In the midst of a global crisis that has put physical health front and center for so many, our mental health is being affected, too. Now more than ever, it’s important to cultivate happiness, make time for relaxation, and indulge ourselves in the simple pleasure of entertainment. While social distancing has indefinitely changed our day-to-day, many artists and businesses are finding creative ways to offer up catharsis, connection, and much-needed distraction during the pandemic.
We caught up with the people behind four sites on the Squarespace platform who are doing just that.
When shutdowns started happening in Milan, Gianmaria Biancuzzi, the founder of Milano Art Guide, and art critic Rossella Farinotti teamed up to launch The Colouring Book. Visitors to the site can download any of the freely available illustrations—all generously created and donated by artists—and indulge in a few minutes or hours of coloring. Gianmaria explains that the initiative is about more than providing a fun activity for isolation: “Although at times like this it is difficult to remember, culture and art are at the centre of our lives.” While The Colouring Book provides a necessary respite, it also pays tribute to the cultural significance of creativity, and artists who are using their talents to help others through this challenging time.
Since the start of the pandemic, there’s been a growing demand for at-home tools to manage stress and anxiety. Ten Percent Happier, a meditation and mindfulness app and podcast hosted by best-selling author Dan Harris, has risen to the call. Early on in the crisis, Harris and co-founder Ben Rubin started offering free app access to healthcare workers, and launched Ten Percent Happier Live, a daily “sanity break” for group meditation. They also created a Coronavirus Sanity Guide with specific coping techniques to help people navigate their new normal.
As their offerings have continued to evolve, they’ve kept their followers in the loop through newsletters and updates across their website. “Although we’re physically distant, we’re proud to be offering our community a way to connect deeply,” says Rubin. With resources for seasoned meditators and novices, people of all experience levels are welcome to join.
While so many of our social interactions have been moved either six feet apart or completely online, Project Redial is offering connection the old-fashioned way: via a global answering machine. Founders Kare and Ali, who have both personally felt the effects of isolation in recent weeks and months, were inspired to launch their website and voicemail service early-on in the pandemic. Participants can call the answering machine and share stories, or just listen to voicemails and feel more connected to what others are going through right now. At a time when we’re forced to be apart, Project Redial is creating a new form of community for people around the world.
The world looks a little different for all of us lately, and Squarespace is proud to highlight customers who are using their platforms to help others through this difficult time. Learn more about how we’re supporting our global community with additional resources during the pandemic.