I believe that journaling is an art form. And like all art forms it requires patience, skill, and commitment. I also believe that art is about showcasing your reality. Now is art meant to shared publicly? Or is meant to be stored privately? I can’t say, and not even scholars can agree. What I can say with confidence is that in this time of social distancing and stay home orders, creating art is more essential than ever.
I’ve seen a constant flow of influencers, actors, and everyday people going live. Daily vlogs and blogs are the new normal for content creators. But why do many of us think that we need an audience of at least 10k to pay attention to consider ourselves content creators? During this time I’ve noticed myself actually spending more time on YouTube and listening to podcasts than I did before the pandemic. Rather than having these things playing as filler noise, I’ve noticed that I’m actually listening to them.
Through random content I’ve consumed I’ve grown to understand something. Everyone can be a content creator. Especially in a time of social distancing, content bridges the gap between where we are and the people we want to connect with.
Before I continue, I’d like to offer a definition of content. The Merriam Webster definition for content has 4 entries, I’ll be choosing the second. I like the second definition because it dictates this Noun as, “the events, physical detail, and information in a work of art.” (Merriam Webster) I’m treating content as the works of art that an individual produces. Whether it’s on YouTube, TikTok, Spotify, or a watercolor painting you made, I argue that all of that is content. It’s an event, or experience, that you captured in a sensory form. If you can make something visual, textual, audible, then you just made content.
Through the various kinds of content I’ve engaged with I’ve been able to tolerate social distancing. Trust me, I too long for the day I can visit a crowded coffee shop. Id welcome the tired indie playlist and cacophony of chatter that swirls around a neighborhood Starbucks. That sense of company was something I took for granted then.
I mentioned earlier that now Im genuinely listening to the things Id normally tune out . Through observing the content that’s proliferated I noticed that I was not alone. Most content creators are longing for the the daily beats that were taken for granted. The mundane and boring has left the zeitgeist or normal for most of us. From morning workouts, to afternoon coffee runs, or dinner reservations, the everyday seems like a forever ago.
It does seem easy to feel bitter or bored during this pandemic. The truth is that this is our new normal. We have to understand that learning to cope with social distancing is a responsibility we have. The pressure during this pandemic to stay alert of the news and our environment is daunting. I would even say at times it can be overwhelming. That’s why I think that it matters that you attempt to make content.
No matter what way you look at it, human connection enriches our souls. When I start to feel drained I engage with some sort of content. In place of heading to a coffee shop, I play a podcast out loud while sipping on a home made latte and reading emails.
Through a strangers art I’ve been granted a sense of familiarity. Now I’ve never been a person who likes calls. Opting for an in person connection is more my style. However, setting up a FaceTime with a friend does suffice. I would say that crafting a video call is content creation. Consider all the effort it took to create that experience. After having set up a camera and organizing a time, you managed to produce a rich conversation.
While you don’t have a million followers chiming into your chat, you created something that could enrich you and the other person involved. Isn’t that what a work of art is all about?
In my experience, being comfortable in quarantine means maintaining a routine. My daily routine involves both the beats of work and my daily goals. One goal that I actually pushed aside for a long time was creating content.
I define myself as a writer. In college I studied composition. In my professional life, I am a communicator. To my family and friends I am the talker. In all aspects of my life I love to use language to connect with people. That relationship that I forge with language, my building block of choice being written text, is my art. It was through seeing creators push out content that I realized the kairos of this moment.
We should make our own works of art to bridge the gap with the people we miss. Reading home work-out guides reminds me of my affinity for a group class. Watching vlogs about organization helps me get creative in fixing my closet. Interacting with other people’s content gives me a preview of what they miss and what they love. Understanding a person through their art meets a lot of my criteria as a face to face impression.
Creating content should be an avenue that lets you showcase your passion and practice it. Producing your own art can be something simple or as elaborate as you wish. Maybe you have a puzzle somewhere in your house? Well you can capture pics following your progress. Or do you feel inclined to express order a fancy Nikon and start a vlog channel? I say do whatever feels right to you! Just make sure that you do it with a commitment to follow through
Maintaining a daily journal was something I started, and then didn’t do for a few days. I didn’t feel fulfilled keeping my thoughts confined to the leather bound pages under my desk. The content I enjoyed had an audience of more than just 1. Thus, I started blogging again regularly. My form of content is rooted in written text and I understand that’s not the case for everyone.
