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Ways to Stay Calm and Sane While You Hunker Down at Home

As we settle into our homes for an uncertain amount of time, we all need ways to stay calm, connected, purposeful, and joyful.

By Tory Hoen

This week was surreal, to say the least. As the national response to coronavirus shifts by the day, we at M.M. have been doing our best to stay calm and purposeful.  

One minute, we’re watching the news and feeling anxious; and the next, we’re laughing at this guy cheers-ing himself in isolation. And you know what? It’s all okay.

As we believe at M.M.LaFleur: We contain multitudes. And sometimes those multitudes mean we want to laugh, worry, curl up, reach out, stay informed, escape into Instagram stories, do yoga, help out, and drink whisky all at the same time. It’s all okay. And we’re all in this together. Below, we share a bunch of things that are helping us get through.

When You Want to Connect

Platforms like Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Marco Polo, and Houseparty have never felt so vital to our daily sanity. And to give the M.M. community a place to convene, we’ve launched a community Slack channel so we can all keep in touch. Join us!

When You Want to Keep Calm

If your nerves are buzzing with anxiety, try some basic breathwork to stay relaxed. Insight Timer has created guided meditations that explicitly address coronavirus-related stress, and Calm has a number of resources as well. If you want to tap into a community, Meditation centers like MNDFL are offering live sessions via Instagram stories.

When You Get Restless

Many exercise and yoga studios are livestreaming classes online, so you can maintain your workout routine from home (while supporting your favorite studios, who will inevitably take a hit over the next few months). Cult-favorite The Class by Taryn Toomey has a digital workout studio, CorePower Yoga has yoga on demand, and Sky Ting Yoga offers livestream classes.

When You Feel Creative (or Just Hungry)

Rediscover that hobby you forgot you loved: bake, knit, paint, write poems, learn a language using Duolingo, perfect your cacio e pepe, or make versions of your favorite childhood snacks. Take advantage of the time and space you have to slow down over the next few weeks. 


When You Want to Escape

It’s time to binge all your favorite media without shame. We’re working our way through Vulture’s 100 Best Movies on Netflix; watching various celebrities eat super-spicy wings on “Hot Ones”; and swooning over Oprah’s recent conversation with Michelle Obama. If you want to get more trippy, there are all those Alan Watts lectures on YouTube; and if you feel ambitious, why not read Tolstoy’s War and Peace (just 12 pages a day!) with this digital book club?

When You Want to Be Useful

Donate to the Restaurant Workers Emergency Relief Fund to help ease the financial burden on those who are suddenly out of work. If you’re healthy, volunteer for Invisible Hands in NYC, or join the conversation on to see if you have neighbors in need. Now that shelters have become overburdened, this is also an ideal time to foster a cat or dog (and you’re home anyway, right?).

When You Need to Laugh

First, read this hysterical story. Then watch this delightful panda roll down a hill; then enjoy this chimpanzee feeding a lion cub; and finish up with footage of penguins free-roaming Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. If you have more time to kill, try playing Tic-Tac-Toe with a cat

When You Just Need a (Virtual) Hug

Practice self-compassion. Wrap yourself in something extra-cozy. Listen to Buddhist monk Pema Chödrön or psychologist Tara Brach or NYC radio host Brian Lehrer tell you everything will be okay. Because it will.

Written By

Tory Hoen

Tory Hoen is the author of the novel The Arc. She spent five years as the Creative Director of Brand at M.M.LaFleur (where she founded The M Dash!) and has written for New York Magazine, Vogue Fortune, Bon Appétit, and Condé Nast Traveler.

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