My good friend, Michelle Pender, over at Compass, who is a top real estate broker in San Francisco, sent me this email which I think is terrific- especially during the pandemic. Michelle shares….
Stress is a constant factor for many people. However, with the right tools, those who feel stressed can create a better mentality in just a few minutes. While five minutes may seem like an insignificant amount of time to reduce stress, these activities can positively impact mental health.
Crank the tunes. Take a brain break and blast your favorite feel-good song as you walk or go for a drive.
Go outside. A few minutes of fresh air can help clear your head and give you a new perspective.
Try something new. Shake up your routine; this can be as simple as walking down a different street, anything to get your mind off autopilot, and be present.
Spend money. According to Harvard professor Mike Norton, the trick is you have to spend it on someone else to get the ‘feel good’ perks. (My Favorite)
Text a friend. Reaching out to someone and telling them how awesome they are will make you feel fabulous.
Make plans. Having something to look forward to, like dinner with a friend, can make a person giddy. Remember, anticipation is a secret weapon of happiness.
Help someone. A quick way to pick yourself up is to do something kind for someone else. It’s a bonus when it’s random and not expected of you.
Do something. Whether it’s sending an email or clearing out the clutter, getting one thing off your to-do list gives you a huge mental sigh of relief.
Say, “thank you.” A small act of gratitude goes a long way and will boost your positivity.
Think positive thoughts. No matter how bad things may seem, always be grateful. Warm water on a cold day? Amazing! Coldwater on a sunny day? Incredible! You are fortunate when you get right down to it.
These ten quick methods can help bring positivity to a person in a relatively short time. Try one or more to recharge and lift your spirits the next time you feel overwhelmed or sad.
For anyone who is looking for a new, happy home in San Francisco, Michelle Pender is your resource! Not only is she incredibly personable and friendly but she is a Bay Area native. She knows the city beyond well and especially caters to the quaint neighborhood of Noe Valley. Her Instagram is wonderful and she does these unique videos sent to her followers on Fridays with tailored tips for first time home buyers and insider ideas about the real estate market in general. Her Instagram can be found here.
As California is approaching nearly 2 months of shelter-in-place, Linx has transitioned to the reality of quarantine with mostly reasonable ease and we have been grateful at the number of people not holding back on signing up for memberships during COVID-19.
While clients are very much wanting to meet each other in person, they know that this is not the time for that and have accepted the new normal of virtual dates – and some very creative ones at that.
Approximately 75% of our premium clients are wanting to keep their searches going and try to continue to meet people during quarantine, while the remaining 25% are waiting for this to pass and “freezing” their memberships in the meantime. Many are very open to long-distance dating, especially during this stage, and finding it such an easy way to explore chemistry without the hassle and expense of having to hop on a plane for an in-person date.
Virtual dating is proving to be a very quick way to determine if there are some sparks, all while in the convenience of your own home.
We are seeing a small handful of our clients venture outside to gardens and parks for their first and second dates. Our couples are being safe by placing a large blanket down and sitting at least 6-feet from one another and bringing their own drink and food to enjoy. While this is not the same of getting to dine at a fabulous restaurant with crisp table linens and a well-trained staff, this is our new normal – at last for the time being. Furthermore, there is something old-fashioned and quite romantic about setting up a picnic and slowing down from our days to enjoy fresh air and conversation at a distance.
I’m getting a lot of clients and members of Linx asking advice on how to be successful at their virtual dating. My general advice for virtual dates is to treat them just like any regular date. Always put your best foot forward and remember that just because you are on Zoom or FaceTime, the age old expression “first impressions are lasting ones” does play a very important role during quarantine.
Some more specific advice when planning your virtual dates… Wear a pop of color (forget wearing white) and for women, do some tasteful makeup. Guys – clean yourself up and put on a dress shirt, or frankly anything but a sloppy t-shirt and shorts. Most of us feel our best when we are freshly showered and dressed for the occasion. Imagine you are going to an upscale lounge or restaurant for a meal….you wouldn’t wear a t-shirt and flip flops so the same principles apply when dating during quarantine – especially in the early stages as you’re getting to know one another.
