Changing The rules… with Emily Safian-Demers, Wunderman Thompson


Next up in our series on how creative sector professionals are dealing with their new normal is Emily Safian-Demers, Senior Trends Analyst at Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.

Emily is based in the firm’s New York bureau and seems to be taking a very zen approach the lockdown; as well as trying some new things that we might pinch ourselves.

Below, Emily talks us through the changes she’s been adding to her work and home life.

She has some great and superbly simple ways that we can all consider; although the handstands we’re still trying to master…

Emily Safian-Demers


Pump yourself up

A quick walk is a foolproof reset for me. Especially now when going outside is something to be savoured, a walk with a good song lifts my mood and helps me feel ready to tackle my next task.

I dare you not to smile after a lap around the block (or building or yard or house) to the beat of Annie Lennox’s Walking on Broken Glass.

Do a handstand

My goal is to hold a handstand for 5 seconds (I’ve gotten up to 3!)

When I’m feeling stuck or frustrated I’ll practice for a minute or two, until I can balance for a few seconds. The feeling of accomplishment and pride is enough to pull me out of my funk.

Finding a small, fun thing to work towards has helped me stay motivated.

Altered view: Did you know that handstands relax the nervous system, strengthens immunity and improves focus?

Cook lunch

Making food takes my mind off of work more effectively than heating up leftovers in the microwave or running out to buy something.

Even if it’s just 15 minutes, the true break—and opportunity to flex a different creative muscle—helps me return refreshed.

Find quiet

I was worried I would feel distractingly isolated without the daily little interactions I’d taken for granted, but I find that I’m more productive in a quiet environment.

No interruptions means I can finish up a task completely without losing my groove, and then I can seek out social engagement as a reward.

Quietude: Once the work is over, how do you unwind before catching up on social?

Listen to a podcast

I never used to listen to podcasts, but since the stay at home mandate I’ve been listening to true crime podcasts daily.

Paradoxically, I find them almost soothing—listening as an empathetic and thoughtful narrator methodically dissects the messiest parts of humanity makes it seem more manageable to confront the things that feel oppressive and out of my control.

If you want to share the five new things/changes to your life since lockdown, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at