My hope is that you start to tap into discovering your art form. Right now is the time to most importantly persevere, that being our relationships, our health, and our careers. If you feel overwhelmed by this pandemic then I urge you to turn that fear into inspiration. I believe that inspiration shouldn’t always come from external forces but from the experiences we have inside as fuel. Hopefully, this post provides you with a framework of looking at content creation as less daunting as the polished podcast and videos we’ve seen as standard.
I hope you discover your art form and share with those you want to connect with. While we stay home and social distance we can still maintain the relationships that matter to us.
I wrote this blog to address the new reality for many of us that is working from home. Whether your office or school has given you the order to go home, it's definitely been an abrupt transition for many. (The first post I made about this was written alongside my friend Lauren Kane so make sure to check that out for some laughs and interesting insights.) As someone who's worked from home for a few months now, I know that there is a learning curve in adjusting from office life to WFH life.
Like LK and I wrote in our post together, WFH is not all fun and games. After all, work from home is a prepositional phrase; the noun phrase “work” comes before the preposition “from,” and it tells us where the work is now happening, in the adjectival phrase “home.” BOOM that is me putting this writing and rhetoric major to work!
I think the impression of many is that WFH means you can chill more than you could if you were in an office. While this is true, failing to remain productive can seriously stress you out and make the quality of your work suffer. No one wants to be called out by their colleague for slacking; there’s enough to worry about with press briefings popping like popcorn left and right. Your professional life shouldn’t necessarily add to the daily dose of anxiety amidst this pandemic. With all that heavy stuff out of the way, here's the 5 tips I offer for getting on your grind from the comfort of home!
Prepare the Night Before
When I started working from home I thought that this was an easy pass for watching TikTok until 2am. I thought, 'Oh I don't have to commute anywhere in the AM.' Despite the physical office being subtracted, the other part of this equation is mentally checking in for work. This is why the night before I prepare as if I was going somewhere.
Just for reference, I try to be in bed by 10pm. At least an hour before I go to sleep I begin my nighttime ritual. The first thing I do is wash away my worries with my opulent skin routine. I gather all my products from my skin fridge, and step-by-step I layer on my serums and creams oh so delicately. For roughly 10-15 mins I get to only focus on me, myself, and my pores. Some people meditate, get a good stretch in, or take a moment to sit with their thoughts. Whatever you do, I recommend you do anything that gives you some serenity. Just like you reward yourself with some late-night Netflix after a day in the office, you should treat yourself for the work you did that day at home.
Now before I can crawl into bed, I have to write. I have two notebooks on my desk that I use, one is for productivity and the other for personal thoughts. I like to write a rough list of things I need to get done for the following day. It's not like my agenda, which I also have, it's more of reminders I'm making for myself. The other notebook is where I take a few minutes to just journal about things like gratitude. What am I grateful for today? What went well? How did I feel about the day? These are some starting questions I use. Writing helps me flush out any lingering thoughts or concerns I'm having, ensuring that I can a peaceful and meaningful sleep.
Set Goals for Yourself for The Day
When WFH I noticed that it was important to start my day by feeling productive. Before I even reach for my phone or computer, I go back to my desk and the aforementioned notebooks. Because I know my day is going to eventually overwhelm me, starting with some more free writing helps solidify my mind. Even just a paragraph of any positive thoughts or energy you can focus on before work makes all the difference in kickstarting your productivity.
Using the reminders I wrote the night before, this is how I start to craft my schedule for the day. I cannot stress this enough but make a schedule and stick to it. WFH is not an extended vacation. You still have deadlines to meet and a bag to secure! In my schedule I create goals for both the work I want to accomplish and personal tasks as well. Whether that's scheduling in a workout, a proper break, or some time to cook, give yourself some credit and call these things goals! Now that you're home, these chores or general maintenance are forefront just like your corporate duties.
I say that why not mark making lunch as one of your goals now? You should feel proud doing any and all things that aren't just taking a nap! Productivity is all about getting that grind on, and knocking out emails is now only part of your WFH grind.
Create a Productive Space and Time Frame
Granted that this point might not be feasible for everyone, but I encourage you to find a corner in your home that you can turn into your makeshift office. In college, I was never one to do complete work in my bed. I just couldn't do it! I felt too comfortable sitting in bed even when there was an urgent task on my computer. Working remotely means that yes in theory you could work from your bed. But how productive can you really be from your bed? My advice is that if you have a desk in your room, or another table to work from home, take advantage of it.