Once you are dressed and looking fresh and vibrant, set the stage for potential romance and create the right ambiance. I have one client who keeps doing his virtual dates at his office. This is a buzz kill for his dates. Why? He is not separating work from pleasure and also not taking the virtual dates seriously. You need to separate your work and work environment from your dating life. So find a location in your home that is appropriate for this – and that definitely doesn’t mean your bedroom either. Think living room, dining room, or family room/den.
Light a candle, order a “ring light” on Amazon for optimal warm, ambient lighting or if you don’t have the budget for that, read what Tom Ford suggests for looking good on Zoom. Timing is everything. Do the Zoom date when the house is quiet (if you have kids, they are snoozing or in another room doing their homework ;-)) so you’re not distracted. If you drink, pour a cocktail or glass of wine, and if you don’t drink, pour a bubbly water with some citrus fruit or fresh mint leaves to feel festive and start your virtual date! Smile and keep the energy of the virtual date upbeat, happy, and chill.
What if the first virtual date goes well and you’re wanting to get a little more creative for the next series of virtual dates? For out-of-the-box date ideas, I am sharing the following ideas with my clients including:
1) Be a chef. Open your kitchen, show him/her a favorite recipe you like to make and vice versa. Do this using your favorite tech platform.
2. Be romantic. Flex your brain muscles and read him/her poetry or a chapter from a book you’re reading, or share your screen with some of your favorite YouTube tv or movie clips or music (make sure to select “share computer audio” when you share your screen.) Use it as a launchpad for further conversation. You’re showing him/her a new dimension of what makes you incredibly unique.
3. Be an artist. Even if you’re not going to be the next da Vinci, become your own individual artist! Each buy an inexpensive paint set online, schedule the date for when your respective sets arrive at your homes, set up your Zoom and have a painting date. Use it as an opportunity to giggle at one another’s art work, once canvases are complete.
It is also interesting to me that many clients are immediately removing the superficial layer of first dates and delving very deep in the virtual dates by asking one another intense questions. One recommendation is accessing the The New York Times “36 Questions on the Way to Love” interactive quiz and quickly sizing up if there are long-term foundational values in alignment or not. It’s proving to be a powerful way to determine if there is enough in common to keep virtually dating or rather to move on. This is yet another approach to incorporate.
With the curiosity and excitement of virtual dating, you might be wondering the risks and downsides. I think one of the major drawbacks is that some people just feel plain awkward dating virtually. It feels weird for them and simply not natural. Also, many people want to see what someone looks like in the flesh, smell their perfume, see the glistening of the gloss of their lips as the sun hits them a certain way, hug them, maybe kiss at the end of the date to test that important chemistry. Clearly you can’t do this with virtual dating, so this is a significant downside.
That said, the upshot I keep telling my clients is to keep exploring the virtual connections and when restrictions are lifted, to be able to imagine how exciting it will be to finally see their love interest in person. I think the potential of how magnetic the chemistry could be at that moment could be life-changing.
COVID-19 has placed each and every one of us in a vulnerable place and sharing that vulnerability with someone else could not only forever bond that couple but catapult them into a love that can be tested through time.
With that said, though, it is important not to force the transition to meeting in person – we are all (including our government) trying to figure the right time and pace to begin re-introducing social contact, and it will probably come down to each person’s comfort and tolerance for different types of risk. Please be tolerant as we each are dealing with this in our own way and in the meantime keep staying healthy and safe.
If you are on Instagram, I do daily simple inspirational posts to which many folks have responded very positively. If you would like to follow me, please do so at “Ms.LinxDating.” Thank you so much!
Robin Farmanfarmaian is a professional speaker, entrepreneur, and angel investor, focusing on cutting-edge healthcare and biotech companies poised to impact 100M patients. She put together this excellent 5 minute video to provide 4 powerful techniques to help cope with anxiety during uncertain times. We want to empower you all with the skills necessary to feel mentally strong during these challenging times in our world.
