Since novel coronavirus became “a thing,” I wake up every morning with my remix of Sinead O’Connor’s song “Nothing Compares to You.” This morning, it went a little something like this:
“It’s been who knows how many hours and how many days since you took our lives away.”
I. Am. Tired. Of. Rona.
I took an informal poll on Facebook, and I’m not the only one tired of hearing the daily updates on new cases, deaths and whatever other story can be crafted to tell us we’re in a state of emergency. I appreciate the dedicated journalists who are working to keep us updated – heck, I’m a journalist and public relations person by training, so I get it. However, the constant barrage of new stories and new angles can be depressing and information overload.
Here are nine ways we can ignore ‘Rona and put some happiness back into our lives.
Journaling is a powerful healing practice that helps improve mental clarity, focus and understanding. Keeping a consistent routine allows you to explore your emotions, connect with hidden feelings and commit to goals on paper. There’s no one way to journal; it can take many forms, including writing morning pages and using guided prompts.
Many people believe that meditation requires you to sit still and completely free your mind of all thoughts. That’s false. Meditation simply means being in the present moment by focusing your mind and awareness on what’s happening now – not what happened yesterday or what will happen in 20 minutes. Forms of meditation come in different varieties, but the simplest way is through breathwork.
Charlottean Tesia Love is a clinical Ayurveda specialist — Ayurveda is an ancient Indian practice that takes a holistic approach to physical and mental health. On April 8, Love will lead a breathwork session during Kombucha, Wine and Chill, a virtual game night. The online event starts at 7 p.m. at Bea Healthy CLT on Instagram.
Take online classes
Build or grow your business, heal yourself or learn a new skill through online classes. Now is the time to get the additional training you need to take you to the next level.
Some classes to check out:
- The City of Charlotte in partnership with NC Cooperative Extension are hosting Introduction to Gardening on April 7, from noon to 1 p.m. Learn gardening basics, including where to locate a garden, when and what to plant, and how to tend to a garden. Register here.
- Glenn Thomas, managing partner at Leadership Matters Group, goes live on Facebook each Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to noon, to share leadership tools and strategies.
- For beauty professionals wanting to get a leg up on branding, cut to the basics of beauty branding with a webinar hosted by Mattie Clay Branding & PR on April 13 at noon. Register here.
With gyms closed, fitness trainers are offering free virtual workouts. There’s no reason you can’t get fit and fully snatched while at home.
Looking for a free virtual workout? Check out 10-minute morning routines with @getfitwithchrys each weekday at 6:30 a.m. Can’t make it that early? No worries. Catch the replays on her IGTV channel.
Want to try yoga? Charlotte’s “Peace Filled Mama” Kelly Palmer leads a virtual pay-what-you-can yoga session on Mondays at noon and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Yoga instructor Davena Mgbeokwere also shared 13 Charlotte-based options for online yoga classes.
Develop or cultivate a hobby
Charlotte native Sahnia Oates loves to crochet. She started after getting laid off from her job a few years ago to help manage her stress. The lesson? Find what you love and do that thing.
Connect with those in your house – and those in your heart
You may not be able to do the normal happy hours at your favorite bar or restaurant, hit the club with your friends or have Sunday dinner at Big Momma’s house, but you can still connect – and have fun doing it.
For those who are quarantined with others in their home, consider cooking dinner together or simply watch some good television. Keep the fun going by creating an activity jar. Take a cup or old spaghetti jar and drop in activity ideas. Choose one each day and do it.
If you’re thinking about joining one of the many online challenges flooding your timelines, consider the #GirlWhatchuDoing challenge started by Jenn Elaine, Ohavia Phillips and Natoya Williams. They’re three local ladies who also give us the weekly Pardon My Chic podcast.
It can get a bit lonely if you’re quarantining solo. Don’t let it get you down. Connect virtually with friends by grabbing a class of your favorite beverage and snacks, then enjoy all the shenanigans that transpire. Alone time can also allow you to explore new podcasts or catch up on some of your favorites.
Attend virtual events
Expand your circle of fraaans and entertainment options by attending virtual events. Before ‘Rona, people were planning all kinds of in-person events. Many of those events have gone virtual and include everything from free DJ sets to self-help workshops.
Here’s a handful of upcoming virtual events to add to your calendar:
- On April 7 and April 8, Keith Cradle will host two live sessions of his Crafted with Cradle podcast. Listen as local creatives talk about how the community can support them and their art during this time.
- Charlotte is seeing a rise in domestic-related calls during COVID-19. Domestic violence survivor Melody Gross is supporting survivors during the “I Will Survive: Freedom in Isolation” series. The webinar offers a safe space for domestic violence survivors to process their feelings and provide healthy coping mechanisms. It’s important to support each other as much as possible. Register here for the April 10 webinar.
- Local DJs are providing musical relief while we’re indoors. Charlotte native DJ CK, aka Duane Blue, will be hosting a Facebook party on April 11 at noon.
- Scooter Taylor and Tre’Von Hill started QuarantineCon to provide virtual conferences for a variety of topics.
- Set push notifications for Anthony Hamilton, 9th Wonder, DJ D-Nice and Biz Markie on Instagram. They often perform impromptu live shows.
While many have the good fortune of still working during this time, there are thousands who are laid off or furloughed. For Black-owned small businesses, the economic slowdown could be the thing determining their existence. This can be a tough time for them and their families.
If you can support them, do it. Continue to patronize these businesses and consider making donations to those who can’t work during this time. There’s the opportunity to support local creatives through the Creatives Are Essential website.
Show appreciation to the frontline workers making sure we’re healthy and safe. Post messages of appreciation and motivation using #Grateful2020.
It’s an extremely stressful time, and it’s OK to just do nothing.
Brandi “Bea” Williams is a life and health coach, trainer and cultural curator who uses her more than 20 years experience in public relations to educate, inspire and empower people of color in the areas of public relations and holistic health.