What Editors Like: Routines that have helped us (stay sane) during quarantine

Martine Gutierrez. Portrait by Aubrey Mayer.
Martine Gutierrez. Portrait by Aubrey Mayer.

It’s easy to become restless and anxious while in quarantine; for this round-up, we find out what self-care looks like for Cultured’s editors. For many of us, getting through this moment has been a lot about shifting our focus from the things we cannot change to finding joy in our daily routines.

Sarah Harrelson | @sarahgharrelson (editor-in-chief) As a working mother of three teenagers, my bar for what constitutes “self care” is very low. During quarantine, getting up at 7 a.m. and going on a bike ride listening to podcasts each morning has been keeping me (somewhat) sane.

Jessica Idarraga | @jess.idar (managing editor) I’ve been starting the day at 7 a.m. with a three-mile jog around my neighborhood to boost my endorphins! It’s been rewarding to beat my pace for the week before—in an odd way, it’s through this morning routine that I’ve kept track of my time spent sheltered in place. I try to log off around 6:30 p.m., which is always tough when you love what you do. Then I make my rounds on FaceTime to catch up with my loved ones before watching a film or series on Netflix while I cuddle with our resident pup. I travel vicariously through the wine bottles I decant—I haven’t made bread yet, but that counts as a culture starter right?

Mieke ten Have | @mieketenhave (design editor) I've been taking an almost daily epsom salt bath. It is an appointment with myself I can readily keep! Sometimes I do it before bed, other times midday, which feels like a real luxury. Online pilates has been a mood booster, and truly I find red wine in the evening helps, too.

Photo credit: Andrew Philip Heid

Andrew Philip Heid | @noarchitecture (architecture editor) For me, wellbeing during this extended period of limited movement is all about reconnecting with nature and observing its simple rhythms of lightness and darkness: from watching darkness into dawn, to tracing shifting shadows coursing across a floor, to slowing down at dusk and embracing the warmth and flicker of a single flame glowing into darkness. With all of us experiencing such limited movement (and space), unplugging from the artificial and liberating the natural has never made the fundamentals, like lightness and darkness, feel so simple yet radical.

Isabel Flower | @isabelflower (executive editor) I’m not sure if this counts as “self-care,” but I’ve been making frozen cocktails. I’ve tried a few varieties of Daiquiri and am planning for a Blue Hawaiian. The liquor helps curb my anxiety, the sugar provides a (temporary) endorphin rush and the presentation (I even have paper parasols for garnish) lets me pretend I’m on a beach holiday.

Kat Herriman | @kat.mike (features editor) My pre-COVID self-care routine was more about looking awake than feeling that way, but since I can't go to my beloved Juvenex for a scrub down, I've found myself springing for real baths. It helps me stay away from my screen and gives me an excuse to burn one of the Apocalypse-scented Byredo candles I've been hoarding.

Gail Feldman | @gfeldman2127 (publisher) We have all been so globally impacted by this pandemic and for me, I have found 10 minutes of meditation in the morning with Alexa to be very important! I chose my music based on my mood, which can sometimes be rather frenetic. . . I am partial to Indian flute music and sometimes I just use my CALM app with my preference being ocean waves and running brook sounds. While my dog awaits his morning two-mile walk, I do my sit up regimen, very light yoga poses and then it’s off to the races for me and Ziggy, my loving and steadfast doodle buddy! While the world seems to have come full stop, not for me and our team. . . as we consistently are in touch with one another strategizing new ways to stay current and meaningful. I have a nighttime ritual, too, which those who know me understand!

Photo credit: Katie Brown

Katie Brown | @a_trash_kat (art director) Some self-care activities I’ve been latching onto:

* Five-minute sketches of B-List celebrities and having my roommates guess who the celebrity is. Examples above! Specifically: Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito, Nicolas Cage, Gary Oldman. Not that Danny D is a B-list celebrity, we all know he is KING.

* Watching the Soprano’s and Mad Men and finding comfort in an entirely different era.

* Picking an album and going on a long bike ride until the album is done. My most recent choice was Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest.

* Growing up in Florida, during hurricane season I always read Harry Potter to pass the time—so I’ve found myself picking up HP again.

* And, of course, FaceTime calls with friends.

Jonathan Kendall | @_jonathan_kendall (web editor) I've found there's something comforting in trying to maintain my morning routine. I may not be able to control a lot of things, when it comes to this pandemic, but I can control my behavior. At the start of every morning, I get ready as though I'm about to go out—I even spritz Sauvage—but instead of heading out the door, I head to the dining room table and get to work. There's something entrancing about doing what you love—the hours go by rather quickly when you're in "the flow." Another thing that's helped pass the time, and reorient my mind when I'm about to binge terrifying hypothetical scenarios, is simply calling out things I'm grateful for, such as being able to eat slower lately and really savoring the meals I cook. Meditation in the evenings has really helped, too, in terms of keeping calm. It re-energizes me so that I can send out "good vibes" the following day to people I communicate with.

I'm lucky enough to have a great view, and seeing nature—the flamingos and swans wading together in the nearby pond—reminds me daily that even this crazy moment will pass: "Life goes on."