The US team’s guide to sparking joy in quarantine

This week, a few members of the US team are taking over the Aspectus blog to share how we’ve been managing our new remote working lifestyles. If you missed the last update from the tech team on their quarantine hobbies, check it out here.

While many members of the US team are normally located in Manhattan, some have spread across the globe to quarantine with family and find a sense of routine during an uneasy time. From the outskirts of London to the heart of the midwest, we have managed to find peace and space to adjust to our new working environments.

Hobbies are likely things that have fallen to the wayside for most adults, with more pressing and less fun chores cluttering that slim section of time between dinner and bed. Now, with our new quarantined lifestyles, many of us have been able to work in more joy-sparking activities that previously took a back seat to the grind of daily life.

If anything, this quarantine has brought along many realizations of just how lucky we are and how many things we take for granted in our normal, pre-COVID lives. Easy things like ordering delivery or popping into a shop are off the table. For creatures of routine, like many New Yorkers and even more Aspectus employees, this period of uncertainty has thrown a curveball at our daily activities and schedules. Carving out time to devote to new hobbies, or little activities that help break up the day is essential, and part of the US team’s quarantine guide! See below for some ideas, and the activities and hobbies that are helping us make the most of quarantine:

Kylie Souder, Senior Account Executive:

  • Upgrading my wardrobe and making new ‘friends’ in Animal Crossing
  • Reading lovey-dovey young adult novels
  • Getting to grips with working out in a small studio apartment
  • Taking long neighborhood walks, 6 feet away of course
  • Watching Tik Tok videos, but never making one
  • Confirming there is always at least one pint of ice cream in the freezer at all times

Emily Sakamoto, Senior Account Executive:

  • Buying a paint-by-numbers kit and recreating elementary school art class
  • Cooking new recipes (Bon Appetit is my bible) with whatever we have in the cupboard
  • Taking long lake walks with my fiance
  • Reading Tiger King Reddit theories (Carole Baskin fed her husband to the tigers, don’t @ me)
  • Learning how to play Backgammon and being an excessively sore loser
  • Plowing my way through all of Elin Hilderbrand’s novels and dreaming about summer vacations in Nantucket

Sara Guenoun, Account Director

  • Watching Katharine Hepburn movies on the Turner Classic Movies channel
  • Discovering books on my bookshelf that I forgot I owned and haven’t read since high school
  • Eating all the vegan and fake meat foods I can find at Trader Joe’s after waiting on line for an hour to get in
  • Finally having time for home improvement projects, just be careful with that hammer
  • Learning how to make the perfect stir fry — soy sauce is a must!
  • Watching videos of my nephews playing together on repeat

Megan Rothery, Deputy Head of North America

  • Cooking for my parents (aka watching my boyfriend cook for them) as a thank you for letting us move in indefinitely
  • Pretending my parent’s front room is Equinox, and doing circuit training while they step over me
  • Forcing my boyfriend to do vinyasa yoga videos with me
  • Reading! Trying for a book a week. Highly recommend Pretending by Holly Bourne and The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker.
  • Listening to all the podcasts – mainly Ctrl Alt Delete, The Deliciously Ella podcast and The Goop podcast. Gwyneth is very soothing right now.
  • Walking outside and being continually mesmerised by blossom, staring hopefully at it like it will solve all of our problems
  • Running
  • Cutting my boyfriend’s hair – judging by the fact that he said ‘next time just shave my head’ my attempt at giving him a fade could have gone better

Alexa West, Managing Director – North America

  • Inventing recipes based on whatever items du jour are in the fridge/pantry
  • Finding new podcasts (and embracing podcasts for the first time!)
  • Trying on-demand app-based workouts
  • Watching online university courses
  • Rediscovering classic activities like board games, puzzles, and dominoes

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