Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic with Helen Lee Schifter

Helen Lee Schifter

In a recent blog on Thrive Global, Helen Lee Schifter wrote about the value in taking time during this pandemic or even otherwise, to reassess one’s life and staying grounded. It’s so incredibly important to not lose sight of what truly matters in life. As we continue looking for the silver lining in this horrible crisis that has taken so many lives; let’s take some time to think about our own priorities, and whether they are ranked in the proper order. 

Helen Lee Schifter on Gratitude:

With the chaotic nature of our day to day lives, and living in NYC, it’s often easy for us to take certain things for granted. We of course shouldn’t be. Our family’s health; and that of our friends, colleagues and associates should always be prized over all else. Whatever other matters might exist, whether commercial, social or economic, should always take a back-seat to that which really matters in life. This pandemic has certainly helped provide everyone a reminder of that. 

Recognition and Giving Back:

One of the most special parts of our new day-to-day in NYC, is the 7 PM round of clapping that goes on, in support of the amazing healthcare workers sacrificing everything on the front-lines of this crisis, to help our citizenry. In a recent blog-post, Helen Lee Schifter shared that this moment in her daily routine, is tremendously gratifying. It’s so incredibly important that we recognize the amazing work these first-responders are doing, and 

In a recent interview with IdeaMensch, Helen Lee Schifter spoke of the importance of giving back philanthropically, if that’s possible for someone during these difficult times. She shared some philanthropic engagements she’s been involved in as of late, to support the amazing work being done on the front-lines of this pandemic to help save lives. 


Helen Lee Schifter believes firmly in the need to go beyond the physical, and to focus on the spiritual. The way each individual might turn to spirituality will undoubtedly be different. But it is the concept and the principle that is most important and impactful. We need to live not only for ourselves, but for others as well. We need to care deeply about our fellow man. For example, Helen Lee Schifter has been studying the Chado, the Japanese tea ceremony. The Chado is an ancient spiritual practice, which is the manifestation of the Buddhist philosophy. There are numerous benefits to studying the Chado. Among them, are the health boosters in the form of antioxidants that students of the Chado are able to benefit from.

But it is undoubtedly the general practice of escaping the physical and venturing into constructive phases of mental recharging that have immeasurable benefits for people from all backgrounds. Let’s take this opportunity to commit to ourselves, that we will all spend time reflecting on things beyond the physical aspects of our daily lives. If we can even invest 15 minutes out of every day, on grounding ourselves and ensuring our priorities are straight, that would be a remarkable success and achievement. It is thanks to people like Helen that we have a role model to emulate for this purpose.


Helen Lee Schifter is a former arbitrage trader on Wall Street, as well as a former editor at Hearst and Conde Nast. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Amherst College, she attended both during their pioneering transitions to coeducation. Helen splits her time between New York City and the east end of Long Island.