Forcing high-spirited bartenders to bunker down is diverting.

From tending a buzzy bar to isolating indoors (until further notice), this is a real lifestyle change for them.

During this challenging time, it is encouraged for bartenders to focus on their well being—making time for self-reflection while adjusting to “social distancing.” If you cannot physically be with others—perhaps solo-living—there are several ways you can become the company you want to be, outside from behind the bar.

Jackie Summers

Jackie Summers

Photo by JFB Distillery

Know That We Are in This Together

First off, you may feel that something is missing, or you are missing out on something (being the gregarious bartender you are). Reality is, we are all in the same situation right now—trying to figure out our financials, rationing snacks, and sending silly quarantine memes. You are not alone here.

Shift Loneliness to Solitude

In his latest post, wellness coach and podcaster, Jay Shetty, suggests shifting your loneliness to solitude. The positive state of being alone (without being lonely). “It is engagement with yourself, bringing joy to loneliness,” he shares. “Through solitude, you feel resilient in being alone, which guides you to greatness, permitting you to uncover the potential.”

The famous inventor Nikola Tesla rightly said, “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

Jacki Summers Previously Addressing Industry Members

Jacki Summers Previously Addressing Industry Members

Ways to shift loneliness to solitude, according to Shetty

  • Journal: let your mind flow, writing expressively through a pen or pencil. We struggle to articulate ourselves to other people because we do not understand how we feel ourselves. Release and reflect on all thoughts, feelings, and emotions more d Quit living in your own head.
  • Don’t like writing? Record: listen to your feelings and respond to yourself. It enables you to hear your problems and challenges objectively. Listen to your voice notes as if you are aiding someone else objectively. The power is within: advice, compassion, and confidence.
  • Learn to love what you do in your own company, perhaps reading a sci-fi series or strumming a guitar. What brings you joy that no one can take away from you? Consider this as a life skill, a gift.

Is it the company you are missing for the shared experience?

You might say in a forsaken state, “what if I need people around me to feel safe and satisfied.” You think you are missing one’s presence, though, you are actually missing the experience shared between each other.

Continue the Experience, Virtually

It is common for outgoing bartenders to surround themselves with a group of people to thrive off of each other’s energy. There is no doubt that we can still connect with people from our couch, even living in a time of fast, digital technology. Thanks to face-to-face social networks such as Facebook Live, Zoom, and Houseparty, you can still retain shared experiences, virtually (at no cost). Shetty proposes “daily tune-ins” like tea time, a board game, or workout session with one another. “Even activities you typically do alone—try with a human exchange,” he adds. “Value the human connection!”

Jackie Summers, liquor creator and industry writer from Brooklyn, NY, co-hosts a nightly ‘Virtual Cocktail Hour’ a virtual space over Zoom where drinkers can hang out, learn to craft from top bartending professionals, and get to know brands for future mixing all from home (also observing social distancing).

“You don’t go to bars for alcohol. You go for social interaction, [and] you go back for the bartenders,” Summers shared on his Instagram account, inviting followers to daily happy hour at 6:00 pm, followed by nightcaps at 11:00 pm. Tipping is optional via Venmo, though highly encouraged in support of struggling bartenders.

Ultimately, keeping a healthy social distance at this time helps you become the company you want: mentality, physically, and emotionally. “If you are not in a good place, you cannot help anyone else,” Shetty concludes. Now, more than ever, our bartending community must stand together—at least six feet apart—and support one another.