#SWAAYthenarrative

Staying Sane During The Pandemic: Small Tips On How To Get Through It

We're already now into July, and since the beginning of 2020, we've been witnessing a pandemic that has swept across the globe mercilessly. As governments around the world race to try and raise awareness to their citizens concerning the COVID-19 virus and its health consequences, we've all been placed in a totally unprecedented situation, trying to work out how to manage our children amidst school closures and the best way to work remotely from home. These trying times of seclusion and quarantine are tough for everyone but are especially hard for those who live alone.

While the situation is dire, all is not lost. With cities locking down and social distancing in play, many of us have found ourselves with a lot more free time on our hands, whether we like it or not. If you're one of the many who are struggling to find ways to be productive, or even just trying to keep yourself entertained, here are some great ways to make the best out of your extended stay at home.

Keep Yourself Updated

With Covid-19 widely accepted as the most serious health crisis in over a hundred years, it is definitely worth taking seriously. It only takes about five minutes every day to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest news.

Be grateful that many of us live in countries with amazing health care workers who have been making so many sacrifices on the front lines to help keep us safe and healthy. As local hospitals, pharmacies, and grocery stores are still under continuous operation, we also need to keep in mind the workers who have enabled us to have access to essential supplies and food to eat while we try to keep safe within the confines of our homes.

Stay Clean and Sanitized

Regardless of the Covid-19 restrictions gradually loosening, you should continue to maintain social distancing for your own safety as well as that of society. Imagine you are carrying the virus without showing any symptoms at all, you can still transmit the virus to your friends and neighbors exponentially. It is really important to practice effective hand-washing, social distancing, and sanitize surfaces and doorknobs in your home. There are many hand sanitizers available online and we found this range at TotallyPure.com so that you can stock up on hand sanitizer without having to risk going out to buy it. As well as following your government's guidelines, it is up to you to take responsibility for your health and for that of your family, and to be considerate of others in society. Avoid large gatherings and irresponsible socializing and always wear a mask in public.

Vlogging

It is important to find ways to pass the time during the pandemic to keep your mind healthy. If you are a digital creator, why don't you make videos about your self-isolating experience and daily activities? Stop making excuses that things have been put on hold because of the virus, and turn your Youtube channel into a great source of entertainment to help ease people's fear and social anxiety during these difficult times. Something good can always come out of even the worst situation with just a little clever thinking and a lot of hard work.

Exercise

As social distancing is now required in a lot of countries, going to the gym is off the cards for most of us. One thing that the pandemic has taught us, however, is that you can get amazing results working out at home. Use this time to start a home exercise routine to stay fit and build up your immune system. Keen on Zumba, yoga, or HIIT workouts, do a quick Youtube search and you can find so many workout videos to follow along with. If home workouts aren't your thing, get outside for a run in the park or some yoga on the beach, just make sure to maintain social distancing.

Learn Something New

Lockdown can also be a great opportunity for broadening your horizons and learning something new. Many people have spent the last few months learning a new language, picking up an instrument that they hadn't had time to play for a long time and taking online cooking and photography classes. There are so many new skills that you can learn so that when lockdown finally opens, something positive will have come out of it.

These are such hard times but it is important to stay positive and to try and use the extra time to be productive. Staying up to date with the situation is vital so that you can make the right decisions in order to keep yourself and your family safe and that you take all the correct hygiene and safety precautions. Try learning something new or spend the time exercising so that you can at least come through this time having gained something positive.

5 min read
Self

Lessons Learned and the Power of Turning 50

Except for 16, I have celebrated all of my milestone birthdays in New York City.

I turned 16 in Arnold, Missouri. Arnold is a small town (though not small anymore) 20 miles south of St. Louis. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, a beautiful arch of shiny stainless steel, built by the National Parks Service in 1935 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of a transcontinental U.S. St. Louis is also known for its custard, a frozen dessert that is so thick, they hand it to you upside down with a spoon inside. Something else about St. Louis you should know is that there is a courthouse just steps from the base of the Gateway Arch where one of the most important cases in history was tried: Dred Scott v. Sanford.

I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive.

