In the midst of this pandemic, I am attempting to find small moments of peace, in any way possible. Last week truly felt like an avalanche of paranoia, uncertainty and fear that I was in absolutely no way prepared to deal with, but as with everything, we did our best to adjust. I was fortunate enough to still have work I could do remotely and maintain safety from the comfort of my own home, unlike a number of people who were not. And I want to take a moment to acknowledge the extreme impact COVID-19 has had on so many people, particularly those who are either sick or have lost their source of income as a result. We are all being effected in various ways, some more detrimental than others, but I always caution myself against comparing each other's suffering and I encourage you to do the same. My hope, however, is that we can all do our best to stay safe and take care of our loved ones, our neighbors and ourselves, in any and all ways possible. A big piece of that involves staying physically distant from each other and minimizing contact, even with the people we know and care to spend time with. It's heartbreaking to think that people are separated from one another, given this is the time we need each other the most. 

I'd like to reframe social distancing as physical distancing, given there are many ways in which to still remain social. This past week I was blessed with the chance to spend an evening with my sorority sisters on Thursday night and high school friends on Friday, all via virtual chat. It was such an uplifting way to escape my busy days of figuring out how to manage my interns remotely and provide therapy to clients over the phone, among many other daunting tasks in this new world of work. But on my virtual chats, we had a lot fun with home tours and updates on each others lives. Of course we were unable to fully get away from the main topic, I think we all felt less alone in navigating the stress of this major shift. Fortunately a few husbands and pets made appearances, adding even more levity to all of our long days. 

We even made plans to continue our virtual hangouts next week and I am excited to do it now with my book club and family members soon. If you haven't gotten a chance to connect yet with your people, this is most certainly the time to do so over the many various platforms offered in this very tech savvy world. And if FaceTime fails, there's still the good old phone call or old fashioned snail mail to keep us all connected during this trying time. 

At this point, we are still able to leave the house for exercise in Los Angeles, as long as we remain six feet apart. So I took up running in my neighborhood again, with my regular loop through the beautiful vegetation and aspirational real estate. My husband started to tag along and I even though I love my solo journeys, this might just be the start of another shared pastime for us. After a week of rain, the hedges were extra green, the seasonal flowers so bright and the weather just the perfect balance of brightness and breeze, making it easy to forget at various moments how much different a world we now live in.

Saturday night, despite my renewed sense in the beauty of virtual chat, a few friends of mine and I decided to take a little stroll outside together, employing physical distancing rules as instructed. And given it was past 5 o' clock, I figured a little pink bubbly in our portable cups seemed quite appropriate. We sipped, we strolled, we commiserated about it all, alternating from hope to worry, from gratitude to dismay, all while admiring my cute new sweater for Spring, which was one of my very last purchases before realizing the severity COVID-19 would cause. 

And with that said, I have really been considering how this impacts everything in my life, but particularly Gisele Chic, my happy place I created in lieu of the heavy work I have always done professionally. At this point I can't imagine not continuing to explore my creativity and share it on this platform, in whatever way feels the most authentic, as I always have before and as I always will forever. I know I need many different versions of escape right now and that is why I am so grateful we have the internet, advanced technology and social media during this time because I don't know how else I would connect, learn and entertain myself so readily. But I understand how other's may see it, digital creators sharing life as they imagine it, their content disconnected from reality. Which I don't exactly believe to an entirely negative ting. But I think it's fair to recognize your feelings and make the choice that keeps you your very best. 

But if being entertained or embracing escapism isn't a reality for you right now, I hope it can be soon, because we all need it one way or another. Everything feels so urgent right now, so new, so incredibly destabilizing. And that's because it is. If this crisis is to be our new normal, then it will take time to adjust. It will take time for us to all figure out how to survive, in the midst of uncertainty. I am doing my best to find out what this new routine will look like, as I am sure you are too. But I am optimistic about our ability to figure it out, to adapt, to help each other. I just hope we can find some peace while doing so. Some soul searching, some gratitude for what we've had and what we might loose, for what we didn't have, and for what we may gain? 


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