Tips for staying sane in a pandemic from… Suku Vitamins CEO Ju Young Yoo

The entrepreneur emphasizes intentional listening and family time.

Credit: Courtesy of Suku Vitamins

The entrepreneur emphasizes intentional listening and family time

Born and raised in North Vancouver, Ju Young Yoo graduated from UBC with a bachelor of science and started plying his trade as a research assistant with his alma mater and Arthritis Research Canada. But it wasnt long before he was off to school again, studying at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto. While there, he started working on the idea for Suku Vitamins, a sugar-free, plant-based gummy vitamin that could combat skin problems. 

Two years later, the company, based in Toronto and Vancouver, has product in health stores and pharmacies across the Lower Mainland. 

Heres what Yoo suggests doing to stay sane during these times. 

1. Give into that Netflix binge

As we all practise social distancing and more offices go fully remote, I’m excited to catch up on everything in my Netflix queue. Along with all the shows I’m binging (Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a favourite!), I’m excited to dive into some thought-provoking documentaries like The Accountant of Auschwitz and Oceans. With many of my family members and friends scattered across the world, I’m thankful for the Netflix Party extension, which allows you to simultaneously live-stream content with people across multiple devices. Re-creating activities we would normally do in person has been a saving grace for my mental health. 

2. FaceTime friends and family

With my friends and family self-isolating across Canada, it’s so important to stay connected—luckily, it’s easier than ever thanks to technology. Cabin fever (or social distancing fever, as I’ve seen some people call it) is real, so it’s crucial to check in with your loved ones to make sure they’re OK. I currently have a standing 6 p.m. call with my family (and family dog) back home. 

3. Make time to test new recipes from meal subscription services

I love experimenting in the kitchen, so I’m making a conscious effort to set aside some time during this quarantine to start being more creative with my meals. Along with stocking up the pantry and experimenting with new dishes on AllRecipes, I asked my relatives for those delicious family potluck recipes I’ve been drooling over for years. I’m also subscribed to Chef’s Plate, which is still delivering to my door. 

4. Download podcasts and listen to them intentionally

Typically I listen to podcasts while mutli-tasking, but I have found solace in listening to podcasts intentionally (read: no distractions). It’s a great way to slow my mind down and focus on the present. Currently, I’m loving listening to TED Talks on health. I’m also working through How I Built This with Guy Raz, Business Wars by Wondery and the Harvard Business Review podcasts. 

5. Make time for at-home workouts on the FitOn app

I’ll be the first to admit that when I saw the email that my local gym was closing down due to COVID-19 concerns, I panicked ever so slightly. Luckily, there are so many free apps and YouTube videos to keep me moving during the coming weeks. Right now I’m quite fond of the FitOn app, which is free to download and offers all sorts of personalized workout plans (cardio, strength training, HIIT, yoga, pilates, et cetera). It also has a live leaderboard, and is great if you’re like me and are missing the “friendly” competition of your local classes.