Navigating the New Normal

As someone who appreciates sticking to a routine—be it a workout, work, you name it—adjusting to the new “normal” of being a part of the stay-at-home club 24/7 has been a hard pill to swallow (as I’m sure many of you can relate). But then I remind myself it wasn’t that long ago that multitasking was second nature and I wished I had more time to do all the things there weren’t enough hours in the day to do (anyone with me?). And now that I’m finding myself with more time on my hands, I’ve been on a search for a sense of normalcy and control. 

So, here are a few things that have helped bring a spark of joy, provided an escape, and become part of my new everyday (aka making the most of my quarantined life): 

1. Learn a new skill/pick up a new hobby

I don’t know how long I’ve been saying, “I should really do yoga and meditate.” Thanks to studios and companies like CorePower Yoga and Headspace we can all become yogis and zen out while being cooped up. I’ve taken to guided meditation, particularly during moments I feel overwhelmed or anxious, and it helps to reset my frame of mind. Want to brush up on your social media marketing skills or learn about becoming an entrepreneur? Some of the top U.S. colleges like Harvard and Princeton are offering free online courses. I’m on my way to learning how to be happier in my daily life by taking Yale’s most popular class, “The Science of Wellbeing” (think: social connection and “rewiring” practices). 

2. Organize your closet

Not sure where to start? I’m here to help! Take a walk through your closet with me and I’ll help you bid adieu to pieces and create outfits from what you already own. Maybe you have a jacket that you’ve never worn because you’re not sure what to wear with it or you’re trying to save money and feel uninspired when standing in front of your wardrobe. You can book a complimentary virtual appointment with your personal stylist (me, ICYMI) and, together, we’ll tackle your wardrobe and have some fun!  

These days, I find that when I get dressed and put on a little make-up before I start work, I feel more like myself and set the tone for the day (even though I’m not leaving the house). Just putting on an outfit that you feel good in can make the difference between a blah day and a productive day. Enter: Knot Standard and, you guessed it, yours truly. For all you gents out there, whether you’re looking for some new duds—for when you’re WFH and when you’re back in the office—or have an event coming up, I’ve got you covered. We can connect virtually and get your wardrobe set up so you’ll be styled and ready to go when we come out of this. What’s more, for the month of April, 10% of our proceeds are going directly to Masks for Medicine, our initiative that sources, creates, and delivers medical masks to hospitals to benefit their healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. If you’d like to support our cause, you can purchase a voucher and you’ll receive an additional credit on us to put toward your wardrobe. I’d call that a win-win. And for all you ladies, check out my favorite local boutique Sugar. They’re offering Zoom or FaceTime appointments and free delivery anywhere in the U.S. Did I mention their must-have curated outfit boxes?

3. Make connections

We’ve become accustomed to replacing phone calls with texts and emails because who has the time? Now that that excuse is out the door, how about picking up the phone between your binge-a-thons? Call that friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with. FaceTime your parents. My sister and 1-year-old nephew FaceTime me every day and it immediately snaps me out of whatever stress or fear I may be holding on to and gives me perspective (it helps that he’s cute and finds joy in something as mundane as a toilet paper roll or rock). Set up a Zoom happy hour with your co-workers. Tune into an IG Live workout with your gym buddies (trust me, it keeps you accountable and helps to know they’re burpee-ing alongside you). Go head-to-head with your extended family in a game of Trivia on Houseparty. 

4. Support your favorite local businesses

Many LA restaurants have converted into bodegas with offerings like produce and pantry staples, so you’ll get a unique shopping experience while giving back to your go-to eateries (not to mention, you’ll face less crowds). Missing your cold brew or matcha latte runs? Same. Knot Standard has partnered with one of my favorite local coffee shops, Bluestone Lane, to support one another and give our customers the chance to help us come out stronger on the other side. With our “Buy Now, Redeem Later” offer, you’ll have your go-to bevvies and awesome new custom pieces to look forward to. In a dinner rut? Hugo’s in Studio City and WeHo is cooking up fresh meal kits. You can’t go wrong with the Very Green Casserole. And if you’re like me and like to have breakfast for dinner, pick up a bag of their Almond Energy Pancake mix (you can thank me later). You can also take the guesswork out of your meals with Bondi Harvest’s fresh, frozen meals. The best part? For every frozen meal purchased, they’ll give a meal to a local family shelter or hospital. I’d call that a win-win. 

And if you find yourself online shopping and want to support COVID-19 relief efforts while you’re at it, check out Brands x Better coalition, which is made up of small businesses donating a portion of their sales to nonprofits fighting COVID-19 (Knot Standard being one of them). 

I’d love to hear how you’re making use of your extra free time and if you have other ideas of how to contribute to your community. Please share! 

Anna Gonda Photography

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