I want all readers to know that if you are feeling scared, isolated, and very alone- please reach out to me. I am here to talk to you in a loving and non-judgmental way and will do so happily anytime. You can email me personally at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Furthermore, if anyone is reading this and is paralyzed by the anxiety brought on by losing a job and not being able to provide for yourself and/or your family and cannot put food on the table, I will try to help you to the best of my abilities. This is not a time to feel embarrassed or ashamed. It is a time to remember we are ALL HUMAN and in this together.
As cities around the country and the world go into coronavirus lockdown, your search for love doesn’t have to shelter in place. In fact, being in quarantine is a great opportunity to look inward to ask yourself what qualities you really want in a partner and is a chance to prepare yourself for a relationship once the quarantine ends.
Cultivating solitude and embracing it to find love
For naturally social creatures, getting locked into our homes with no end date can be tough to navigate, even for those of us with high levels of immunity to loneliness.
To make peace with solitude, scientists recommend reframing the loneliness.
Reed Larson, professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that solitude is like “a medicine which tastes bad, but leaves one more healthy in the long run,” that creates more positive emotions and less self-reported depression down the line. Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet, says “solitude is a crucial and underrated ingredient of creativity.” This time of social distance is the perfect opportunity to get close with solitude.
So, how is solitude relevant to finding a partner?
Researchers Christopher Long and James Averill write that time alone allows us to order our priorities according to what we need, rather than the needs of others. Solitude is a powerful experience that allows us to prioritize what we want in our relationships.
Start by asking yourself the following:
Am I listening closely to what I want?
How much do I weigh what my friends or family want for me?
What story does my dating life tell?
If answering these questions feels confusing, you’re not alone; isolation can make it difficult to experience clarity, but hang in there and don’t let this opportunity slip away.
Sherry Turkle, researcher and the founder of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self talks about our apprehension towards embracing solitude in her Ted talk: “The moment that people are alone, even for a few seconds, they become anxious, they panic, they fidget, they reach for a device. Just think of people at a checkout line or at a red light.”
Turkle goes on to urge people to create sacred spaces to embrace solitude, where you don’t get distracted or reach for your phone—such as an hour in the morning or lunchtime in between your remote conference calls. It can be over a quiet cup of tea, a soak in a hot epsom salt bath, or whatever else might work for you.
That said, even once you’ve had a chance for solitude, your mind might still not be the easiest place to dwell. Past relationships and other noise can make it impossible to ask ourselves the questions we need to answer before continuing the search for a loving partner.
Consulting with a matchmaker can help bring focus into the equation. Not only can we be a sounding board to get clarity on what those relationship priorities are, we’ll be able to jumpstart your love life once social restrictions are lifted.
Building connection amidst quarantine
If you were already dating before the quarantine, you’ll need to get creative to build and sustain the connection.
Host a remote movie date. Netflix just released their Netflix Party Chrome extension that lets you watch “Netflix remotely with friends, e.g. for movie nights with that long-distance special someone. It synchronizes video playback and adds group chat.” Should pair well with a quarantine.
Take a (virtual) museum stroll. Google Arts & Culture has partnered with some of the world’s most popular museums to give patrons a chance to see art and exhibits through their computer screens. The virtual tour might not be the most ideal, but you’ll get some brownie points for creativity.
Spend a night at the opera. The Met is live streaming their operas each day. Of course you’d be more inclined to watch from the first row balcony, but desperate times call for alternative seating.
Try a new (love) language. With quality time and physical touch on hold, give acts of service and words of affirmation a try. Support your favorite local restaurant and get a meal delivered. Check in frequently with texts and calls—don’t skimp on showing appreciation.
As always, I am here to support you! Consider scheduling a virtual matchmaking session to get the process started. Once quarantine is over, you’ll be ready to mingle with some of the most eligible singles from around the world!