So you’re still in quarantine; so are we. It may suck getting cooped up, but trust us, it's the best thing to do if we’re all going to get through this. That doesn’t mean it has to be a stark time; we’ve been doing little things to make sure that we stay sane and optimistic!
Believe it or not, I haven’t gone crazy being stuck in quarantine these past few weeks. Sure, I’ve gone out for necessary things like supplies and groceries, but it certainly doesn’t compare to my life before: meeting up with friends, checking out great menswear, and even checking out an art gallery or so. Social distancing is incredibly important if we’re going to prevent the spread of this virus, so missing out on “regular life” is a worthy price to pay. Consequently, it makes no sense to let grief get the best of us! And the best way to do that is to keep busy.
I don’t just mean to be blindy distracted; that sense of security will only be temporary. Of course, dressing up and staying stylish is one way to stay sensible, but there’s much more to do! No, the only way to survive is to genuinely be engrossed in your passions, your hobbies, and your betterment! That’s what I’ve been doing and I’m sharing some of them with you here with the hopes that it inspires you!
Exercise is one of the best ways to keep a level head. We all know it’s physical importance, since we don’t want to become couch potatos who can’t fit into our custom jackets after all of this! But the fact is that exercise has great psychological effects as well, uplifting mood, reducing stress, and providing much needed serotonin.
In the times before quarantine, I used to go to the gym a few times a week with my best mates. Now, I simply go for a run outside! And don’t worry, I maintain a healthy distance away from my neighbors. It still accomplishes the same thing as a gym, as it’s physical activity that takes you out of the house. I enjoy it even more because it’s something to do that physically prevents you from checking your phone or doing a chore! Plus it’s nice to be able to be outside (even if it is for 30 minutes or so) and see my little community, which is something I’ve never done because I’ve always had to be at work.
Even if you can’t go outside for a walk due to your own quarantine policies, you can always exercise by watching a workout video. Hell, even a streamed yoga session could be just as effective; don’t forget to turn on your heater to make it a true “hot yoga” experience. Adding some form of it into your daily routine not only will ensure you won’t get lazy, but it will provide structure for your new life at home. I’m usually not the biggest fan of sweating up a storm, but even I can’t deny the benefits.
Watch a Film (inside)
Lazy Sundays for me were always spent watching a movie or binging a show, because I would spend most of my weekdays working and writing. Now that everyday is a bit like a lazy Sunday, I have as much time as I want to spend watching some of the best (or at least most enjoyable) films around. We certainly like watching films here at Craftsman, as many of our products are named to honor movie stars of the past, and so here are some of our recommendations to fulfil a gentleman’s TV or laptop screen.
Some are straight up action, some are thrillers, and others are dramas that can suck you in; you could even just watch it for the great menswear. Don’t be surprised if many of them are by Martin Scorsese, because we love them! Either way, we’re certain you’re going to enjoy them! And don’t forget to use the opportunity to explore on your own and watch something you haven’t seen before. I know I have.
- Casino (1995)
- The Irishman (2019)
- The Nice Guys (2016)
- Die Hard (1988)
- Top Gun (1986)
- The Great Escape (1963)
- Heat (1995)
- Bullitt (1968)
- Point Blank (1968)
- Thunderball (1965)
- Phantom Thread (2017)
- Casablanca (1942)
- Scarface (1983)
- Minority Report (2002)
- Reservoir Dogs (1992)
- Rocky (1976) & Creed (2015)
Learn a New Skill or Try a Hobby
Now even let’s say you’re still not satisfied with exercise or watching a great film. I get it; you need something else to take up your time, something a bit more productive. Why not learn a new hobby or skill? In this world of freelancers, learning something puts you at an advantage and in a better place to offer to your employers. Even if you already have a steady job, you can’t go wrong with gaining some new knowledge.
There are plenty of great websites out there dedicated to this, like Lynda or Skillshare, but we can’t forget places like Youtube. As a creative myself, I’ve been using it to further my capability at graphic design and video editing, learning things that I had previously never had experience doing. I’ve even watched a few videos on more professional topics, like little known spreadsheet functions or data analysis, because it’s always good to be a versatile person in this day and age. Even honing technical skills you already have is great too! But don’t feel too pressured to constantly be learning if you don’t have to!
It would also be beneficial if you’ve developed your hobbies! Like exercise, doing things that are unrelated to your job can take your mind off of things, especially since you’re probably not leaving your house as much. It can be something as small like a jigsaw puzzles or crossword, or you could even try your hand at bigger things like tackling Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Personally, I’ve taken this opportunity to relearn the piano and have even written a few pieces during this quarantine, losing myself in the process of creating (a real form of therapy, that). I've also done a bit of painting, despite never studying it in an official capacity. Who knows, maybe by the time this is all over, I’ll have written the next biggest symphony or made the next biggest artwork!
Have a Drink
Lastly, we can’t deny the power of a stiff drink. Lord knows that I’ve been having at least one drink every night, just to finish off the day. I started off with a beer, then with a bit of Laphroaig whiskey, ultimately landing on the nocturnal ritual of crafting myself a cocktail. Whiskey Sours with their trademark citrus taste was one of the first I opted for, inspired by Rick Dalton from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. But in the end, I couldn’t resist the Negroni.
The Negroni is a menswear favorite, made famous by Matt Hranek of the WM Brown magazine. It’s hard to imagine a proper menswear gathering without one, whether it’s at a crowded Harry’s Bar in Firenze or with just a few friends after talking about our new bespoke commissions. Even if we can’t do that just yet, just sipping the celebrated deep orange hued drink on our own brings about fun memories with the hope that we will be able to create new ones in the future soon enough.
Hopefully this list of things to keep you occupied this quarantine season generates some happy feelings! It may be a discouraging situation in the world right now, but there are definitely things you can do to make your time productive and enjoyable. So continue practicing social distancing while you’re sipping on a nice cocktail in your favorite suit or safari jacket while watching a great film. That’s what the rest of us here at Craftsman Clothing will be doing, I can guarantee it.