Bring all your essentials to that space. Any hardware, stationary, try to fit it all in this space that you will designate as your "office" space. Even if this space is on your kitchen corner, having a physical space will make you feel all that much more productive. My home office space is a desk in my room decked out with a fully wireless keyboard and mouse. Pro tip I love having this set up because whenever I feel like it, I just pick up my laptop and move to the dining table. One advantage of WFH is that you can change your scenery when you need a break.
Along with having a designated space to work, you should allot blocks of time for just work. It's so easy when you WFH to get distracted and forget about work. Part of how I remain on my office grind is thanks to creating a time frame that I devote to work. With my planner in hand, I start to map out, usually hour-by-hour, what my day looks like. Between calls and emails I try to create a consistent schedule between set hours that I deem my "office hours." Thus, along with having your set space set some hours to ensure your mimicking that in-office grind.
Take Breaks, But DON'T Finish That Last Sentence
This piece of advice isn't too lengthy, but it's a pro tip that I had to share. A professor in college once told me, "If you need to take a break from writing make sure you don't finish that last sentence." 'What?' I thought when she first told me this tidbit of advice. It turns out, there is a method to this madness.
The logic is that it's harder to pick up a new task than it is to come back and finish one. If you happen to be writing an email try leaving a sentence unfinished before you come back from it. Of course, you can write down important points to finish. But not finishing this sentence will force your mind to finish this task when you come back. Rather than trying to find motivation, your drive is there in front of you. Since I learned this trick, shoutout to Professor Cheryl Forbes, I have stuck to it like gum under a desk. It works!
Try to Unplug When You Can
The last bit of advice I can share is to understand how to divide your home and work life. Because your work is invading your home, it's important to take time to forget about the constant pressures that may be in front of you. I barely started to understand how to divide home and work in the past few weeks and it's made all the difference.
While I cannot go to a coffee shop for a break, I can close my computer and take a few minutes to indulge in a well earned break. Maybe I'll take a break and go outside to my backyard (maybe you have a porch or balcony) just for a good deep breath of fresh air. You cannot lost the peace that comes from your home during this pandemic. Work is called work because it's hard. Everything cannot be the same as when you had a daily commute or office to go to. Just like my phone needs a break to charge, I also need to recharge after hours in front of my computer.
Maybe I wouldn't advise you take a nap, but maybe you are the kind of person that can take a cat nap, but definitely enjoy a nice cup of coffee after some WFH. Maybe read a few pages from that book you bought earlier this year because you swore 2020 is when you'd start reading. Take some time to unplug from work and reset yourself.
I hope that you're staying safe and that you may find some of these tips useful!
Panic causes problems. In my job, perhaps more than others, words matter. As someone who works in PR, my whole job revolves around my relationship with the press. Whether I’m pitching story ideas or sending out press breaks, the news dominates my work life.
Despite working in entertainment, my focus isn’t pigeonholed to just the trades or gossip sites. No - I pay attention, to the best of my ability, to the entire news cycle. From hard news to local, I try to be both educated and informed on global and community issues.
I know that there’s a world outside of Hollywood. Sadly, the industry has seemed to forget this and there’s been a cascade of headlines about how film and TV is suffering. But the truth is that ordinary people are suffering even more. Rather than logic and facts, fear and confusion are driving clicks. I wanted to write this piece to share how I manage this vicious news cycle in the hopes of maybe giving you a tip or two.
1 Stay Informed From Accredited Press
First and foremost, there is nothing worse than being a know it all, especially when you know nothing about the given context or subject material. I say this with all of the sass that you could imagine coming from my mouth, but shut up about things you don’t know about! I believe that part of the catalyst for this hysteria is the overabundance of media. In a cascade of Tweets, “he said she said,” and so much more, people don’t know who to listen to. Well just like I learned in my job, you ONLY give merit to the news that's trusted and accredited. In the entertainment world we have the trades acting as our information gatekeepers. If a trade didn’t break it, but it seems like major news, that it can’t be 100p true. I’m here to remind you that the same rings true for hard news. If you’re relying on second hand sources, like blogs or friends, then you’re basically playing a game of telephone. Hard news comes from real journalists doing real reporting on the facts from real experts. Stick to sources like NPR or ABC News, there’s dozens of verified news outlets that’s just an example. Please stay informed and listen to the people whose job it is to deliver the facts.