Mr. Scott was born into enslavement around 1799 and, in 1830, was sold to a military surgeon who traveled back and forth between his military posts in Illinois and Wisconsin, where slavery was prohibited under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In 1842 the doctor and Mr. Scott both married, and they, all four, returned to St. Louis. Still enslaved, Dred Scott filed a lawsuit against the doctor's wife for his and his wife Harriet's freedom. We don't know exactly why he chose this moment in time to file a lawsuit, however, he did. At the time of filing his, now, famous lawsuit, he was 50 years old. Ultimately, The Scott family did not gain their freedom, but their profound courage in filling this case helped ignite the Civil War and what we would come to know (or think we know) as freedom from enslavement for all human beings. Powerful then and even more powerful now.

My next milestone was turning 21, and I did it in the Big Apple. Having only moved to "the city that never sleeps" a few months prior, I knew nobody except my new friends, the bus-boys from the restaurant I was working at, Patzo's on the Upper West Side. And, yes, pazzo is actually the correct spelling of the Italian word, which translates to "crazy." Trust me we all had several laughs about the misspelling and the definition going hand in hand. I worked a full shift, closing out at around 11 PM, when, my kitchen team came out from the line with a cake singing, "Cumpleaños Feliz." It was fantastic. And the kindness of these almost-strangers was a powerful reminder of connection then as it still is today almost 29 years later.

I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy.

When I turned 30, I had just finished a European tour with Lucinda Childs dance company. The company had been on tour for months together and were inseparable. We traveled through Paris, Vienna, Lisbon, and Rome. We ate together, we rode on a bus together, we had drinks after shows together, and we even took turns giving company class to get warmed up before a show. It was deeply meaningful and dreamy. We ended the tour back in New York City at BAM, The Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was an incredible way to end the tour, by being on our home court, not to mention I was having an important birthday at the culmination of this already incredible experience.

So, when I invited everyone to join me at Chelsea Pier's Sky Rink to ice skate in late August, I was schooled really quickly that "tour" does not mean you are friends in real life, it means you are tour friends. When the tour ends, so does the relationship. I skated a few laps and then went home. This was a beautiful lesson learned about who your real friends are; it was powerful then as it is today.

Turning 40 was a completely different experience. I was in a serious relationship with my now-husband, Joe. I had just come off of a successful one-woman dance show that I produced, choreographed, and danced in, I had just choreographed a feature film, John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes, with A-list actors, including Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini, who became a dear friend and had even been on the red carpet with Susan Sarandon at the Venice Film Festival for the movie a year earlier.

And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age.

This was a very special birthday, and I had, in those 10 years between 30 and 40, come to cultivate very real friendships with some wonderful colleagues. We all celebrated at a local Italian restaurant, Etcetera Etcetera (who is delivering for those of you in NYC — we order weekly to support them during COVID), a staple in the theater district. Joe and I were (and are) regulars and, of course, wanted to celebrate my 40th with our restaurant family and friends. We were upstairs in the private room, and it was really lovely. Many of those in attendance are no longer with us, including Joe's Dad, Bob Ricci, and my dear friend Jim Gandolfini having transitioned to the other side. Currently, that restaurant is holding on by a thread of loving neighbors and regulars like us. Life is precious. Powerful then and today even more so.

I write this article because I'm turning 50, still in New York City. However, I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive. And I could not be more filled with hope, love, possibility, and power. This year has included an impeachment hearing, a global pandemic, and global protests that are finally giving a larger platform to the Black Lives Matter movement. Being able to fully embody who I am as a woman, a 50-year-old woman who is living fully in purpose, takes the cake, the rink, and the party.

I'm making movies about conversations around race. I've been happily married for 11 years to the love of my life, Joe Ricci. I'm amplifying and elevating the voices of those who have not previously had a platform for speaking out. I choose who to spend time with and how long! I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy. Being 50 is one of the most amazing things I ever thought I could experience. And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age. I'm 50 and powerful. Dred Scott was 50 and powerful. This powerful lesson is for today and tomorrow. We have the power. No matter what age you are, I invite you to use your powerful voice to join me in making the world a better place.