Turned toward the sun ─

How Friends Around the World Are Making the Most of This Time

Photo taken by Nicholas Gordon for Vitruvi

Image by Gordon Nicholas for Vitruvi

With so much tragedy and change unfolding before our eyes from this global pandemic there are moments that feel very heavy, scary, and surreal, and there are moments that feel somewhat normal and even beautiful. Taking it one moment at time seems to be the best way we can handle the waves of emotion that we are all experiencing at different stages.

In many ways this crisis has made the world feel smaller, and although it is under strange circumstances, I have enjoyed connecting with friends around the world, taking comfort in the fact that we are united in this together.

Here are some words from my friends near and far on how they are making the most of their days. Be it keeping social distance at home or at work in the hospitals. Whether they are in survival mode balancing work with children, keeping their business afloat, manning the front lines of healthcare, or turning to nature, and connecting with their loved ones...there is no 'right' way to act, react, or feel right now. In fact, if there is anything I hope we can all take away from this time its that being in the present moment is enough, while we all do our part to slow the spread of this virus. I hope in reading these stories you will feel a little less alone and a little more inspired to make the most of each moment.

"There is definitely an invitation to go within. To listen to the silence. Explore the treasure and shadow found there and let in new ways of being. Its a potent time for nurturing ourselves and making our own medicine. For me that looks like: learning to bake, sending "mixtape" playlists to friends via Spotify, making elixirs, offerings to the land (dried tea leaves, stones, song) and sending up prayers for the collective"

- Savannah King, Fine Jewelry Designer & Stone Medicine Healer, Topanga Canyon, California

"Still working at the hospital, but riding my bike outside instead of taking the subway! I've been meditating at home, having quality time with my stove/oven, lots of cuddling."

- Shaina Singh, Doctor, Brooklyn, NY

"As parents we are just trying to not let our (2 year old) daughter know energetically what's going on. We want her to just think we are just having a vacation at Gramma's house here. Even though we are all going stir crazy. We switch off taking care of her so we have energy and don't pass our anxiety on to her."

- Lyndsy Fonseca, Actress & Mama, Los Angeles, California

"Norway is completely locked down. I am spending the day juggling being a mom and trying to get some work in. The government has advised us to spend as little time as possible outside, so were trying to figure out fun things to do inside. We are painting, drawing and cleaning. It's really nice to see everybody is taking this very seriously in Norway. There are Facebook groups and notes all over offering help to grocery shop or have video chats if anybody is lonely. And strangers really reach out to each other digitally. Its nice to see that we stand together on this one!" 

-Andrea backström, Junior Producer & Mama, Oslo, Norway

"With 2 young kids at home here are some things I hope I personally can keep up with during quarantine: 1 thought a day written on actual paper. Lets think of what we are looking forward to going back to when the world starts turning again, and what could we let go/get rid of. I read so many good intentions on making the most of this special time to be introspective and really take a break and slow down...But I don't trust humanity's memory, always so short, and I'm afraid were going to go directly back to our old/bad habits. Lets see, hope, pray. Other ideas are to go through all your belongings and keep only what you really need and use daily. If you write, take photographs, or any other artistic thing take this time to go through your archive."

-Lara Micheli, Photographer & Mama, Biarritz, France  

"For us the most important thing is trying to stay fresh and engaged so as not to get stuck in monotony. We are trying to watch something new (something we haven't seen) a day, take time to write and also take time to ourselves. Be that one of us working out while the other places with our puppy or vice versa. Trying to stay healthy and active is important for both of us to combat anxiety and other effects of boredom and stress."

-Liz Hannah, Writer/Producer, Los Angeles, California

*Liz also put together an amazing list of movies to watch during the quarantine for Vidiots Foundation, a non-profit film org & library.  

"Set a schedule. Being at home with kids the schedule has already helped us feel more normal and productive. Its easy to sit there wanting to refresh the news feed but this gets us up and on tasks working together."

-Eric Johnson, Dad & Actor, Toronto, Canada

*Eric set up a schedule on a spreadsheet with time allotted for things like "free reading, exercise, creative expression, outside time, device free time, meals, and educational time.

"Learning to fall back in love with quiet!"