2 Understand that WFH Really Means WFH
This past weekend, Twitter went wild as millennials and other young people posted about their outings. Celebrities and ordinary people were all criticizing the decision made by people my age, I’m 22 btw HOLLA, to continue their gregarious lifestyle. Like when Ariana Grande took to IG I knew I had to act up and write this post - from the comfort of my couch. I’ve been working from home for a while (check out my last blog post if you haven’t yet!). My wfh schedule often involved me posting up in a coffee shop a few times a week. However, since the coronavirus epidemic heighten in gravitas, I shifted to just making my coffee at home and finding a nice corner to work in. Rather than paying for my overpriced oat milk matcha lattes, or taking my $30 fitness class, I’ve started to reduce my outside time significantly. There’s honestly not a lot that you cannot just do from home. From ordering groceries, to clothes, and more see what can be done from home.
3 Avoid Tuning in First Thing in the AM
When I started my job in PR I woke up and immediately got anxious seeing my inbox loaded with media alerts. Before I even got out of bed I would reach for my phone and scroll through socials and my email. I’ve learned that taking just 10 minutes to center yourself before you connect can cement your mind into a good place. My advice is that before you tune into the latest news or socials take a breath, have some water or tea, and be in your present. Whether you want to take a quick stretch, light a candle, or do some light reading, take a moment to be serene. I guarantee you will feel more equipped to manage the frenzy of facts and headlines that will start pouring in. Trust me, if I didn’t meditate before I opened my emails then I’d probably panic and start sending press breaks from movie A to the filmmakers of movie B! Now THAT is a mess I don’t think any publicist could ever come back from!
4 Stay Up to Date With the News, But Know It’s Ever Changing
This year I attended my first ever Sundance. It was an amazing learning experience that supplied me with many invaluable tools that went into my PR toolbox. One tool that I want to share with you is the insight that news changes constantly. For example, at Sundance there was a lot of buzz before the festival about Oprah being with a project. During Sundance, word got out that she was set to acquire and produce a major dock on the sex abuse allegations by Russell Simons. In the middle of the festival, I heard from a colleague that it turned out she was pulling out and the news was going to break the next morning. In the span of just a few hours, this film had gone from one of the crown jewels of Sundance to that movie that Oprah dropped. The general public had no idea this was going on, nor did buyers or other festival goers, but I got to know because I was in that field of the “know.” I share this anecdote to highlight how the news will constantly change as more facts are revealed. What you heard today could be contradicted tomorrow, and you have to trust that the latest news is the most trusted.
5 Read Through Breaks (News), Don’t Just Skim
Oof! This one is low key a bit of self drag, but hey that’s why I wrote this! I am guilty of having sometimes only read headlines of movie reviews before I sent them off. It wasn’t until I was getting emails from film teams sharing their heartbreak from the article that I realized the piece wasn’t a positive one. As I started to become more experienced in circulating news, I started actually writing recaps. My boss taught me how to write a simple 1-2 sentence synopsis on the piece stating the facts. Is it a review or interview and is it positive or negative? I could only answer these questions from fully reading and digesting the piece in front of me. My hope is that you can take the extra minute or two to read through anything before you share it on socials or send it out. As my boss says, you’re always looking for the “there” there. The same comes to sharing news to friends or loved ones; know what you’re sending before you do it.
6 You Can Anticipate News, But Never Predict It
Another piece of advice that I learned from an honest mistake. As one of my college professors used to tell me, “What you don’t say is more important than what you do say.” The same rings true for public relations. I remember once saying a little “too much” when I really should have said nothing at all. Whether I was genuinely trying to make someone feel better or compliment them, saying something like “Oh, I think X will really like this” or “I think Y outlet will be interested” is a cardinal sin. You can’t predict anyone’s reactions. You can only control how you react. That’s why when it comes to breaking news you can’t predict what may or may not happen. As more events are shut down and travel is put to a halt, I recommend putting assumptions aside. The news is unpredictable and what started as one thing can quickly spiral into something else.
7 Spread Love on Socials - Like Really It’s Not That Hard
It seems like every time I open up an app there’s heat radiating off my screen. From strangers roasting each other about whose more prepared or whose underprepared, there’s never been a need for civil discourse like now. My advice is to never engage with bad press or bad vibes online. I say ignore people making off colored jokes or people going to extremes. I always like to stay neutral and in this time I practice the same. Yet, while I don’t engage with the memes or these critiques I will spread some positivity if I can. Even if it's just an empowering story about human kindness or contacting a friend wishing them good health, it’s these gestures that show the power of social media to connect us rather than further divide.
If you don’t already know, I work from home and it’s 100p a blessing but it’s also not picture perfect. When I transitioned from being an intern to full time employee at the agency I work at now there was a lot of “new.”Among the changes that the company experienced, from staffing to caliber of clients, a major change was working remotely.
