Two weeks into working from home—an option that we’re grateful to have—we’re slowly developing routines and finding ways to embrace our “new normal.” We’ve found that learning how others have been adjusting and adapting can be beneficial, so we reached out to three of our local editors to find out how they’re structuring their days, staying connected with people outside their homes, and homeschooling children, all while continuing to support the small businesses in their towns from a safe distance.
Leigh Brown, editor of
The Scout Guide Fort Worth
“While I am accustomed to working from home, I’m still getting used to having my two sons (Bates, 5, and Pierce, almost 2) home all day every day, the lack of social interaction, and the strong and deliberate effort it takes to maintain as normal a routine as possible. My goal for each day is to incorporate learning time, outdoor play, physical activity, connection with friends and family, and ‘downtime’ for my kids. Mostly, it is day-by-day, minute-by-minute. I do my best to adjust the schedule as needed to maintain happiness for everyone.
“Our day starts around 8 a.m. with a big breakfast. While the kids enjoy their plates, I sneak into my home office in the guest room to answer emails and review social media strategies. Afterward, Pierce plays with his puzzles or magnets or watches an episode of Baby TV while I help Bates with his online school activities; his school, All Saints Episcopal School, has provided an excellent platform for online learning that is engaging and exciting, but it does require assistance. Around 10 a.m. we have outdoor time—we have played with water balloons, made a water slide out of the swing set that Santa brought, and gone on nature walks. Then, the kids have lunch while I visit my clients’ social media pages to stay up-to-date with how they are handling the pandemic.
During early afternoon, Pierce takes a nap while I do a few more online activities for Bates that include a craft (Art Hub on YouTube has been a saving grace), singing, and learning about the letter of the week. We have also loved watching the live cams of the animals at the San Diego Zoo, and our ‘little boys playgroup’ has started a letter chain that has been a fun activity to help us stay connected. Then, I usually have Bates call my parents or in-laws or a buddy from school for a FaceTime chat, and I work on drafting social media posts during this time. When Pierce wakes up, usually around 3, we try to get back outdoors to play on the swing set or walk on the trail near our house if the weather permits. Otherwise we will go for a drive or make cookies or cinnamon cake.
“My husband, Wynn, gets home from work between 4:30 and 5 (he is in the oil and gas business and has a private office near the Stockyards that is empty except for him). For dinner, we have been picking up meals from our local favorite spots, which has been fun. Texas is temporarily allowing alcohol to be picked up with curbside meals, so we have enjoyed margaritas from Righteous Foods and Joe T. Garcias, and Ellerbe Fine Foods has done a wonderful job with its family-style meals and kids options. I have also cooked several of our typical meals (white bean chicken chili or tacos) and we have done Chick-fil-A a time or two!
After bath time, reading time, prayer time, and bedtime, Wynn and I will enjoy a glass of wine, have our dinner, and watch a Netflix movie or show together (las night we watched The Good Liar). Overall, I have enjoyed spending more time with my children and husband without the hustle and bustle of so many activities outside the home. That said, we pray every night for families that are affected by this disease and the businesses that are being impacted, and I hope we will all get back to our regular routines soon. Until then…we can do this!
Leigh Gordon, editor of The Scout Guide Denver
“One thing that I have found to be the most helpful for me during this time as I navigate all the changes is getting outside. Every morning, after my coffee, I go for a long walk around Cheesman Park. It’s my walking meditation and it really has become my daily ritual. I enjoy listening to podcasts on my walk, and I typically split them up into current event-focused ones and more entertainment-focused ones. My favorites are The Daily, Modern Love, The Dating Game Killer, The Dream, and Dolly Parton’s America.
“After I get back from my walk, I get ready for the day in my best ‘work-from-home-chic’— basically more athleisure. Before COVID-19, I would work out of a co-working space (TSG Denver’s Rise Collaborative Workspace) or from local coffee shops, but since everything is now closed here in Denver and we are officially under Stay at Home orders, I’ve had to set up shop at home. I was working from my dining room table, but I have recently moved into my breakfast nook off my kitchen. It’s quiet, I love the natural light, and I don’t get tempted to watch the news.
“At night, I’ve been making a conscious effort to check in with my family and friends. I’ve been introduced to the Marco Polo app, which I’m loving, I’ve also never had so many Zoom and FaceTime calls before in my life! I’m really enjoying the ‘virtual’ happy hours with friends from all over the world. Last night, my family got together on Zoom and it was really great to see everyone. If I’m not Zooming or FaceTiming, I enjoy working on Liberty Puzzles. They are some of the most beautiful and challenging puzzles I’ve ever done. My family has been collecting them for years now. They pass the time in a very soothing way for me.”
Laurie Wightman, editor of
The Scout Guide Main Line & Philadelphia
“One advantage I feel I have during this time of quarantining is that I’m used to working from home on a regular basis. So in certain ways, my schedule hasn’t really varied all too much during work hours. That said, in the mornings for the last two weeks I have made sure to offer myself a little extra love by extending my yoga practices on the mat, and taking more time for my meditation sessions. Self-care is essential right now for each of us, and carving out that time to just to be with yourself is so important. I recommend checking out local yoga studios in your community and seeing who is providing live classes via Zoom or Instagram. It’s a great way to continue supporting local yoga studios during this time, while also creating balance for yourself. As for the meditation practices, I would highly suggest the Calm App. I absolutely love it and use it every single day. After I’ve cleared my head and am able to breathe a bit easier, I go make a cup of tea, hop in the shower, and get ready for work.
“The majority of my days have been filled with managing content on social media and online to support all of our local business owners here on the Main Line and Philadelphia. I’ve been spending a lot more time on my computer these days, which is slightly different from my normal schedule when I’m usually out and about meeting with new businesses and/or existing Scout Guide clients. By mid-day, I’m ready for a break and some fresh air. I whip up my favorite Green Goddess smoothie, and take my dog, Finn, for a walk in the woods. Taking time to just be in nature each day can work wonders. Hearing the birds chirp, seeing all the buds popping on the trees, smelling the fresh scents of flowers, and simply breathing in fresh air is the perfect remedy.
“In the evenings, my husband, Michael, and I have been trying out new recipes—recently we made pitas from local chef Michael Solomonov’s cookbook, Israeli Soul, and they were great—and rediscovering date night at home. We’ll pull out some jazz albums on vinyl, and spin them away with a bottle of wine and a delicious meal. We have also become reacquainted with the game Backgammon (I am currently winning, just for the record). Additionally, I have also been using the apps Marco Polo and Houseparty to keep in touch with my dearest friends, who provide me with much-needed humor these days. Daily phone calls to my parents and texts to my family are an important part of my routine as well. Each evening is concluded with snuggles on the floor with my little Finn and my husband while watching a TV series or movie on Netflix. Anyone else watching Outlander? I can’t get enough of it right now.