At a time when it feels like we desperately need moments of calm and reminders of the beauty of being alive, it’s such a shame that art galleries around the world are shutting their doors. But that doesn’t mean art has to be off limits; Google has utilised its ‘street view’ technology to capture the inside of the world’s greatest galleries. If you’re looking for ways to fill your socially distant days, I’d recommend a virtual gallery tour of London’s Tate Britain, NYC’s Guggenheim Museum or Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. To get some perspective on this pandemic, try The National Gallery, full of art created through war, plague and famine, to remind you that human creativity always continues – and often flourishes – through a crisis.
I enjoyed checking out LA agency Activista’s new campaign, in which classic record covers are reimagined for social distancing. The Instagram posts, featuring the hashtag #6feetcovers, show classic covers by groups like Queen, Blondie and the Beatles, with their stars curiously far apart. First and foremost, it’s a bit of fun; but at its heart there’s also an important message about protecting ourselves and each other.
Becky Wass, a Cornwall-based copywriter, came up with the simple and useful idea of creating a printable card to fill out and post through the letterboxes of neighbours who may be self-isolating. It’s a way of sharing kindness and being helpful without having to put anyone at risk. You can read the full story here.
I enjoyed reading this article about working from home, with its particular focus on people like us working in fields related to marketing. For me, a particular challenge so far has been drawing a line at the end of the day, because my computer is in my dining room. I’ve realised how much I value the commute home as a time to switch off, and have found myself searching for a replacement for this. The tip that the article gave around doing something active at the end of each working day has been really helpful, as it lets me clearly differentiate the end of day from the start of the evening.
As remote working becomes more prevalent during this crisis, it’s important that we stay vigilant when it comes to privacy and internet security. In attempts to maintain our productivity, any one of us might just let our guard slip, offering bad actors the opportunity they covet so eagerly. This article highlights some of the most popular tools for remote working, and describes some of the privacy and security concerns that we should all be aware of. Times are stressful enough; it’s really not the occasion for a security or data breach.
In the midst of a lockdown, it’s important to keep entertained – and this is a whole new challenge when you have a toddler in your household. As a mum, I found this article handy, and I’ll certainly be using some of the ideas to make being cooped up inside easier for a little one.
Last year, I completed a two-day Mental Health First Aid course, and it was full of fantastic ideas and suggestions on how you can improve your mental wellbeing. During these tricky times, it’s very easy to find yourself in a slump, and it can feel difficult to lift yourself out of it. Working from home is something that a lot of people haven’t experienced before, but having worked from home for several years, I’ve picked up a lot of tricks for getting in the right mindset. I’ve seen a nice summary of ideas on this website (they’ve created a handy download too).
My favourites from it are:
- “Keep to your established morning routine if you can – get ready, washed, and dressed as if you are going to the office. This will help you get into the mindset that you are at work.”
- “If you’re working with a small space, you could try setting up temporary ‘zones’ by hanging blankets or screens to visually separate your work area from your bed or living area.”
- “Clear your work surface of clutter and set up your equipment to avoid physical strain – do a self-check using the guidance on the NHS website.”
- “If you’re not self-isolating, try going for a walk or a jog down the street before you start work for the day – this can help you to feel like you have mentally ‘arrived’ at work.”
Bompas & Parr, a design group, has released a brief for a competiton where designers can try to create their own reimagined hand sanitiser pump. As well as being a creative outlet for designers who are stuck at home for a while, it's all in aid of British Red Cross, with donations being part of the entry process, and a museum exhibit for the winning design raising further funds. It's also the right time for us to consider if there are more efficient ways of tackling hygiene as we move forward from all of this.
Since September, I've been practising the deep-breathing techniques promoted by ‘The Iceman’ AKA Wim Hof. His technique revolves around the simple truth that most of us rushing around in our daily lives simply don't breathe properly. Along with thousands of others, I’ve become a real advocate and train every morning. Why? Because I feel stronger, more grounded and relaxed than ever – even despite the recent hiatus! Give it a go if you can. I promise you that if you stick with it you will feel the benefits, and even a cold shower can be really enjoyable!
This is the first video of his mini-class, and you can download a free app from his website to get you on your way.
Anyone in need of a temporary workstation during the coronavirus crisis can build one themselves, using this design by Danish startup Stykka.
If you enjoyed reading what we had to share, you might enjoy one of our previous Quartlerly Thoughts instalments.