Staying Inspired: Keeping the Human Spirit Alive during COVID-19 Jessica Broverman April 28, 2020 At Weelunk, we’re all about keeping you connected to your community. Because that looks a little different right now, we’re bringing you ways to engage while staying safe and healthy. We hope Weelunk can continue to connect you to Wheeling — no matter where you are. One thing all of us can agree on during the coronavirus pandemic is that we have an overwhelming sense of restlessness — whether it relates to being laid off, having anxiety or purely from being locked up inside our homes — we all feel unsettled. It is vital for our mental and physical health to take part in things that expand our mind and body. That can be difficult when the entire world is literally at a standstill. Thankfully, local Wheeling businesses are not only providing wellness services as usual, but they are transforming their businesses to help people have clarity and immense strength during this time of struggle. KYLIE IGNACE COMMITS TO HELP OTHERS CREATE “Before COVID-19, you could find me at Happy Goat Yoga and all over the Ohio Valley teaching classes,” said Kylie Ignace, a yoga instructor at Happy Goat Yoga who also manages her own yoga site. “Since COVID-19, I’ve shifted completely online.” Ignace says her business has changed drastically since having to work remotely. In addition to her online workshops and tutorials, she is also offering free online classes via Facebook to help keep spirits up within the community. “Keeping that community and connection going is so important,” said Kylie Ignace regarding the practice of yoga during the coronavirus. “I want the yoga community to feel like they still have something new to practice every single day,” said Ignace. “I launched a free beginner’s guide to vinyasa yoga, which is for people who want to try yoga, but are too afraid to come to an in-person class.” Though in-person classes are indefinitely canceled until further notice, this provides a strong opportunity to shake the dust off your tired bones and get moving in your living room, hallway — well, anywhere in your home! “Yoga, especially in the Ohio Valley, has always been about creating a community,” said Ignace. “That community is still there. We have all just shifted platforms where we can connect.” “We are experiencing an unprecedented time. Yoga is offering people a practice that they can keep coming back to,” said Ignace. She also wants to make the public aware that her online yoga site is $11, but she will work with anyone who has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. “I want to stress, if you want to be a part of the membership and you can’t afford it because you’ve been affected by the pandemic, reach out,” said Ignace. “I have a special code for you. I don’t want anyone [left out] because of a lack of funding.” On her website, Ignace is offering a discount code to help community members currently. “If people want to join the membership community, readers can use the code ‘halfoff’ (no spaces) for 50 percent off their first month and if you can’t afford it, reach out,” says Ignace. In addition to Ignace’s health efforts to assist the community, other locally owned businesses, such as Happy Goat Yoga, Howard Long Wellness Center and OVPower and Restore, are also providing online opportunities to get moving, according to Ignace. “It’s amazing watching everyone pivot,” she said. IAN BEABOUT BRINGS MUSIC TO LIFE If you are looking to keep your ears preoccupied in addition to your body, then you may be interested in what local music producer Ian Beabout has to offer. Beabout has been working in the music industry for years and owns a recording studio, Shed Sounds, where he remasters customers’ creations and even adds some of his own musical talents to it. “I’ve played flute on a couple of local projects. People have sent their files in, and I’ve recorded to them,” said Beabout. Ian Beabout of Shed Sounds believes his expertise can help anyone master their music from home. “I just did a project for a composer in Virginia and his response was ‘Wow, this sounds a lot better than my mix!'” Everyone loves to sing or wishes they could play an instrument. If you have some musical strength, but want to see it come to life, Beabout can help. “At the moment, it’s nearly impossible to bring people together in the physical sense, but I’m keeping in contact via virtual means the best I can,” said Beabout. “In many ways, it just means that people are devoting their time to their ‘passion’ projects that don’t necessarily make money.” Community members may send a recording of their music to Beabout, and he will be an educated ear that can make it go from the average sounding audio to a masterful creation or, at the very least, give you feedback on how it can be improved. “What I’m offering is another pair of ears and a knowledge of mixing, equalization, effects and mastering,” said Beabout. “I think when musicians record at home, they often do a great job of getting the ideas down, but lack the objectivity to put it together in a presentable way that sounds good on car