Miranda Hussey is Pixel Bakery's Client Manager. She oversees animation, web design, and video production on behalf of our clients.

Approaching the end of 2020 we all know one thing for certain: time isn’t real. As it turns out, the main way the human world functions is by pretending time is real and adhering to a bunch of things like rules, deadlines, circadian rhythms… When a global pandemic arrives and your country (and especially your state 👀) doesn’t handle it very well, apparently all of that structure goes out the window and we become feral goblins unsure of how to exist within our own homes. 

It is garbage. Like, no one is really enjoying it, right? It’s obviously worse for some than others, and we on the PB team are extremely lucky that our work is (mostly) in the digital realm and could be transitioned relatively easily to being done remotely. That said, figuring out to exist this year has still sucked major ass – and no one has really put out a guide on how to juggle your busy adult life in a way that’s actually helpful. Tired of all the articles telling me to “take time for myself” and “put on some real clothes”, I humbly offer this to you: 

Miranda’s Declassified School Pandemic Survival Guide

Keys to Success:

Zoom as much as you possibly can, and get good at it

The biggest struggle throughout existing post-March has been the constant  yearning for human life; working from home can be a really isolating experience, and no amount of slack channels are going to change that. While all the Zoom themed commercials are extremely grating (stop using the phrase “new normal” and showing me someone getting married or engaged on zoom to advertise chips or something like that), Zoom truly has become a huge part of life for us. 

I schedule meetings for e v e r y t h i n g. Everyone is burnt out, and emails seem to get lost in the shuffle even more than usual these days. Try incorporating zoom into your/your team’s life more and more – it’s the easiest way to connect with your coworkers, your clients… anyone. 

Elevate your set up by putting some sort of light behind your webcam – I usually zoom on my laptop with a desktop behind me with pictures of sunflowers (or something else yellow and happy) on the screen. Having a warm light behind the webcam makes things look less spooky and sad, and you will just feel better vibes.

The biggest tip though – have a list before whatever meeting you’re having to run through. While this should be common sense and a thing with normal real life meetings, it especially helps keep zooms chugging along and people interacting with each other in a more “normal” way.

(Also – truly just wear a decent shirt. I know it’s been joked about 100x, but don’t sacrifice your comfort and wear real pants. You will be so much happier just vibing having a no pants party by yourself)

Find a hobby that’s sustainable and/or useful

If your hobbies prior to March involved a lot of being outside your house, or getting items not easily found locally, you’re probably feeling really frickin bummed right now. Not having a hobby can really exacerbate those feelings of no motivation, lack of purpose… the easiest way to get yourself in a mentally better place is to find something new to enjoy.

Distractions aren’t necessarily the best way to deal with our mental health but dang are they nifty. If you take up an artisan skill – baking, crochet/sewing/other fabric-y fun things, woodworking – you suddenly have a way to feel needed in your community in addition to relaxing and chilling with something you enjoy. Don’t necessarily stress yourself out by adding a whole ass side hustle, but if you can do something where you feel useful it will give that last serotonin in your brain some fuel.

Eat real human food

Without sounding like your mom, a huge part of how you feel does come from how you’re fueling your body. I love doordash. I adore it. Nothing is better than ordering from Honest Abe’s when you’re too lazy to cook – their delivery time is always so quick somehow?? But y’all ya gotta have nutrients. 

So many people have told me “Oh, I don’t cook” as just a normal sentence about them – no??? You need to cook??? Even if it’s tragic and you would make a strong contender for the cast of Worst Cooks of America, you need to buy groceries and get them into your body. Cooking at least once a day is good to: establish a routine, take a break from the monotony of desk life, and boost your happiness. Snacks and premade food at the grocery store are the most expensive things there – in a time where we all are watching our wallets eating cheap and healthy is the real power move. If you are stressed by how to grocery shop or how to get started on basic kitchen skills, please call me. My number is on this website. <3

Find a calendar and organization system that actually works for you

“A lot of you guys have been asking how I stay SO organized, and I’m here to tell you Monday.com is the BEST tool! #ad”

I have always wanted to be an influencer – let me have this !!!

But really, the easiest way to exist as an adult right now is to have your life somewhat managed for you. People all operate differently, and there’s no one program or app that is a one-size-fits-all. But you need to find which one DOES fit you. It’s so hard to stay afloat in a sea of random dates and deadlines when all the days are mushed together – putting all your important items into a program that brings you joy and disperses the chaos of your mind is critical for being a productive human being. Let machines work for you.

Reminders so you don’t hate yourself:

  • It’s okay to feel extremely unmotivated. Like, you aren’t seeing anyone, you’re stuck at home, and it’s really hard to make yourself give a shit about arbitrary assignments and plop down in front of a screen. Don’t get caught up in feeling guilty that you’re not motivated to do stuff; just celebrate when you actually manage to do the things you

  • We are all not killing it health wise right now. I bought some resistance bands in March so I could work out at home – I honestly have no effing clue where they are, and they’re definitely still in the packaging. While it is AWESOME if you are working out from home or figuring out a way to exercise at a gym or outside, don’t beat yourself up for not being the epitome of fitness. If you haven’t gained at least 10 pounds, please explain how to me lmao.

  • It makes sense for your sleep schedule to be completely wack. I know business hours are still a thing, and people might make you feel shitty about the way you’re chaotically up at 4 am, but it is totally normal to be all over the place. We are all probably at least a little depressed, and daylight savings time shouldn’t exist. (Well, standard time shouldn’t exist – we should permanently just vibe in daylight time).