Things I Wouldn’t Have Tried If It Weren’t For COVID-19 (But Highly Recommend)

And no, Zoom is not one of them. This is not a list of half-ass replacements, substitutions, or stand-ins for the things we all miss. I can’t, and I won’t, suggest ways to recreate a hot yoga studio in your apartment or the energy and literal buzz of the DJ finally playing your song request just as the bartender announces last call in a packed basement bar (which may or may not be Baby Atlas).

It is also important to acknowledge how unbelievably lucky I am, and hopefully a lot of you are, to be thinking about how to replace hot yoga and not how to replace incomes, health insurance, businesses, etc. But this has been a mandatory crash course in resilience and adaptation for every single one of us, with hugely varying degrees of difficulty.

marie covid 19 piece

I have been lucky enough to work from home and have been quarantined with my husband and main man golden retriever, Finn. Sure, there are a LOT of things I cannot wait to get back to (Parson’s Chicken patio, I’m dreaming of you), but a few weeks into quarantine, in an effort to maintain sanity and a little positivity, I started a list of new things I was trying or doing differently and loved. Like when you sit down for Thanksgiving and inevitably have to share what you’re thankful for but instead it is a Zoom virtual dinner party with takeout from your favorite restaurant and you’re asked to share what you’re thankful for from COVID-19.

I am genuinely happy for these things and strongly recommend them all now, next month, next quarantine phase, next year and beyond.

My new spiked seltzer obsession, Elenita

Spiked seltzers are…not new. And before you judge me for being way behind, I present you with Elenita, a new brand of mezcal seltzers with clean, delicious flavors and no added sugar. They’re made with 100% agave Espadin and distilled in Oaxaca which means none of the hangover-inducing additives and sugars often used to create alcoholic beverages. So go ahead, keep drinking White Claw, but remember it is a malt liquor, the same type of alcohol used in Smirnoff Ice and wine coolers.

Virtual physical therapy

Virtual PT sessions with West Town PT have kept me ache- and injury-free while I have been moving my body very differently and without the watchful eye of a trainer. The convenience has finally kept me compliant. I am saving travel time to and from the clinic and it feels more like self-care and less like a chore. The PTs at West Town are extremely attentive and can still spot any issues with form. Plus, the sessions are a full 45 minutes, one-on-one with a therapist.

Of course, if you have a serious injury that requires hands-on treatment, you can and should schedule an in-person appointment. BUT, if you, like me, want absolutely nothing holding you back from going to any and every studio you can once they reopen, try a virtual appointment ASAP. Booking either is super simple and can all be done online here.

Coffee that doesn’t come in a to-go container

There is something about having a small and personal French press of fresh coffee that makes the mornings feel special. My French press was collecting dust on my counter until I was no longer hurriedly grabbing a to-go coffee on my way into the office.

A skincare company that creates my routine for me

I recently took the very big step of committing to a skincare routine with Haldi. They’re a new skincare company providing personalized AM and PM routines using products from a wide array of brands they’ve vetted and partnered with. Sure, there might be more time to research proper skincare and the best products for you, but that is a deep, deep internet hole I have had to climb out of one too many times. I was desperate for someone just to tell me, based on my own skin, what exactly I should be doing and when. Haldi did just that.

Rolling with the best of them

Joints were once labor intensive, inconvenient, and messy, and there are tons of other easier ways to consume cannabis. But, I’ve rediscovered the joy of rolling them. They’re now a skill—like origami—and with rolling papers from Papers + Ink, they’re really a work of art.

Finding my at-home workout groove

The amount of digital workouts available right now is overwhelming, and I will most certainly be returning to the gym once it is safe; however, there are two fitness instructors that have helped make at-home workouts bearable and I’ll continue to do theirs even after gyms reopen.

First, Cody Rigsby from Peloton is literally a dance party that came back as a human being. Cody, if you read this, I will socially distance dance with you anytime, anyplace.

Second, the hard AF (both her abs and her workouts) Sue Wen. Sue is an instructor at East Bank Club and Studio Three, and she has been doing 30-minute HIIT workouts Monday – Saturday on her Instagram live that are non-stop and actually keep me engaged. Her energy is next level and very much appreciated right now.

Some, or all of these things may not be for you BUT, if you try and love any of them, share! And for my final recommendation, start a list like this of your own. You can come back to it anytime you’ve got the quarantine sads and it will hopefully serve as a quick pick-me-up.

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About Marie Goodman

Marie experienced the importance of whole health at an early age and knew she wanted to help others adopt health as lifestyle. She moved to Chicago in 2013 after graduating from the University of Michigan (GO BLUE) with a BA in Political Science and spending 2 years as a consultant for Epic, an electronic medical record company based in Wisconsin. She spent the next few years as a project manager at Rush while getting her Master’s in Health Administration from Rush University. Her passion has always been health and wellness and after 7 years in sick care, it was time to make the move. She started teaching at Studio Lagree in early 2017, spent a few months in Aspen helping Outdoor Voices open the shop there, and joined aSweatLife in Summer of 2018 as Director of Partnerships. She loves anything outdoors, especially if it is dog friendly so her Golden Retriever, Finn, can join!