Friday, April 3, 2020

COVD #11 of 15 April 2020 -- Online sources, home office and self-care

UPDATED 5.26.2020

This post updates information from the #6 of 8 posts in March 2020... Home Office, Fur Friends and Self-Care info

Unemployment tips -- courtesy of USA Today best selling author, publisher, and podcast host Russell Nohelty.

 Russell gave me permission to share his comments here:

"I was once unemployed for 99 weeks during The Great Recession, where I maxed out literally ALL of the additional weeks of benefit Obama gave to people.
So, I know something about unemployment, if nothing else. So, here goes some UNEMPLOYMENT tips, which is different from work at home tips.
1 - Pick a hobby. I played A LOT of tennis back when I was unemployed, and I played TONS of board games, which allowed me to waste a grip of time and make myself feel productive.
2 - Pick a project and work on it a little bit each day. Something you want to do. Something that will help your career, or the career you want. I wrote a ton of scripts and made a lot of comics during that time, and those comics are still paying off today. Ichabod was made during that time. I wrote my first book during that time. It was important for me to move forward on something good every day, even if all I could do was write one page, or look for one artist.
3 - Don't get discouraged when you don't hear back from crappy jobs. I applied to EVERY job I could find during The Great Recession and couldn't even get a callback from Target. It was awful. I ended up eventually working for AFLAC just so I could do something, and they paid straight commission.
4 - Every bit is a building block. Even though I didn't have a job for a long time, I ended up with a lot of skills, and that crappy job at AFLAC ended up leading to a job at Sprint, which got me my own Verizon dealership and taught me sales.
5 - Apply for three jobs a week. Even if you hate every job you see, apply for three jobs a week. Then at least you'll feel like you did something to help yourself. I would apply for WAY more than that, but at least spend a couple hours on sites once a week trying to find something, even if it's something you think you'll hate, because you might not.
6 - There's always opportunity in the world blowing up. People are always looking for something, and if you can find out what that is and give it to them, even if it's just hope, then you might be able to start your own business. I didn't during my unemployment, but I definitely laid the foundation for Wannabe Press back then.
8 - Learn things. The library has millions of books. Coursera has tons of courses. I have taken now 62 Masterclass courses this year. Binge some Youtube how-tos every morning. I still try to wake up in the morning and pop on a course so that I can keep myself learning.
9 - Come out the other end a different person. Look, if you love everything about you, then wonderful, but most of us hate at least one aspect of ourselves, or wish we were different in some way, so this is the time to make that change. Start small. Maybe try a different haircut.
10 - Find a tribe of other people going through what you are going through. I live in Los Angeles, so there are ALWAYS people unemployed and I had a little group of unemployed people to do things with when things got down. We would meet up for lunch, or for games, or for something. I still try to connect with at least ONE new person a week, and at least ONE person I know every day. All of the connecting and networking I do now is borne from that time when all I had was a group of people going through the suck with me.
11 - It's okay to let the demons in, just don't let them stay. I won't lie and say every day is going to be roses. It's not. Most days are going to suck, and it's okay to acknowledge the suck, but there is an opportunity here to take this forced opportunity to make a change for the better.
12 - Keep your sanity, because it will end eventually. It might take 99 weeks, but it will end eventually, and if you do it right, you can come out of it better than when you went in, but that, of course, is up to you."


Home office illustration by Fotini Tikkou illustration. Can you spot the change??
This enforced "work at home" time may be great opportunity to review your overall business plan -- where you are now and how to plan for the future. If you have questions about forming an LLC or other business entity -- registering your copyrights -- creating your own contracts to present to clients (ie retaining reproduction rights and other rights when you sell original art, etc) --- now is the time to start getting answers. Invest your time and money in protecting your IP (intellectual property). It's your most valuable creative asset.

Counsel for Creators Legal Services (a California law firm for Small Business and Indie artists/creators)
I'm a long-time subscriber to this legal service for indie artists/creators and small businesses. It's where I go to fact-check my legal posts and get info on copyright issues in the news.

Attorney Chuong Bui

 Attorney Jon Tobin

This link will take you to an extensive list of resources they have posted and are updating as a public service to the artist community.

This 3 mins video will walk you through some of the services (like weekly online QandA sessions) you can access as a member:

More on the subscription service here:

As a service to small businesses in CA, the firm has made this link available to the public. It shows their appx 1 hour long 4/1/20 weekly online QandA session, covering funding options for indie artists and small business owners.

Text and link from the Counsel for Creators Facebook page:

"We know times are tough right now and that it's become more challenging for small businesses to stay afloat. But did you know that there are two SBA-backed loans that are available now to provide financial relief?
Our partners Jon Tobin and Chuong Bui did a Q&A session yesterday to go over those options.
Since the information is so important we're making the replay video available to the public (replays are normally reserved only for Creators' Legal Program subscribers).
Check it and pass it on to any friends/colleagues/family who are self-employed or run a business."