I hate having to repeat myself, sorry if you already know all the T of my life but here’s some context on my job. I work at a boutique entertainment PR agency that specializes in nonfiction media. My boss, the company’s CEO, is a bonafide legend in the field of film PR thanks to his ability to champion films from Sundance to the Oscars. Because of his reputation, he started his own firm where filmmakers can go to him and our team for representation in all things film, festivals, and awards related.
Our team of 4-6 people can survive and even thrive when our film slate is double our size. With dozens of projects from high level talent coming in, it’s important that we’re always doing the most we can to support the campaign in all the markets. This representation means that our whole team, including myself, travels for all major events. And if you don’t know entertainment, know that it’s always crazy busy and there’s never an off season.
That’s the T on what I do and why I work from home, but hold on for just a minute. I want to introduce you to one of my main girls Lauren Kane aka LK aka @LaurenKanee_ who also gets her grind on working from home.
Hello, all! I am SUPER excited to be featured in the writing of the one and only, Will Samayoa. Truly, I am honored. My name is Lauren Kane, but you can call me LK!
While oftentimes I miss the ease of walking down the hall and seeing my friends at college, the next best thing is getting to see them shine through their professional career! Being in your early 20s is a crazy ride, and one I am super excited to do with the support of my college friends. One of the things I have learned in the short time being in the working world is that a balance between home and work life is crucial.
While I do not have a significant other or children to go home to at the end of the day, it is still very important to be able to have a healthy divide between your professional life and your personal life. Working from home is a rather newer concept and yet allows the humanity of companies to really show.
Currently, I work in the Talent Acquisition department of one of the largest insurance companies worldwide. One of the most common phrases heard during an average day is “WFH” (work from home). I have found that most people have maybe 1-2 days per week that they dedicate to working from their home office, and they are in the actual office the rest of the time.
When I first discovered this, I was shocked! You mean I am allowed to work in my sweatpants without makeup on? Sign me up! But in reality, it’s much more than that. It is knowing that you have a doctors appointment at 5pm and it would be much easier to head over at 4:45 from your home rather than take a half day and go from work. It is being able to see your child play in his first baseball game and being able to cheer him on, rather than texting “How did he do?” while still in a meeting at work. It is allowing and trusting employees to do their job without a microscope on them.
This concept also tests employees and holds them accountable for their day to day responsibilities. Just because I am taking a call next to my dog does not mean I am expected to prepare any less than my coworker who is sitting a foot from my boss. It’s trust in your team, which at the end of the day is all that matters! Also, let’s not forget the test it takes to not eat your entire pantry when it is sitting right there!
Anyway, whether you are on board or totally against the concept, WFH is very 2020 (especially amidst all this COVID talk- YIKES!). It is time to embrace doing all of your work at Starbucks, and embrace getting emails at 6am because, hold up, someone isn’t driving into the office at that time? They are actually working? Groundbreaking! At the end of the day, WFH is here to stay. So be successful in your endeavors and embrace this new trend! If you ever need any tips and tricks, I know one savvy blogger that always has something to say….
You know you love me!
Now I totally love what LK said because YES! WFH has often been considered a luxury and something for "less traditional" jobs. However, I feel that most jobs can actually be done from home. Working in entertainment means long hours and knowing that 9-5 is an illusion. In this industry, you're constantly moving and meeting people. Working from home is great because it takes off different levels of stress that you may otherwise experience in commuting to an office, and then having 5 other places to go in 1 day. Sounds crazy? Well, I once drive from the SFV aka San Fernando Valley to Culver City then Hollywood all to end my night in Beverly Hills. I had like 2 hours to get that done and so mentally preparing myself at home made me oh so ready for that insanity.
Working from home is great, because as LK mentioned, you both feel trusted by your boss and can manage personal and professional manners. That being said, working from home isn't perfect whatsoever. Here's some cons, don't worry the pros are coming, I'm just a person that likes the bad news delivered first.
When You WFH You Can Get Lonely
I have a home office setup in my room that honestly beats any desk in any office I have ever been at. I've got my fave plush chair, computer set up color coordinated to all my stationery, and I can play my music as loud as I want. But, I admit that sometimes I miss being around people. Have you ever gotten that urge of missing your college library? Yeah, there's just something to being around other people who are either working or just going about their day. Now saying that you don't have motivation when you're around people is insane. Like come on you don't wait for motivation you make it yourself! Jut every now and then, I do drive over to the nearest Starbucks and get like the cheapest drink just so I can pull out my computer and do some work. I'd say I'm actually less productive when I do this, I don't do it that often. It just happens that sometimes you want to be around people to feel like you're not isolated all the time, remember humans we're social creatures.
