Health & Wellness

March 22, 2020

Handling the COVID-19 Crisis // from a small business owner

Welcome to your new normal. 

In this post, we have decided to share a few things we know about how to deal with this Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. 

We are not certified experts, we are just adult humans living in the Bay Area and we like to help people. Sharing our own experiences on how to live a positive and healthy lifestyle is also a passion of ours. This is a new thing, we are learning that we really like to do this- sharing. Stay tuned on how that progresses. 

Until then, please read forward for some life hacks on COVID. 

CA wild fires / Volunteering at Napa Red Cross shelter / handing out food

Shelter in place, quarantine, staying the hell away from everyone aka Social Distancing. 

We joked this week that “quarantine is Michaela’s non-event daily existence.” Being a wedding photographer means there are NO SICK DAYS. Furthermore, running a small photography business is a fairly lonely existence. We have each other, and assistants joining us in the office, the occasional run in with our studio mate and people in our artist lofts building, but for the most part we are solo. 

We went Live on Instagram today to start a little discussion on all the things we have listed below. 

Why are we doing this? Why do we feel like we have something to share? 

To be honest, this is how we cope with things, by doing -helping -creating community. Taking part in helping where we could in CA wildfires, creating a wedding for a couple who lost theirs in Hurricane Harvey and seeing that what helped everyone survive disasters like these, were people extended a hand creating a sense of comfort in “ we are all in this together. Together is better and together we will get through this. 

CA Wild Fires / Napa Operation BBQ relief

What happens first – a freak out. Yes, pure panic attack. We know you had one too. And it’s okay. We feel that in order to induce change, there must be an instigator, and it has to be significant. You have to feel it real deep before you can take action.  The trick is flipping that fearful energy into action. Not to get into a fight with someone over the last pack of TP or bottled water.

NO! We have running water.
Rations, the world will produce more paper products.



Use all those planners you bought in January.

Still need a great planner? We each have a Hustle & Play book – still a great to time to get one. Balance all Work, Play, Moving, Goals. Get it here!

Why are you scared?

What can you control in an uncontrollable situation? 

If you start to rationalize your feelings, then you should calm down and start making a plan to help yourself. 

(Maybe that’s what this whole virus is actually doing to the world. Creating change. The world needed it. But we will go into that at a later date. )

Last week we went straight to creating financial stability, because, f*$k – we just lost a lot of money in event business, and who knows what the future holds for two humans who are trained in everything that involves people coming together ( restaurants, bars, social events, etc. ) 

After being consoled by our amazing CPA, financial advisor and dear friend, thank god for her, she helped us make a better list with a plan. 


First stop: File for Unemployment in your state. Of course! We got in quickly as millions of people had applied by the end of the week. 

Also: Here is a Google Doc containing more resources that we were able to track down for immediate relief: Bay Area Small Business Relief
Feel free to add to this list if you have vetted other opportunities out there!

SBA disaster Relief fund
If you need help-> A CPAs explanation on how to do this.

Next, a small business loan and line of credit through our bank. Enough to pay our rent for a year. 

Call ALL credit card companies, lenders & Student loan companies to defer or ask for forgiveness on interest. 

At the same time, request a lower APR & a credit limit increase. Just in case / why not boost your credit score while trying to get an SBA. 

Student Loans : apparently interest is being forgiven at this time, and if you apply for income based repayment, that should help you not have to pay anything for a bit. Fingers crossed.

Then, we added a new column in our budget spreadsheet of what we did and dates, etc. PRO TIP: MARK YOUR CALENDAR to start payments.

Local grants and relief programs for freelancers and artists:

SF Mayor- London Breed’s Relief Program 

SF COVID-19 Small Business resiliency fund

Bay Area artist relief info on KQED

Bay Area Theatre performers

Step 2: 

List out all your subscriptions, and purge the ones you don’t need, or can live without for a few months. It’s tough, but worth it.

Create another column and do the same hack with your financial lenders. 

Only subscription to add WHO GIVES A CRAP – toilet paper delivery – winner winner. (scratch that.. They are out of stock – shocker. But sign up for their waiting list. Shoulder shrug.)  

Other bills to beg:

Phone, electrical, mortgage/rental deferment, etc? 

With all that hard work done, pat yourself on the back, wash your hands and then sit on them. There is nothing else you can do except choose to live your life in a positive manner. 

by The Ganeys

Daily life routine in quarantine 

After having a good ol meltdown with the state of the world, having video chat happy hours, drinking bottles of wine every night and calling your family, it’s time to create a daily habit in this new sort of normal, or we are all going to lose it. 

