An Extrovert’s Guide to Navigating Coronavirus Quarantine
Communication has changed but connections don’t have to
If you asked any of the people closest to me to give one word that describes me, they’d probably say “loud.” If this was not their first choice, I can guarantee it’d be a close second. This may not seem immediately obvious as I can come off as quiet upon first meeting, however, as you grow to know me, you’ll soon learn that I love to make people laugh and be loud. I find myself further energized by other people’s energies.
One of my favorite parts of my work at Trent Creative is the collaboration. We problem-solve and brainstorm together in the conference room or across our desks. Everything we do, we do together. Then coronavirus happened and the stay-at-home order was implemented.
Luckily, the Trent Creative team is flexible and adaptable, and my workdays are still filled with phone calls and Zoom meetings to collaborate and find solutions together. So, despite living alone, I find my 9-5 rife with interactions in one way or another. Of course, there is a learning curve and we are all adjusting to the “new normal” of working from home but I am grateful for the new ways of communicating with my teammates and serving our clients.
I’ve compiled a few tips on how you can continue connecting personally and professionally for those of us who thrive on human interaction.
1. Enjoy nature
I live near the Rochester Municipal Park and one of the activities keeping me sane during quarantine is walking to the park or the Paint Creek Trail. I get to see other people out and about, get some exercise, and still feel like I’m out in the community (just in a different way).
Another way to enjoy nature is to garden! Last year, Marilyn Trent founded the Rochester Pollinators, a sub-committee of the City Beautiful Commission dedicated to helping restore pollinator populations like the Monarch butterfly. An easy solution is to plant native plants! They are beautiful and help feed and shelter our local pollinators.
2. Structure check-ins throughout the day with teammates
One of the processes that Marilyn has implemented is a 9-1-5 check-in. I work closely with our programmer, Scott, and we have phone calls scheduled throughout the day at 9 am, 1 pm and 5 pm. These allow us to review ongoing projects, check the status of our lists, and help one another prioritize.
Our team also has end of day Zoom calls where the managers can review their work from the day and tie up any loose ends. These structured check-ins help ensure processes remain streamlined and efficient.
3. Join a virtual book club
My friend in Nashville posted recently asking if anyone would like to join a virtual book club. The club would “meet” over Zoom every other week to discuss a book of our choosing. This turned out to be an easy way to connect with friends (new and old) while also encouraging one of my favorite hobbies, reading.
Whether it’s a book club, virtual game night, or weekly family FaceTime calls, it is important that we continue to engage with those closest to us. Social connections are important to our emotional and mental health.
4. Support your local businesses
I may be a little biased on this one, but the downtown community is so important to me and so many residents of Rochester. One small way I have found that I can feel active and social in my community is joining Facebook groups that support local small businesses, ordering takeout, or even posting/sharing updates about these businesses.
When we support one another and support our community, it can help us all feel a little less alone!