WFH Means You Got to Bring Your A-Game In Person
While I wfh most of the time, there are occasions where I meet with my boss or my team. And whenever we have these in person events there's the unspoken rule that you not only show up or show out. By that I mean, your energy should be high and you should be laser focused. I mean it kind of makes sense. You have been home all day, not in an office, so why would you be sluggish or moody on-site. Whether it's working weekends, or late night/early morning events, your not going to an office everyday so this makes up for it. Granted, I am a basic b!tch that is always moody but you see what I mean. That's 1 con of WFH, you're coming from the comfort of home so you better be ready to bring it all or nothing.
WFH Can Make It Hard To Balance Work and Life
There's been many a time where I feel anxious in my house because of work. Even though I don't always have to see my team I know the phone can ring any minute to check my progress. I had noticed that sometimes I'd tense up or feel drained, and walking to the kitchen and back didn't help all that much. I got to a point where I moved my office set up to another room that wasn't where I slept. That sort of helped. But you should know that even the comfort of home can be invaded by the real stress of work. Be mindful of this and see about working around the house to keep it fresh and keep yourself from associating emails/calls with your safe space.
Now here are the pros of WFH, because as LK and I know, there are a lot!
You Don't Have To Get Comfy for WFH You Stay Comfy
I have never felt more at ease when I can say that my uniform is a good pair of Lululemon joggers, an oversized hoodie, and some good ol' Gucci slides. Whether I'm going to the gym, lounging around, or working at my desk, being comfortable keeps my anxiety down even when my workload is piling up. Plus who doesn't love wearing sweats?! Again, WFH doesn't mean you dress like a human Snuggie - no! Get some cute athleisure or a nice groutfit because you can run from home, to Jamba, to the gym, to Trader Joes, all while you'd normally be stuck in an office. Of course you should do some work in between these activities! Don't pretend like WFH is a free pass - cuz it's not.
WFH Can Save Some Coin and Help You Stay Snatched
One of my favorite things that I can afford to do wfh is taking the time to eat well. From making a great green smoothie, to a rich salad, and picking out my healthy snacks, working from home let's me focus on my nutrition. Unless I woke up like super early or took the time to meal prep, taking in meaningful food couldn't be possible. For many of my friends who go into offices daily, they'll grab like a granola bar or have whatever cereals/snacks their office provides. Now some offices have some pretty good stuff, but for the most part it's sugary snacks or foods that aren't dense in good ingredients. Everyone is different and I do know people who do wake up early AF and also meal prep for the week ahead. But that is not me, I am a humble person who wants to make their avocado chicken salad when he wants it.
WFH is More Normal Than You Think
Now working from home seems to stray from the corporate vibe, but it's really more common than it seems. At least in the entertainment and new media industry it is pretty common. Not all of us are influencers who work from home, but the sentiment is the same. In the digital age, a lot of work can be done virtually. Even meetings are sometimes more effective over Skype or on a group call because A it's hard to make an excuse for being late and B people just want to get it done with. I know for my work at a PR agency, I get a lot done at home. The only time I'm needed out is for screenings, events, and you get the idea. But those are things that can only be done in person. On a day-to-day vibe a lot of jobs just need a good WiFi connection and something to type on.
I hope you enjoyed this piece on WFH because I know LK and I loved making it together! We are both huge advocates for working from home. Let me know what you think or if you're working from home now!
Now, while I usually start these pieces with a snarky opener that is oh-so No Chill Will, I wanted to take a moment to invite some serious concerns into the post. I am not a health official, nor am I qualified to offer any diagnosis of any kind, these thoughts are just suggestions I have from my own experience and understanding of ways to stay healthy and safe when traveling. I, like you may, have a basic understanding of the coronavirus and its current presence in the headlines. The rhetoric around this virus is saturating our everyday lives. It’s confusing to understand what information is true and what's hyperbolic. All I can do, and recommend for you to do, is do your due diligence and get educated.
For better or worse, the reality is that all news is looking for hits. Don’t forget that information is a commodity and headlines are part of the package sold. Before I jump into my post I urge you to brush up on the news, stay alert to breaking news, and take care of yourself. Wash your hands often, be mindful of your surroundings, and as always stay safe in whatever way makes you feel comfortable.
