Find your zen

Given the current turbulent times, we would all would greatly benefit from recentering our focus, revisiting our values, and remaining cool, calm, and collected. We’ve reached out to our artisans for their suggestions on how to achieve that. We’re all in this together!

Tech-less family meals

Jeff Alpen, Managing Director, Sid Lee Seattle and NY

Working from home has allowed me to really spend quality time with my family. We’ve been having all of our meals together without screens or tech devices around to make sure we’re present with each other. 

Learn a new skill

Vincent Ramsay, Senior Digital Creative Director, Sid Lee Montreal

What helps me stay zen is taking the time to learn something new. I’ve recently gone back to working on my programming skills with the React Native framework. I even bought an e-book where I’ve been reading about it and reinstalled my developer software. Once I’m done studying, I’ve got an app idea I plan to test that I’m really excited about.


Mariota Essery, Executive Creative Director, Sid Lee LA

Every day, I make sure that I devote ten minutes to my Headspace app to calm my otherwise very active mind.


Nicolas Van Erum, Managing Director, Partner, Sid Lee Los Angeles

I use the meditation app 10% Happier, created by author Dan Harris after his book of the same name. It’s teaching me mindfulness so I can create a certain distance between me and a situation, an emotion, a conversation or a level of intensity, which in our work is a daily occurrence. It’s full of great articles and videos, plus all sorts of simple techniques that can be applied both to work and to your personal life.

Family time

Jared Stein, EVP, Growth & Innovation, Partner, Sid Lee Toronto

Every day, my family and I spend a few minutes talking about Character Powers reading cards. Each card features a notable person, such as LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, Lin-Manuel Miranda, etc., and focuses on a character trait that they exhibit. For example, Gord Downie embodies compassion, so we spend time talking about how we as a family might demonstrate compassion during this time. 

Be mentally present

Cam Levin, Chief Creative Officer, Sid Lee USA

My method for staying calm, focused, and zen is to just be 100% “there.” Whether I’m working, bantering with my friends and colleagues on Zoom, or playing with my family, I try to be completely mentally present. 

Maintain a routine

Nirm Shanbhag, Chief Strategy Officer, Sid Lee USA

At its most basic, keeping my sanity has been all about maintaining a routine. My go-to method for staying sane while working from home is named Serafina, a chocolate labradoodle who has been my office mate since she was a pup. She helps me stick to my routine, focus when I need to, and offers a welcome distraction when I need 30 seconds away from the screen or during those long Zoom calls.

Limit media consumption

Guewen Loussouarn, Co-founder and Managing Director, Haigo

Limiting my intake of social media, news, and notifications has allowed me to regain free will. For the news, I refer to once daily, and I avoid radio and television for the most part. I turn to podcasts and watch movies on the overhead projector with my family from time to time to unwind.


Zemina Moosa, EVP, Head of Account Services, Sid Lee Toronto

My go-to method to unwind, take a moment, and reflect has always been to listen to music. Now more than ever, I’ve been listening to full albums versus single songs. Lately, I’ve had Stormzy’s latest album Heavy Is the Head on repeat. Questlove is also a great music resource and has a nightly livestream.


Matt Foulk, EVP, Head of Strategy, Sid Lee Toronto

My go-to for staying zen has always been riding my bike. It’s all about the sense of escape and achievement and of being in the great outdoors – as well the endorphin rush! With social distancing I’ve had to make a few adjustments, namely riding earlier in the morning (I leave around 5:45 a.m.), sticking to quieter backroads, and solo riding.

Value simplicity

Magali Loiselle, Head of Production, Sid Lee Montreal

My boyfriend and I recently adopted the motto “keep it simple,” which helps eliminate any unnecessary arguments. We’ve also started holding a daily happy hour at our house: at 5 p.m., we sit down together with a glass of wine and a charcuterie board, sometimes while FaceTiming our friends.

Family walks

Jason Gingold, Executive Strategy Director, Sid Lee USA

I’ve been ending my workday by taking a walk with my wife (and my kids if they’re up for it). Fresh air is instrumental to my physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health as well as to my overall well-being. We’ll walk in a few different loops around our neighborhood, talk about the day, dream about the future, make plans for the house, laugh, sing… It’s a way to signal that I’m closing my laptop, transitioning away from being “on,” and reconnecting with my dearest ones.