class."
Kelly Gallagher, senior social media manager
"I love Sky Ting for Yoga in real life, so I recently subscribed to Sky Ting TV which has classes from 2 minutes to an hour available. I try and get one of the 15-minute classes each day, as a way to step away from work and life and focus on nothing but how I'm feeling. They have everything from meditation to power flows so there's something for me no matter my mood.
"Spotify is always my work/commute/life BFF, but I've found myself exploring new playlists while I'm home all day. In particular, I'm loving the "This is Bill Withers" playlist (rest in peace). I normally listen to the Grateful Dead while working at the office, but since I'm WFH and can shake my booty with no one to judge, I've been exploring more Funk + Disco playlists."