I hope that piece primed you for this post, because I’m writing about two very important topics for (and I assume many others as well ) travel and health/wellness. Of course, this post is all about how you balance these two pillars of life while always staying ready for the Gram and not breaking the bank. “Studying abroad changed me,” says every basic person who had the privilege of indulging in time abroad. This phrase is not only 1000p oh-so basic, but I quoted this in every conversation I started even to the cashier at Wegmans when she asked cash or credit. I could probably write a book about my time in the UK…However, I think that instead of looking back I want to focus on the present and future when it comes to my travel experience.
“Will, where are you?” or “What are you doing there?!” That’s a common pair of questions I’ve gotten since starting my job. Firstly, yes I travel, like a lot, for work. What do I do for work? I’m a publicity coordinator for a PR agency in LA. Why/Where do I travel? My boss is dope and wants me to learn as much as I can about the film world, specifically the awards side of it all, and I travel with my team to events and film festivals. That’s why to the surprise of many I popped up in Arkansas when you would probably think, ‘What’s there to even do in Arkansas?’ The answer to your question is simple: work if your Will.
In the near future, I am excited to share that I've got two trips lined up. March will take me to Austin, TX for the first time ever and its for the 2020 SXSW Film Festival. In mid-April I'll be gracing the east coast again hitting up NYC for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. And this past weekend I knocked two bird with one travel stone; I went down to San Diego, CA and I crossed into Tijuana marking my first time ever in Mexico. As you can see, traveling is a way of life for me. Even my first Sundance was saturated with flights as I had the pleasure of jumping between LA, NYC, and Utah in the span of 10 days. This exposure to traveling is how I started to create a blue print for keeping my health steady even when my time zones aren't.
Just like when preparing for the sights you'll see, doing research on yourself and what your body needs is key to performing and feeling your best.
Don't Let Your Mind and Body's Bond Go MIA
Whether it's a work trip or a weekend getaway, I believe the key to staying strong and healthy lies in maintaining a routine. This is not just any routine, this is the one of your everyday life. Comfort is key especially when traveling. Feeling comfortable in your own skin and even deeper than that is what I urge you to keep in tact.
Whatever way you're traveling, there's always going to be some kind of mental toll taken on you. When you arrive to your destination, excitement may mask how you're really feeling. If you're like me, then maybe you don't want to admit you're tired because you don't want to be a party pooper. Well I'm here to say swallow your pride and take that cat nap! If you must rally, there's nothing like a low cal sugar free energy drink,
I have found that writing helps me maintain my cool and ease my mind. You don't have to be elaborate or anything, but try making a trip itinerary and noting your health/wellness routine is useful here. For example, consider on average what times and how many times a day you eat. It's easy, especially in a place like Italy, to grab a bite here, there, and nearly everywhere in sight. I'm not saying you have to miss out or limit yourself on a trip. After all, I'm a proponent that carbs and cals don't exist on trips. What I am saying is that if you like a heavy breakfast consider making it light so that when you are out and about you don't have to feel guilt about grabbing that second macaroon or another scoop of gelato.
You can feel your body when you're full or when something's off. Are you getting stomach aches? Did you remember that your dairy free at home? Or maybe you forgot that you eat kale all day and haven't had any greens in you just yet. Keep track of this routine at home and listen to your body closely. If you're tired of walking speak up and say you need a break. If the sound of another round of drinks just makes your stomach churn, throw some water in the mix. Don't pretend that you're invincible on a trip, because I guarantee you're not.
Stay Hydrated Inside and Out
My dear friend Xhana gave me this piece of advice that I will now bless your timelines with, "Drink water." That's it - that's the tweet. No that's not it, but also it's kind of the point. It doesn't matter if you're chilling on the beach catching waves or in the snow skiing your heart off, you need good ol liquid ice aka water aka the source of all life.
I used to travel a lot for college. Every school year meant at least 4 trips going coast to coast, this of course was pretty a pricey sacrifice. Something I learned along the way was that I was burning my pockets even deeper by always indulging in airport concessions. While I could get away from always grabbing a quick bite, the one thing I was had to buy was a water bottle. Boy, were these babies not cheap! Having been an avid traveler I knew that dehydration was routine when flying. My skin would feel like it's been stretched out and turned into jerky and my throat felt that way Sponge bob did when he insisted that he didn't need water. Suffering through dehydration is never recommended if you can help it because it both damages your body and your bank if you didn't prepare.
