Quarantine day 68. It still feels so strange to type that out. It’s been over two months of being alone without my family, which honestly has been the most difficult part for me. It pains me to know the things that I have missed out on like my grandpa’s 97th birthday, Kiko’s 10th and my mom’s 70th along with Mother’s Day. And as most of you probably know by now my grandpa passed away just two weeks after his 97th year because of COVID-19. While I’m sure some suspected, this is actually the first time I’ve shared it publicly. It’s been so hard for me to accept that as the reason he is no longer here. Because of this, we couldn’t do proper services for him and will have to wait for things to get better in order to give him the memorial that he deserves.
Some days I find myself struggling to muster up the energy while others I wake up feeling inspired. Each day looks a little different for me and that’s ok. I’m sure that each day looks different for you too. We have to remember to be kind and patient with ourselves throughout all of this because we are doing the best that we can. This is our first time ever having to experience something like this and look how far we have already come. If you feel the need to do absolutely nothing, then be still. If motivation hits you to be productive, then move. It’s completely up to you to choose how you spend this time.
With that being said, I wanted to share 7 things that have been helping me during quarantine. I’ve gotten so many sweet messages and some of you have asked how I am managing to push through every day. Here’s how:
I have to say, quarantine has really pushed me creatively. I’ve only been using my iPhone, a tripod and self-timer for over two months now and I’m proud of what I have been coming up with. It’s amazing what you can do when you only have yourself to rely on. I have been trying to take advantage of every bit of space that I have, including my fire escape. It’s been fun for me to shoot different angles and try new things that I normally wouldn’t do.
I also started to get more into video thanks to TikTok. I never expected to get so sucked into this app, but it actually has a lot more to offer than I initially thought and there’s an entire community of 30+. Between the dances, cool transitions and storytelling, I am now creating short videos and sharing on an entire new platform. My solo travel journey video was viewed over 150K times and it made me realize that I now had this opportunity to reach new people. If you’re looking for some daily entertainment and need a couple of laughs (I think we all do) then I suggest downloading the app for fun. Watch how quickly time goes by!
Hanging Out On My Fire Escape
I am extra thankful for this little fire escape and I’m not sure why I didn’t hang out here before. Since it faces the back of the building and my view is all this greenery, it always has this way of transporting me somewhere else and for a couple of moments I forget that I’m in New York City. It’s so quiet out here and I can hear the birds chirping so clearly. It provides me with some calm in the midst of all this chaos. I love whenever I see my neighbors in the building behind me hanging out on their fire escapes too. It’s a little reminder that we are all going through the same thing at the same time. I bring my blanket out here with a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Sometimes I’ll read a book too or I’ll chat with my neighbor below me who has the cutest outdoor garden. She calls me Juliet now.
Connecting More With My Faith
I’ve been praying more than ever and watching sermons online. I’ve actually come across a couple of youth pastors that are on TikTok and they do these really beautiful videos where they run towards the screen and yell “Wait! Don’t scroll! Let me pray for you.” and then they’ll read a scripture and preach for 60 seconds. I absolutely love them. One of the youth pastors that I follow goes LIVE on TikTok every day to preach and sing worship music with his fiancé. I tune in as often as I can and they’ve become such a light for me during the week. This really fills me up and provides me with so much inner peace and positivity.Reading
I’ve been reading more over the last two weeks. I wanted to purchase a new book, but then realized that I hadn’t fully finished all of the ones that I already have. I just completed Inward by Yung Pueblo and highly recommend it if you’re looking for some daily inspiration. He is a beautiful writer and I could relate to every page. I also finished Modern Love, which is a compilation of essays from the New York Times column “Modern Love.” There’s also an Amazon Original series on this too that I recommend watching if you haven’t yet! Reading a couple of pages of something every day has been a great mental escape for me.
For the first month and a half I only left my apartment to go to the grocery store. Now that the weather has been warming up, I’ve been trying to get out for walks several days a week. This weekend I went over to the water by the ferry and sat on a rock for 45 minutes watching people pass by. (from a distance, of course) Some were walking, some running and some riding bikes – all wearing masks. I could hear bits and pieces of conversations as they passed by. I could hear laughter. It let me know that people were smiling underneath their masks. While I am still trying to get used to our new normal right now, I could feel a shift in the energy around me. It felt much more hopeful than it did a month ago.
I am someone who can easily take on other people’s energy and it becomes very overwhelming for me. While I love talking on the phone with my friends and doing video chats, I have actually had to take a step back from it lately. For me, a huge part of self-care is knowing when I need to take little breaks from things and that includes social media too. Whenever you see that I am silent on stories and the feed, that’s usually because I need a mental break from it. I think it’s all about finding the right balance of where you invest your time and energy.
Being active is such a release for me so I try to workout several times a week. I’m definitely not doing it as often as I was at the beginning of all of this, but I do it when I have the energy. I also allow myself to do absolutely nothing but sit on the couch watching Netflix or I’ll catch up on sleep. Self-care means so many different things. It’s about taking care of yourself not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too.
Looking For The Blessings
It’s difficult to see in the moment, but there are blessings in our trials. For me personally, I think that blessing has been the time to truly reflect and shift my perspective. It’s been allowing me to work on myself in different ways and to reconnect with parts of myself that I ignored for too long. Losing my grandpa and going through all of this alone has truly awakened something within me that I can’t quite put into words just yet. It’s so difficult to understand why things happen the way that they do, but trying to look for the blessing is something that helps me get through.
What are some things that are helping you every day of quarantine? Sending love to all of you and your families! Just remember that you are not alone in whatever it is that you may be feeling. ❤️