Adjusting to a New Normal
getting personal with the ladies of niche
What an unsettling two weeks we’ve had! Along with everyone else, the Niche team has been busy transitioning to working remotely and adjusting to seeing one another on Zoom instead of at our studio. It’s incredible how quickly our entire world has shifted, both professionally and personally. While we all have our own ways of managing during these uncertain times, one common thread on our team is a sense of gratitude.
We have a deep appreciation for the health of our friends, loved ones, and clients and for the ability to continue doing (most of) our creative work from the safety of our homes. The design community has pulled together, from organizing facebook groups and virtual happy hours to having honest conversations about the challenges we’re facing. That sense of connection inspired our team to share what we have been doing to calm our nerves and pass the time at home during this shelter-in-place. We would love to hear your ideas – join the conversation on our Instagram page!
Our family is starting to adjust to the new normal of homeschooling, spending 24/7 together and cooking A LOT of meals. We love to bake and cook and have been using all this extra time to try out new recipes. I’ve created an unofficial “Cooking Class” for my 7 year old son with a basic chart of skills such as chopping, sautéing, and how to read a recipe – he loves earning gold stars for each skill he masters. It’s a great way to challenge ourselves and keep our mind off of the news!
Listening to records has quickly become a new nightly ritual along with the occasional dance party. 🙂 Sifting through a bunch of records and taking the time to be intentional about the music we listen to makes us appreciate it even more. Two of our favorite albums for dance parties are Michael Jackson Thriller and Beyonce Lemonade.
Home is where you recharge and this sentiment has resonated with me more than ever since my husband and I became first-time homeowners. When it came time to transition to work-from-home, we welcomed conference calls and deadlines with the caveat that our professional worlds would follow our house rules of peace and calm.
Coffee is my morning [and afternoon] ritual and now I get to enjoy it in a multitude of ways such as steeping grounds in a French press or watching espresso drip for a strong cup of Vietnamese iced coffee. Walking my terrier mix dog, Millie, around our neighborhood and waving to neighbors from across the street makes me feel connected to my community while getting my steps in. To relieve stress, you can find me in my backyard tending to my succulents and creating new arrangements. This simple act of working with my hands allows me to connect with nature while being both creative and technical.
As my husband and I settle in to a new routine of working from home together and staying inside, we’re focusing on ways to stay positive and be joyful. Lighting a candle at the end of the work day helps us transition from work mode to relaxation mode and also feels like we’re doing something a little extra special for ourselves. Our favorite scent right now is lavender – it’s so refreshing and soothing! We’re also catching up on all the classic movies I’ve somehow neglected to see. Last night was A League of Their Own and next up is Dirty Dancing and Breakfast at Tiffany’s!
Talking about topics other than the news has been super important in maintaining a healthy mindset. We’re loving planning for our upcoming move to our first home together. I’ve taken to sketching out ideas and furniture layouts and sharing them with my husband to get his feedback. We’re savoring this extra time we have to slow down and enjoy the process. Plus focusing on the future keeps us staying positive, grateful and excited!
I used to consider myself a homebody when given the choice to stay out late with friends on a weekend evening or have an early dinner and turn in. However, now that I’m not given a choice, I take it all back!
The first week I worked from home, I watched my fair share of news to try and grasp the intangible – how long will this be our normal, what will happen to my friends and family, and when will all of this be over? Now that I’m settling in to week 2, I’m learning to take a step back from the things that I cannot control, and focus on the things that I can. For me, some days it looks like working my normal hours from home and assisting Spanish speakers gain access to unemployment insurance in the evening. Other days I completely unplug and focus on my health, going on long 6 mile hikes – quickly, the things I worried about just last month are miles away. I choose to put on the rose-colored glasses and stay positive, while still being informed about our new temporary normal, and truly believe the best is yet to come.