My advice to you is this...carry a reusable water bottle! Yes! Save the turtles and save that hard earned coin! It really doesn't matter what brand or build you buy, but having a water bottle will save you in the toughest of times. From getting parched on a long ride, to waking up with a wicked hangover, having water with you at all times is vital to ensuring your body will survive, and maybe even thrive.
If you're traveling with a plan or even on a whim, then carrying water behooves you. I've had trips where I spontaneously decide to walk around the city or jump into a hike with a friend. Nothing is worse than being on vacation on not feeling like your best self because your body isn't being taken care of.
Also, along with the practical reasons that carrying a water bottle saves you money and peace of mind, it also doubles as a great way to carry any pregame potions you might concoct.
Remember To Pack Those Yoga Pants
Now vacation means taking a long earned break, and for many this means also skipping the gym completely. I believe that I am like most people in this regard. I don't think that forgetting to pack pre-workout or protein means my trip is going to set my wellness back. While I'm not a fitness fanatic, I do think that checking out a hotel hotel's gym (if I am staying in a hotel) or pre-booking a nearby fitness class can be beneficial.
Personally, being active is one of those things that not only relax me but also empowers me. After having a good sweat I feel like I aligned my mind and body. However, just because I do enjoy fitness, does not mean I'm always on track. I still do not always find time or have the energy to fit in a quick HIIT session. Like in this last trip to SD I decided to just let loose and dedicate my time to being with my friend and following her plans. This doesn't mean that I just completely didn't care about moving around or sticking to my routine.
Even if I could only fit in a 10 minute stretch in the morning that was sufficient. I'm not saying that you have to squeeze in some jumping jacks or high knees if you don't want to, but if your routine includes being active then stay with it. As previously mentioned, I've been on trips where my friends invite me to some kind of physical outing. Rather than saying no because I don't want to break a sweat on vacay, I treat this as part of my trip. I am wherever I am to do something I wouldn't do everyday. And I'm not always hiking, hitting up the beach, or even going to SoulCycle, and yes I am an LA Native. Remember I am very busy after all.
Most likely, you already wear sneakers when traveling so just fold up a good training outfit because it's already light weight and you know it won't take any room. Even if you don't have an excursion where you're burning off all that pasta at once, some space in your room is all you need. You don't even need to do anything crazy to take advantage of your training gear. Some free weights here and there is all it takes. In conclusion, roll up your gym fit into any crevice in your bag, and there you go. You won't have to get ready because you stay ready!
Be Mindful in Social Spacious
We have a tendency to think that vacation means forgetting all of our troubles. At least I used to have this mentality. Last weekend, my friends invited me to go clubbing in Mexico. My anxiety levels ran high and I swear the color in my face drained and I was as pale as the vodka soda in my hand. I was beyond nervous - and this was ignorant on my part.
My mind was racing with how dangerous I thought this could be, and I was forgetting that I often put myself in risk back home all the time. For example, the same precautions I take when partying in Hollywood are the same things I was doing down here. I was forgetting that just two years ago I was running around in dance floors in foreign countries. These were places where I didn't even speak the language. Now I know that not everyone is a party animal, but there are things we should always do when going out into social settings.
If you've traveled abroad, in a major city, or even in your neighborhood, we've been taught to be mindful of our surroundings. Keep your bags close, note whose around you, and never wander aimlessly, these are the things I do not only in a new setting but even when I'm in Downtown Los Angeles. Safety isn't always the most fun topic to discuss. But it's not meant to be fun, it's meant to ensure you have a good time with minimal risk. Shit happens plain and simple. I've had friends who lose their phones in Hollywood or have had bags stolen in Amsterdam. We cannot always control what will happen to us, things are out of our control. But if we can remember that trusting our gut and practicing caution don't disappear just because we're on vacation then just like we care about staying healthy and active this adds to that care.
Just like I always watch my drink or am weary about talking to strangers in clubs, I also wash my hands often and keep track of the hygiene of those around me. Like when I'm in NYC, if I see a big crowd I usually steer clear of it and if I'm riding public transit it then I'll take a second to wipe down my seat or rail. It's small details like this that I do in my everyday that make all the difference when traveling.
In Conclusion - Have fun!
Now with the ongoing health crisis hysteria is running high. Again, I cannot speak to how travel will be impacted or the risk of taking a trip. I can only say that even if you aren't taking a trip anytime soon always practice precautions.
From watching your diet, to staying hydrated, and maintaining an active lifestyle, these are practices that you can carry in your everyday life. Of course, always take pics, journal, keep some memory of it because basic bitches do it for the Gram and we love to Stan!