March 13th, I came back home from Charleston, South Carolina. I was down there for a recruitment trip, as a representative of my school district. The career fair was sparse with applicants. There were more schools there than potential employees. The hum was in the air, but I did not realize what the hum meant.
When we arrived, the college explained that we were to follow the “no-touch” mandate. We could not shake hands, fist bump or hug any of the students. HUH?!?! They also handed us a large hand sanitizer, accompanied by a tiny one in our gift bags.
When I arrived back home, I did not realize that I would not be leaving my house again until mid-May. That Friday night, I received a call from my principal that said we are no longer allowed in the school building. He also indicated that school would be closed until further noticed. This sent shock vibes through me. Maybe I didn’t have 20/20 vision because I did not see this coming.
After being home for a week and realizing that I would have to cancel my upcoming trips, due to Corona, I entered into a deep depression. I remember it so vividly. One Sunday morning, I came downstairs and saw my family moving around like usual. My kids were watching cartoons in the living room and my husband was cooking breakfast. I stood at the bottom of the steps and couldn’t move. My husband turned and saw me, rushed over and began to squeeze me with the biggest bear hug imaginable. That’s when it happened. I CRIED! Not a little bit. Big alligator tears. Crying that makes your chest heave. Crying where snot drips out of your nose and rolls into your mouth. Nasty, ugly crying.
He held me and then proceed to lay with me on the couch. We laid there for at least an hour. I could hear the kids mumbling in the background and him gently explaining what was happening. I am forever grateful to him for that moment. I realize now that I needed that moment to happen for my breakthrough. Once you hit the bottom, you have no choice, but to go up. His love in that moment rescued me and helped me gain my strength. After this breakdown, I became the creative I am right now.
The Corona Cry put things into perspective for me. I realized that I needed to add structure back into my life and develop a new normal. Since creating structure, my creativity, self love, stability, and happiness have come back into my life.
I am a big party girl! I work hard, but I play hard too. When my Ziggy Marley concert got postponed on March 13th, I did not think I would make it. However, a new world opened up online. Many DJs began to host virtual parties. From DJ D Nice to DJ Beverly Bond, we were rocking. You can either watch it on your phone or play it on your TV. Swizz Beatz and Timbaland introduced us to the Verzuz Battles. My favorite was Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, of course. However, we did get a good laugh from Teddy Riley with the sound errors.
I am a self-proclaimed gym rat. Pre-covid 19, I worked out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 5:45 am. I would go in for an hour and burn all of my troubles away. I am 100% sure that the gym closure led to my depression. So, I had to create an alternative. I began to walk each morning at 7:45 am and did twenty minutes of floor exercises afterwards. Floor exercises ranged consisted of yoga, sit ups, planking, squats, and lunging. Exercising releases endorphins, which helps you feel less pain and develop happy feelings.
3. Get Creative
What do you want to achieve? I used this time to find my passion and gain new skills. I created this website (yes, I know it’s mediocre) and began writing books. I have written children books and self help books. Spending time with my children helped me explore art projects and outdoor time. We planted a garden. I didn’t realize how much I needed this time.
4. Speak to Your Loved Ones
The unknowns of this disease left me emotionally paralyzed. I had to process how to spend time with friends and family, but not visit them. Before the pandemic, I visited my mom once a week and had ladies night with my girls once a month. I frequently traveled to visit friends who lived out of town. We developed a few solutions. The House Party app lets you play games with friends. Zoom allowed me to have ladies’ night virtually, while sipping our wine. To see my parents, I drove over and eyed them from the driveway. I had to make sure they were ok. We would chat through a window…lol.
5. Travel the World
A month before the quarantine, I had just come back from Cartagena, Colombia. Since Covid-19, I had to cancel three trips: Caribana in Toronto, Carnival in Atlanta, and spring break in New Orleans. This, too, contributed to my Corona Cry. One day, my daughter came up with a brillian idea, virtual travel. We went on Youtube and virtually visited Amsterdam, Canada, Italy, and New York.
6. Create a Schedule
The first few weeks were rough because I could not find my balance. Each weekday, I would wake up at 5:30 am to go to the gym. Afterwards, return home to freshen up and get the kids ready for school. Then, we went to school/work for a full day. Returned home around 6 and cooked dinner. Baths and bed by 8:30 pm. Finally, quality time with hubby. I am very schedule based, so the down time messed me up. After a few weeks, I finally got a working routine: morning walk (7 am), online work (8am to 12pm), lunch, down time, dinner/ baths (7pm) and family time until bed. Having segmented times helped me cope.
Find the funny in anything. According to helpguide.org, “Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner” (Nov. 2019). I began to make more jokes with my family. We watched comedy specials and live stand-ups. I also learned to make teacher memes…lol
Life post-Corona will be different. In learning to cope with our current situation, we will also have to create a new normal, once things open back up. Try to incorporate things that bring you joy. Get rid of things that hold you back. Follow your dreams. We only have one life and you should live each day like it is your last.
How did you survive the quarantine? Leave your comments below and share this with a friend!