Harper & Tucker Flatlays

It has officially been over a month since Dakota and I made the decision to temporarily close our shops and self-quarantine. We are all facing unprecedented challenges during this pandemic and know no two stories are alike. Now that we have been isolated for the past month, the shock of this reality can be fading into fatigue for some of us, and we are all coping in our own ways.

We have always envisioned Harper & Tucker to be more than just a place to shop - a haven for our customers, and a bright spot in any visitor's day. Now more than ever, that is ringing true. We want to let you know that we are still here (even if we aren't face-to-face!) and that there is still brightness and fun to be had. I feel like my mindset has been a rollercoaster of thoughts and feelings as a result of quarantine. Remove the tangible entertainment and social joys of the outside world and what is it that brings me happiness and peace? Here are just a few of the lessons I have taken away, and some small changes that are bringing lightness back into my days.

Dress for nobody but yourself 

In these crazy times, it sometimes feels trivial to focus on style and dressing up, but I would argue that feeling as bright and beautiful as you can (whatever that means to you) is the least you can do to take care of yourself. Style makes us happy, whether we are going out or not!

At the start of quarantine, I relished wearing my athletic ware everyday. I wasn't seeing anybody, and the only time I would leave my apartment would be to get an online order ready or take Harper on a walk - so why would I put effort into what I was wearing? Well...by the second week of this I felt frumpy, had trouble focusing, missed my favorite outfits, and yearned for the creative and expressive outlet that style gives me. There was a dissonance in wanting to get dressed up but wondering who that was for? Make it for yourself! 

Wear those pieces in your closet that make you smile, play around and style comfy work from home outfits that maybe you wouldn't have put together before. I make it a point each day to dress up for my workday in one way or another. This could still mean I'm in my comfiest pair of leggings, but maybe I pair them with a crop top and cardi, and suddenly I feel more confident and put together. 

Explore your style and find out what it is (when nobody is looking) that makes you feel your best and brightest. If you miss dressing up with your besties - plan an upscale, black tie virtual cocktail hour so you can all feel like you're out on the town once again. Make staying at home as chic as possible! 

Give yourself ONE goal and stick to it 

If you had spoken to me four weeks ago I would've said that by Week 5 in quarantine I'd be meditating every morning, running daily, working on my German, and still have time to try new recipes by dinner time. In reality...a third of my meals have been nachos and I am no closer to speaking German than I am to running a marathon. I think I share the same fear as others that I'm going to look back on this time and think that, outside of day-to-day work, I didn't take the opportunity of extra time at home to truly be productive.

I don't think that's fair or realistic...so much of our energy is dedicated to this virus and its impact. It's OKAY to give ourselves permission to not come out of this with a new set of skills. For me, a compromise to balance my day and still feel accomplished was to pick 1 real goal that felt achievable. 

Before quarantine began, I was struggling to carve out time for reading (one of my favorite things to do). I have since made it a goal to be intentional about reading at least 30 minutes each day, taking advantage of the time I have gotten back from this change in schedule. I have finished two books, am on my way to a third, and have truly reinvigorated this hobby. It's an old habit with new intention, and if I can leave quarantine with this engrained routine, I will be ecstatic.

Whether it's a meal that you want to master, a signature cocktail that you want to show off, a documentary that you had not gotten around to, or a journal you had been meaning to write-in - pick a goal/activity and stick to it. You can always look back on this quarantine as the time you accomplished "xyz" and find the silver lining where you can.

Social distancing doesn't mean social distance

I never thought I would be so easily annoyed or discerning of people's etiquette. Is that couple really not going to walk single file? Why can't that person in the grocery aisle figure out which type of pasta they want? Why am I always the one crossing the street? The more I had let myself become annoyed by these small infractions, the greater the distance and separation I felt from the community. In fact it should be the opposite. 

We are all collectively trying our best and the stranger that you are dodging is also the stranger you are protecting. Yes - it is annoying that a couple may not adjust and walk single file on the sidewalk, but you don't know if holding each other's hand is how they're getting through the day.

I have decided to make the conscious effort to smile and wave at any people I pass by. I now even look forward to going out with Harper during the higher traffic times and am finding some humor in the awkwardness of staying six feet apart. Just because it's a heavy time doesn't mean you can't find some lightness and humor in the small moments. I know that I would personally feel a little brighter if someone gave me a quick "hello", so why not do that myself? 

My experience may resonate entirely or you have no idea what I'm talking about...as I said, no two quarantines are the same. This Friday at 5:30pm on @harperandtucker Instagram LIVE Dakota and I are going to further dive into how we've been keeping ourselves sane this past month, answer questions about quarantining in H&T style, and chat with all of you to hear about your experiences. We're all in this together, and whether you're thriving in social isolation or have a Zoom scheduled every night of the week - just know we're here for you! 

Until then, please take care and stay safe!

xx,

NS 

April 21, 2020 — Natalie Swift

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