VIP LIFE HACK- use a timer for everything. 

Remember to:

Eat, stay hydrated, Time blocking activities, use a timer, move your body, see the outside, get enough rest. 

ORDER FOOD DELIVERY: We use Thistle, click for referral code: $50 !

YOGA : I recommend this yoga/meditation video via YOGA WITH ADRIENE. Yoga for Change. 

If Adriene and her cute pup Benji are already a part of your family, then totally do that particular video soon. It really grounded me. 

If she is new for you – still do it. Then look at her YouTube channel and find her 30-day programs. THE BEST. Tim is a new yogi because of her. THANK YOU ADRIENE. 

Then deep clean the hell out of your living space. 

Marie Kondo some everything. 

Clear out the clutter. 

As far as we know, the garbage/recycle collection is still functioning. So take advantage of this time you have and clean up your habitat- you are going to be in it a lot. 

Feeling better already, right? 


Here are some highlights on our lists:

  • Clear off images/videos/apps from phone
  • Bake more bread
  • Bake more everything
  • Stop eating all that bread. Ha. 
  • Play more piano 
  • Learn to play the piano 
  • Watercolor painting
  • Organize our record collection chronologically
  • Re-Decorate the living room
  • Start a garden
  • Get chickens


Set an alarm.

Get up in the morning and don’t start your day looking at the news,  do some meditation, have breakfast, make your coffee take a shower and put on regular clothes and make up. Join us on IG LIVE for morning chats about how we are dealing >> @michaelajoyphotography


-something fun 

-something you’ve been meaning to do ( from above list ) 

-somebody you would like to reach out to.


J Bodyworks 11:30 AM  >> Practice at home with coach Eury!


-Make sure to keep in contact with the elderly and neighbors or people in your community who have autoimmune diseases or other preconditions that make them at high-risk for COVID.  See if you can run any errands for them (contact free delivery of course) 

-Reach out to your friends and family who live alone. If you live alone, reach out to your family and friends and tell them to keep in touch with you because if you suddenly go silent you need somebody to know. 

-Make video chat happy hour dates with your friends. Google hang out and zoom are excellent even FaceTime in Facebook messenger.

-Stay informed and make sure you vett all of your news sources. Facebook is only a news source if you dig deep.

-Keep your house clean and clutter free 

KonMari some thing every day.

-Set timers for every hour so that you don’t lose track of your day.

-Turn off your phone at 8 PM, stop reading the news, watch something nice, do some breathing and meditation, have a cup of tea and make sure you have at least an hour of no screen time before you go to sleep. There’s a great time for book reading.

-Get a lot of rest. It’s OK, you have the time to do it now.

-Dress warm, stay 6 feet away from people, cough into your elbow, wash your hands, and don’t hoard toilet paper.

-Speaking of, get those adult baby wipes and use those when you “need to save toilet paper” and make it last longer.

-Drink water, make sure you stay hydrated, and make sure you feed yourself well.

-Cook, bake, do something you’ve been trying to do, be creative; paint, draw, make music.

Stay informed. If you do find yourself in a downward spiral…


Keep a to-do list, keep doing things, don’t just sit and wallow and become scared. That doesn’t help anyone think positively, act locally, think globally and do what you can to help others as well as yourself. It will make this go by quickly, less painfully, and you will feel better about yourself.

Tell us what you are doing to hack your Coronavirus quarantine! Leave a comment or email us >>

Sending hugs and love to you, we will all get through this.

xo, M&T

  1. Dace says:

    Great advice you two, thank you! I especially liked your advice to create a morning routine. Having a solid morning routine is a life changer, quarantine or not. Here’s what mine looks like:

    -Drink lemon water (2 mins)
    -Scrape tongue & brush teeth (3 mins)
    -Rebound (2 mins)
    -Stretch (10 mins)
    -Dry brush & shower (15 mins)
    -Learn something new (8 mins)
    -4-7-8 breathwork (5 mins) (google it)
    -Meditate (10 mins)
    -Write journal & top 3 to-dos (10 mins)
    -Smile in the mirror (30 secs)

    I try to keep it around an hour. I love the way I feel after this.

    • Michaela O'Shea says:

      Dace! This is a fantastic routine.
      Michaela does ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) water first thing.
      Love the the Learn something new, and smile in the mirror. Such a positive way your start the day – how could you not have a nice mindset after that.
      You’re amazing.

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