- Avery Plewes, Costume Designer, Toronto, Canada

"Milan is under complete lock down so I am locked up in the house with my 2 small kids and I spend most of my time caring for them, cleaning up, and keeping them entertained. The most important thing is to practice patience and stay calm."

-Karolijn Zomer, Model & Mama, Milan, Italy 

"I am still working at the hospital (ironically it is more quiet there than ever) but my partner has temporarily been put out of work since they closed the Opera. We are working on renovating our hallway together, a project we started nearly a year ago."

- Sara Dahlstedt, E.R Nurse, Malmö, Sweden

"This is scary and stressful in so many ways but it is rare for our little family of 3 to have so much time together. So when I am lying awake panicking about the future, the economy, my friends & family who run small businesses, I try to remember how precious this time is and how lucky I am to be with them. We are face timing A LOT with family and friends who have kids so we still feel like we are socializing our baby. She has a virtual music class on zoom! Lots of walks outside."

-Sarah Power, Actress & Mama, Los Angeles, California

"No TV and instead using the time to be with my husband, make ceramics at home, and play chess!"

-Keenan Kampa Sinatra, Ballerina, Los Angeles, California

"As a naturally very introverted person this time at home has made me want to sink into my creative problem solving, both in how we are navigating our business decisions at Vitruvi right now, but also in my life and relationships. In times like this creativity is key. The world has changed, for a long time if not forever. Now is a time to re-think the norm. I've been spending my time working from home at my dining room table, moving my body with Melissa Wood Health videos, listening to The Black Keys because they fill my soul and make me want to dance at home. I'm currently reading "The Ride of a Lifetime" by Robert Iger and doing meditations by Sarah Blondin & Tara Brach on the Insight Timer app."

-Sara Panton, CEO of Vitruvi, Vancouver, Canada

"I like to set up a quiet space with candles, a diffuser, turn out the lights and do yoga at home - I use 'Yoga with Adrienne'. Staying on a schedule is important for me working at home, making sure I shower and get dressed in the morning before I start work. Working on a photography project inside and doing my taxes are my goals!"

- Tricia Travis, College Counselor, Los Angeles, California

"Watching movies - not tv shows - actual movies - remember those? They have a beginning, middle, and end. What a novel thought? Movie recommendations: American Werewolf in London, Rosie, Mother, Shaun of the Dead"

- Douglas Smith, Actor, Los Angeles, California

"We moved to the countryside at just the right time. Our quarantine is going to look like fire pits and roasted marshmallows, football in the front yard, and movies in bed all day long. We plan on turning enforced isolation into much needed precious family time."

-Carlie Philby, Model & Mama, Sydney, Australia

"We are diving into new recipes for dishes we can freeze and have later, and doing things we've never done before like bake bread! I want to finish every half read book on my shelf" 

-Glenda MacInnis, Actress, Toronto, Canada

"Working from home, watching great cinema, learning, reading, and posting positivity"

- Austin Saya, Director, Los Angeles, California

"Walking around my reservoir, taking photos of the beauty around me, only for me and not social media. I’ve limited news intake to 20-30 minutes a day and I'm also practicing emotional social distancing all to keep me feeling grounded and safe. Reading educational books, puzzling to “chick lit” audio books and cooking. Self care, and soul care is my highest priority right now...and this I am truly grateful for, even in these most uncertain times." 

-Katie Cookie, Space Holder & Support to Paula Mallis at WMN Space @wmnspace  Los Angeles, California

"Even though we are all in isolation for a while, we can use our minds to be innovative, to create art, to reinvent ourselves, to serve others in ways we didn't know were possible...Think about who you want to be. There are many possibilities, so keep your mind and heart open to what appears and then run with it... Create an in-home photography studio with a blank white wall or white sheet and take self-portraits (the camera on your phone is perfect). Call your relatives and ask them detailed questions about their lives, their childhood, their favorite memories. Record their answers."

- Carly Dame, Photographer, Paris, France

"I have been trying to squeeze in some movement everyday (I like Melissa Wood or Body by Simone), getting outside to get a few mins of Vitamin D a day, and just breathing the fresh air, finishing up our trip scrapbook/doing some journaling, working on an online course and we will do a big spring clean. But 90% of the time will be spent snuggling our little ones!"

-Kaleigh Dey Didier, Teacher & Mama, Toronto, Canada

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