UPDATE 5.26.20

NY Times story  How to reduce risk of PTSD in post-Covid world
Covid management tips. Quote: " The hopeful truth is that there are proven steps you can practice to improve your emotional health during the coronavirus pandemic." Article lists proactive ways to get through this. 1) Appreciate your inner resilience 2) Purposefully increase you well-being 3) Connect and Share 4) Notice your narrative 5) Break up with overthinking 6) Choose courage over avoidance

NY Times story  You are not Working at Home
Increased productivity — but at what price? Back in April, Bloomberg reported on a U.S. employee survey administered by Eagle Hill Consulting, which found that just a month into the pandemic, “about 45% of workers said they were burned out” after working from home. “America’s always-on work culture has reached new heights,” the Bloomberg article warned. “Whatever boundaries remained between work and life have almost entirely disappeared.”

4.8.20 NY Times story on finding the "perfect" office equipment

4.3.2020 Washington Post story -- tips to keep your home running smoothly

3.23.2020 Today Show Segment "Can You Contract Coronavirus from Delivery Packages?"
Video and text covers package safety, tips, and a big "thank you" to all the heroes at shipping centers getting essential supplies delivered to homes etc.

Home office tips from Graphic Artists Guild ( a site I trust and frequently cite here on the blog.

"How to Stay Creative Under Stress" blog post by artist Alina Chau:

Next link shows your NASA dollars at work. Scientific studies bring us data to learn from and make conclusions and guidelines. Some bullet points: Wash you hands. Get out in nature. Art is vital .. quote: "I met up with crewmates for movie nights, complete with snacks, and binge-watched all of “Game of Thrones” — twice."
"I spent a year in space, and I have tips on isolation to share" by Scott Kelly.

How to Work and Teach at the Same Time

After reading above series help article, enjoy this bit of humor born from real-life experience. Attributed to Israel, but caveat -- it could be a comedy post from anywhere.. this is the internet after all....w/ Subtitles. The story is universal. Parents lament about online learning: "teachers..dial it down... Now our children will find out how dumb we are. It's not right. Really. How is the kid feeling? He's fine. He's on his phone all day. Ask how I am doing. I'm falling apart."

Visual Op-Ed about Working at Home by a Freelance Cartoonist

Humor piece -- a memo from the four-legged office mates...

Figuring out work and family in the age of Coronavirus

Home office realities has challenges. Art by Gemma Correll
You can support art like this with a donation.. or $2/mo online subscription to "The Nib"

Tips for keeping pets/four-legged office mates active.
Art by the amazing Lili Chin, Doggie Drawings.
She also made this info graphic on how to support small business during this crisis
More blog posts about Lili and other indie artists fighting back against art theft:

 art by ""

Can't read the fine print credit for this notice. Please LMK if someone has source info.


"I Can Control" circle info-graphic from The Counseling Teacher w/ Carrie Stephens clip-art.

uncredited graphic below shared w/ me by an MD friend

"What to do in a Pandemic" art by Ricardo Levins Morales
Poster, mini-prints, and free digital downloads here:

art by Twisteddoodles (Maria Boyle)
Link to download this coloring sheet by artist Gemma Correll

Gemma's full color version

We are all in uncharted waters now. There will be ripple effects from this trauma. Be mindful of your mental and emotional wellness. Be well. Take care.

New mental health impact article links from April 2020..

4.9.20 NY Times op-ed Readers open up about their feelings

4.9.20 NY Times article -- Feeling scatterbrained? Here's why -- you may be grieving

4.8.20 NY Times article -- crying in you car counts as self-care

4.2.2020 Washington Post  article Virus harming mental health of millions

4.2.2020 NY Times Op-Ed Mental health in the age of Coronavirus

Art by Introvert Doodles
Marzi Wilson

Art by Emm Roy on Patreon

articles from March 2020

10 reasons not to panic

Psychology Today  Why Fear.. Irrational

PTSD possible...

Science based tips for emotional resilience
Counsel on staying calm

Isolation can trigger depression --- warning signs here

Use the power of stories and rituals..
Deploy the powers of "magical thinking." Stories and rituals can be put to good use.
Quote: "How, during the current pandemic, can we satisfy our psychological need for control — but in ways that effectively reduce transmission of the virus? We can embrace scientifically validated rituals, such as hand-washing, for one thing. We can choose whether we wash thoroughly every time we use the restroom or touch surfaces like doorknobs. We can control our exposure to others through social distancing. We can choose how we greet others — opting for elbow bumps over handshakes. These are decisions we make consciously, several times a day, and they grant us some sense of self-determination during an uncertain time.

art by Twisteddoodles (Maria Boyle)
It is in caring for others that we nurture connections and culture, not just heal wounds
"Someone once asked anthropologist Margaret Mead what she considered to be the first evidence of civilization. She answered: a human thigh bone with a healed fracture found in an archaeological site 15,000 years old. Why not tools for hunting or religious artifacts or primitive forms of communal self-governance? 
Mead points out that for a person to survive a broken femur the individual had to have been cared for long enough for that bone to heal. Others must have provided shelter, protection, food and drink over an extended period of time for this kind of healing to be possible. 
The great anthropologist Margaret Mead suggests that the first indication of human civilization is care over time for one who is broken and in need, evidenced through a fractured thigh bone that was healed. 
This story is told by Ira Byock, an authority on palliative medicine, in his book The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life (Avery, 2012). In many ways the book can be understood as an extended commentary on the famous aphorism in medicine: “To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.”
photo by Madison Indiana Photography

Please note the links are for general information purposes only and my comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Please consult your own resources for advice that best suits your individual situation.

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