Letter from Joanie

Businesses, schools, restaurants—life as we know it— are closing down. But in this unprecedented time of self-quarantines and social distancing, we’re also finding new ways to come together. As colleagues. As families. As a community. Together.

People are reaching out to those who need help. Sharing new ways to work, play and live at home. Enjoying the little things. Dreaming of the big things. Talking more. Listening more. Showing more compassion. Appreciating nature like never before.

We reached out to some of our clients and friends and are sharing some of their favorite stories about how they are adapting and flourishing in this strange new world.

We’re all in this together!

Story Time

It may seem like all the news these days is bad news. But if you look closer, there are lots of positive things going on as people all around us reach out, step up and lean in. We asked a few of our clients to share some of their favorite stories.


Recently, one of our guests bought drinks for someone sitting at the bar, because that person looked like her sister, who she was missing terribly. It was all done quietly, the recipient wasn’t told until after the guest has left. The recipient was so moved that she secretly bought drinks for other guests. Who again paid for someone new. And then again. All night long, this incredible wave of kindness rippled through the restaurant.


Self-quarantine is tough for everyone. But imagine being stuck in a small room with no computer, no TV, nothing at all to entertain you and help you pass the time. Five of our assisted living residents were in this situation. We asked for donations at 4:30 in the afternoon—and by the next morning we had five TVs pledged. We just delivered them and we were all crying!


The Carillon at Boulder Creek, a Leisure Care community in Boulder, Colorado, is putting the “out” in “workout.” Residents took part in a group fitness class—from their balconies. They stretched, stepped, clapped and showed that creativity and community go a long way during a crisis. A couple of passersby couldn’t resist and joined in the fun.  Click on the image below to watch the video!

Happy and Healthy

We reached out to our good friend Dr. Wendy Ellis, ND for thoughts on how to stay happy and healthy during these stressful times. Here are some her suggestions:

Keep moving
Exercise makes everything better. Get as much as you can, especially outside. Try online aps and exercise programs to replace gym or fitness class sessions you might be missing. For example, Peloton has a free 90-day trial for their app. Fitness Blender has great programs, too.

Eat well
During difficult times it’s tempting to curl up in bed with a box of Girl Scout cookies and try to eat the stress away. It’s okay to pamper yourself a little, but a better strategy is to use this additional time at home to create delicious and healthy meals. Eat the rainbow (fruits and veggies), limit sugars and simple and carbs and be moderate with alcohol.

Keep the sleep
Sleep is essential to health. Seven to nine hours is ideal for immune support. Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule by waking up and going to bed at the same times every day.

Make health part of your routine
It’s easier to be healthy if it’s part of your daily life. Scheduling exercising, regular sleep habits, set times for work and play, all of these little things add up to make health happen.

Back Burner Projects

Since many of us are spending more time at home, we’re taking on—or at least considering taking on—some of those neglected household projects that we just haven’t had time to get to. Cleaning the fridge. Weeding the garden. Cleaning the inside of the fridge. We’ve got the time to move some of those back-burner projects to the front of the stove.

The same may be true with work. Now is a great time to think about some of the marketing/ communications projects that you just haven’t time to get to and knock a few off. Here are some places to start:

Update your website. Does your website reflect who you are today or who you were five years ago when you last put content of the site. Businesses changes. The market changes. Your website should too.

Explore some new social media options. You’re not on Instatwitter-Tokface yet? You really should be. Take some time to explore and see what’s new on social media. See who’s knocking it out of the park and what you can learn and borrow from their efforts. Don’t know where to start? Talk to someone younger and hipper.

Revisit your resume. Does your resume stop three jobs ago? Let’s bring it up to date. Same with your LinkedIn profile. And your picture? Was that from your junior prom? It’s time for a headshot that actually looks like you.

Have a plan. You did a marketing plan once. A long time ago. It’s around here someplace. Maybe next to the Y2K binder? No one really knows what’s going to happen to the economy in the next few months, but you can count on one thing: your business is going to have to adapt. Now is the time to be thinking about it and getting a plan on paper.

Home Bodies

We’re all spending more time at home these days. A lot more. Here’s what the Parsons team is doing with all that extra time.

JOANIE: More exercise, longer dog walks, bigger dreams. I believe this extra time is a gift. My motto: Life Is Beautiful.

NATALIE: I actually have less time since I’m now home schooling our two kids. When I’m not running homeroom, I’m running the streets of our neighborhood and watching lots of stand-up comedy. I need human connection, humor and exercise for my sanity!

ERIC: I’m tackling some new arts and crafts projects like making soap, tuna can sculptures and homemade toilet paper.

NATALIA: I’m making sure the teenager doesn’t spend his entire day playing FortNite, I hope to finish a few books on my TBR pile, plant a garden and Facetime family and friends – thank goodness for technology.

HANNAH: Daily runs, sunrise hikes and rereading some classic literature—AKA, Harry Potter.

MICHELLE: Reading more, hiking more and Face Timing with my family overseas.

JAKE & JASPER: We don’t know what everyone is complaining about, self-quarantine is the best! Our favorite people are home all day long, we get more walks and at night we all sit on the couch and watch romantic comedies. If we could only get the neighbor’s cat to practice social distancing.

Together, To Go

Seattle restaurants, bars and coffee shops are limited to takeout-only service right now, but people are stepping up and spreading the word about what restaurants are open and what’s on the menu. Several new Facebook communities have formed to support local restaurants and their employees:

Seattle Restaurant Support.

Eastside Restaurant Support  

Support the ID Community 
Our grocery stores are also finding ways to help – implementing special hours for our most vulnerable citizens.

While all the news right now is unsettling, we are looking for the pieces of hope and joy that are shining through, and watching people helping people. That’s what we are holding onto. Let us know what you are finding as you navigate this new normal. And let’s not forget that we are all in this together.


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