stereos, phones, streaming services and the like. This is where I come in.” Beabout’s short and sweet advice on getting through quarantine, in addition to enjoying music, is “Stay safe, wash your hands, be kind to each other, tip your servers and your freelancers.” Beabout does recommend that those submitting music have some type of background in performance, composition or recording, but will make his best effort to help where he can. “Home recording is far more affordable and accessible than it used to be and there is a great deal of resources on the web to guide new users through the technology,” said Beabout. Though not all of us are musically inclined, Beabout believes that quarantine at the end of the day will bring everyone together in a new way. “Many of my close friendships have rooted in a mutual appreciation of music or working together in some capacity. For instance, I just recorded a podcast with a friend from Italy,” said Beabout. “It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, but the fact that we’re both quarantined makes it a lot more possible.” CARRIE ELLER HEALING HUMAN SPIRIT Carrie Eller, owner of Under the Elder Tree in Centre Market, agrees wholeheartedly that the coronavirus will not defeat the human spirit in Wheeling. “While it’s really stressful, it’s also providing this new opportunity,” said Eller. “We all have to dive into this to keep our sanity in. We need to make sure we are building for the future, not just the quarantine.” Carrie Eller of Under the Elder Tree. Eller’s business provides all kinds of wellness options for people trying to stay safe and sane during the quarantine. From apothecary to healing products, Eller has changed her platform to create new opportunities for wellness online. “I’m doing a lot more connecting with my clients of the community where a lot of regulars in the classes can kind of congregate and discuss,” said Eller. “I’m doing a lot of live connections, and we will be doing a live meditation, and it’s open and free to everyone. Then I’m hoping we will roll into the future (with) doing some yoga from the sanctuary where people can just sit in the comfort of their own home, have a glass of wine and be connected and be a part of something.” A large part of staying sane and healthy during this segregation from society is maintaining human interaction, so Eller is very enthusiastic about bringing people together. She offers an online tea party with hand-picked teas that are sent right to your door, which you then enjoy via online chat with others who received tea packages as well. Eller’s daughter, pictured above, has been helping her lately with online orders, which has helped keep customers happy and thriving during their quarantine. “You get your own tea infuser, and we have over 35 teas,” said Eller. “These people are getting this happy package, and they get three teas of their choosing or we can pick them for you. It’s an online quarantine tea party and allows people to get involved and they’re enjoying it.” Though there have been layoffs at Under the Elder Tree due to COVID-19, Eller is doing her best to provide quality products and care to her customers while also trying to maintain a positive outlook like the rest of us. “I’m trying to hold it all together on my own. I go between being panicked and being optimistic,” said Eller. Keeping a forward-thinking mindset is Eller’s No. 1 way of pushing through this difficult time, and she advises that life will, in fact, go on — no matter what. “In every case, there is always a silver lining. I haven’t had time to do the fun stuff in the shop before and hadn’t done in two years. I’ve gotten to deep clean and create,” said Eller. “Focus on the good things and move forward so your life continues to be more laid back.” KEEPING THE COMMUNITY THRIVING Ignace, Beabout and Eller all have this forward-thinking mindset in common. With all these local business owners fighting to keep our community thriving in ways that often go unnoticed, Wheeling has a strong sense of community, even from home. “Everyone is finding a new normal. … First, know change and social distancing is hard and whatever emotions you’re experiencing (are) valid,” says Ignace. “If you are struggling, reach out to someone. Secondly, if you are one of the fortunate ones to be safe at home and healthy, we have been gifted this strange opportunity to step out of habit and into intentional.” Ignace also wants everyone to know that this will not be a forever situation and there is a light at the end of this dreary tunnel. “Lastly, remember, this is temporary. Everything is temporary.” • With a background in journalism and being a true Wheeling native, Jessica Broverman was destined to work with Weelunk. She holds a degree in journalism with a minor in criminal justice and works with Williams Lea Tag as a legal proofreader. When she isn’t typing away for Weelunk or WLT, she is enjoying a coffee at one of her many favorite spots in Wheeling, spending time with friends, or having fun with her husband Zachary and their two cats, Proctor and Max. 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