April 7, 2021
The weather in Minneapolis has been extremely cooperative. Without it, I’m not sure how we would have made it through the year. As the sole person in Kaleidoscope’s Minneapolis office, I used to work in a co-working space downtown and frequently visited our clients and our Chicago team. However, I have made some changes to my lifestyle due to the government restrictions on public space and travel.
Like many of us, my wife and I had to adjust to remote working and home-schooling our children. While adapting to new situations can sometimes be challenging, you can still find opportunities to make positive changes. For example, Spencer (10th Grade), Tyler (9th Grade) and Izzie (3rd Grade) are all engaged students with different extracurricular activities, so it felt like we were always running late for something. From the moment we awoke to the moment we went to bed, our schedules were filled with meetings, appointments, practices, and tournaments. Baseball, basketball, soccer, and gymnastics filled our afternoons, evenings, and weekends. Now that spring sports have been canceled, we are slowing down and doing more things as a family. We go bicycling, golfing, and boating, so we can take advantage of the extra time we have together.
Dinnertime has also changed in our household. With more time in our schedules, we have made dinner a family event where each person helps with planning and cooking our meals. This has allowed us to eat healthier, stay connected, and keep our immune systems healthy—something we should all be doing to help our bodies avoid Covid-19. We’ve also turned days of the week to specific meal themes. For example, we have Grilled Cheese Saturday, Salad Sunday, BBQ Tuesday and Pizza Friday. The rest of the days are open for anything new we want to try out and experiment.
Establishing new routines
“While a sizable portion of the population remains dedicated to health and fitness in some capacity, the way people exercise and what they are willing to spend on fitness may change drastically following Covid-19.”
Mintel- Exercise Trends, US March 2020
I’ve also started taking more time for myself. In the mornings, I start my day with some light exercise. Stretching, push-ups and sit ups were all activities I said I needed to do, but would tell myself I didn’t have enough time. By eliminating my commute, I am able to exercise every day—with no excuses. Furthermore, I take a lunch break and walk around the neighborhood for 45 minutes. This helps clear my head from the work I did in the morning and helps me think of ideas for my meetings and projects in the afternoon. I sometimes bring my laptop outside to do my work in the great outdoors. There’s nothing better than getting a little Vitamin D and listening to birds chirp while building presentation decks and attending Zoom meetings.
Reflecting on my experience, I believe brands can step in and help others make more positive changes. The monotonous ads that would drone on about “uncertain times” did not help me cope. What actually helped my family was embracing our slower pace to life without spending too much attention on what we had to give up because of the shutdown. When it comes to brands, I believe the successful ones will add benefits to their consumers’ lives rather than overly focusing on the setbacks.
This time has been extremely hard for everyone, but we need to look at it as a way to grow, accept change, and work together to come out of the pandemic stronger and with a new outlook on life. I’ve adopted a slogan that a family friend used to preach to me: Savor the moment. If Covid-19 is going to teach us anything about how to move forward, I hope we all take a step back first and start savoring, to learn to appreciate all the little things that we took for granted.