For Artists Coping With The Coronavirus
We're living through such an unprecedented time in human history. The world went upside down in a matter of days. Most artists I know--me included--lost their jobs. We can't pick up restaurant shifts. Studios are shutting down or capping classes. Movie releases, plays, concerts, and gallery openings are all on hold. We no longer have our busy schedules and performer goals to cling to. We can't simply brush past the death tolls and political needling.
We can only wait: wait for symptoms, wait for grocery lines to wane, wait to see if unemployment checks go through, wait for the go-ahead to gather in good faith.
As an artist and a person who will never stop believing in humanity, I refuse to be helpless. I refuse to needlessly speculate, or to spend the entire day scrolling through posts that frustrate me in varying degrees.
So, I'm spending time on the things I didn't do enough, when life moved at its typical breakneck speed. Here are 12 ways we can all better cope with this global pandemic and all the changes it has swiftly enacted.
Connecting with friends and family around the world: Most of us are already doing this, but I think we can keep leaning in. Make phone calls and video messages instead of Facebook comments and texts. Write a letter or send a package while the postal service is still active. Let's all act like teenagers and spend hours on meandering phone conversations with the people we like, while we have those hours.
Taking in art: My plan is to watch/read a lot of stuff I've been meaning to get to. Comedy, films, music videos (I already went pretty far on that path with a friend last night), books, Netflix series about art design, documentaries, video essays by Evan Puschak and Lindsay Ellis, and clips of famous choreography through the ages.
Staying inspired by the heroes out there: We can follow those leading a stoic trail. We can listen to and watch content that validates our worthiness, desire to connect, and pursuit of happiness. I recommend TED Talks and curated interviews over just visiting Instagram profiles, but there are a lot of heroic things being shared there too.
Taking the opportunity to relish in togetherness, as opposed to differences: Read yesterday's blog: The Pandemic That Brought Us Together for more on this. We have the chance to witness more of our local and global communities coming together.
Music discovery: Now is an excellent time to go down more music rabbit holes. Do some freestyle or choreograph. Try a harmony. Watch videos of live performances. Look up the idols of your idols. Share your favorite finds.
Explore genres and fusions of your art form: Take a master class or learn a dance routine.
Get tidy and organized: Clean and rearrange your space. Go through that pile of old clothes or papers. Clear some clutter while you have quiet time to yourself.
Do some gratitude journalling: Now is a better time than ever to enjoy the good things, from big to small. Take that gratitude and reach out to friends you haven't spoken to in a while but still appreciate.
Focus on Self Care: take that much needed session with a foam roller or tennis ball. Massage your own calves and feet. Hydrate and eat something nutritious/comforting. Run an epsom salt bath. Give yourself a manicure. DIY some hair/face masks. Meditate. Youtube a calming yoga series. Rest your mind and body. Take naps!
Get creative and play: do some drawing or painting. Learn a new song. Write a poem or a short scene or a joke. Make a vlog! Cook something new.
Get outside: As long as you're healthy, social distancing doesn't have to mean staying inside all day. Go for walks or hikes or runs! Get some fresh air and some time with the clouds or the stars. I'm definitely going to drive to the beach.
Exercise/Train: now is as good a time as ever to work on your flexibility, strength and technique, and take the time to sweat/make some physical progress. It will help your sleep and help regulate your diet and it will definitely help with anxiety.