Updated: Dec 30, 2021
I think it’s safe to say by now that no one could have imagined the entire world still struggling through the “Coronapocalypse”, or the current pandemic, as it were, but here we still are, somehow. Politics aside (and, quite frankly, politics should ALWAYS be an aside to facts), so many people have been affected, impacted and forever changed from COVID-19 that “normal” seems all but impossible to achieve at the moment. Acclimating to wearing masks and gloves outside, literally maintaining your distance in public places, consuming more alcohol on your hands than in cocktails, and so many more adjustments have really taken its toll on a lot of people.
It’s hard to know and even more stressful to guess when we will ever come out on the right side of history and normalcy with this one. Not to mention the other pandemic of racism and blatant injustice that has also given COVID-19 a real run for its money; the weight of the world seems a lot heavier nowadays.
So, what to make of it all, and what to do with it all? Well, avoidance certainly isn’t the answer, because had we applied common sense precautionary measures from the beginning, most of the country wouldn’t be an oversized petri dish. Delib- erate destructive reactions are also not a good idea either; there must be constructive processing and release for healing and growth.
So, solutions. For me, first and foremost, it’s been all about mental health and wellness. Meditation, exercise, clean eating, and cussing folks out when they got it coming are just a mix of my methodology for moving through and rising above the mayhem and foolishness of it all. Life, like nature, is all about balance; I never subscribe to the unrealistic ideal of constant and exclusive positivity; that can become real toxic real fast. Rather, I evaluate situations, circumstances and people on a case- by-case basis, and respond accordingly. Your brain is the one organ that cannot be so readily repaired or even replaced once broken, so the responsibility to keep it in tip-top shape is a must!
Aromatherapy and drawing/coloring books have been recurring faves so far. Ramone Reid’s Cultured Naturals Body Care has some of the BEST variety in aromatherapy and hair/body care products I have experienced in a long time! It was surprising at first – the combination of scented oil and book reading/ coloring – but it grew nicely on me! Cooking and baking have also provided very therapeutic outlets. In “quarantine cook” mode, I prepared a nice spread of meals for a couple who contracted COVID-19, which included a medley of their favorite mahi, chicken, empanadas, and frittatas. By adding some joy and nourishment to their lives, I was able to invigorate the purpose in my own.
Another favorite therapeutic hobby of mine is giving. I realize that this hobby requires time and money, both of which require strict budgeting (and sometimes sacrifice) in order to balance and achieve. I have had a long and strong love affair with curating care packages and this pandemic really emphasized the need to share the love & PPE. And because supporting black women-owned businesses is a hard and fast personal rule of mine, my care packages are majority-comprised of products made for black women, by black women. In a world that takes so much from us, it’s nice when we can be able to have and keep something all our own.
In addition to Ramone Reid’s Cultured Naturals Body Care, some AMAZING go-to care package content contributors include (but are not limited to):
Giselle Nisbett-Jones, CEO of Kelara’s Creationz LLC – IG @kelaras_creationz_llc; email: firstname.lastname@example.org – GNJ is a dear friend who is basically an architect of awesomeness!
Alana Robin, CEO of BelleVisage Clothing – IG @bellevisageclothing – Alana sews masterpieces for the GODS!
Londa Msanii – https://www.londamsanii.com/ - I love her designs and how she literally keeps me coming back for more!
Bella’s Unique Creations – https://www.etsy.com/shop/BellaUniqueCreation - one of the VI’s very own and finest in designing PPE realness!
Whatever activity or hobby works for you, make sure you make and take the time to replenish your spirit and honor the hard work you devote to yourself and others. You cannot pour from an empty cup! Always prioritize your mental health and wellness!