Updated: May 2, 2020
“You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.” – Maya Angelou
To protect my mental and emotional health — all while working from home, I have used this quarantine time to go within: To reflect, reset, and create.
Along the way, I’ve picked up a skill or two, started more than a dozen poems, attended a virtual wellness retreat, and among many other things. Thus, my top 10 quarantine and chill events include the following:
1. I learned how to Hula Hoop in this COVID-19 era.
I probably haven't picked up a hula hoop since I was in the 3rd or 4th grade, but who cares?! I felt compelled to learn something, so I did. And it's documented like millions of others on TikTok.
2. Music is saving my life.
One of the best things to come out of this pandemic has been virtual DJ sets and solo concerts. I have seen many, but some that have saved my life include:
Tori Kelly w Daley
3. I joined the 30-day poem challenge w Write About Now.
Write About Now is a Houston-area poetry organization, that has posted writing prompts in a private Facebook group every day the entire month of April, which is National Poetry Month.
So far, about 9 of my 27 poems are potential reads on a stage at some point in the next year.
4. It’s been invigorating to get outside every week... other than making trips to the grocery store.
I’ve gone on hikes and taken long walks through 5 Houston-area parks and trails every weekend for the last 5 weeks, to include Tom Bass Park, Adair Park, and Memorial Park.
5. I have read/am reading good books.
I usually read two or three books at a time anyway, so my quarantine list includes:
Well-Read Black Girl by Gloria Edim
A Geek in Thailand by Jody Houton
The Fourth Hand by John Irving
6. I'm learning Spanish... kinda.
Like the rest of the world, I binge-watched Netflix’s Tiger King, but then I started watching this Spanish series Locked Up, also produced by Netflix. If subtitles are your thing -- like they are for me, you'll appreciate the show even more. But Locked Up is completely insane. Think: a grimy Orange Is The New Black on steroids. There's four seasons; each episode is over an hour long. I'm on Season 2, episode 8.
7. I invested in myself.
I had been wanting to update my website for a minute now. Thus, I hired a professional web designer to revamp it into this wonderfully sleek and inviting space. Luxurious Web Design is ze best. Tell Nicole I sent you!!
8. Having friends around the globe has been a Godsend.
Checking in with texts and phone calls, DMs and Facebook messages has been wonderful during this time. I’ve re-connected with military friends, old friends, as well as made some new friends. Thanks Tinder!
9. I'm a forever student.
Though I have my Master's in New Media Journalism, I have an insatiable appetite for new information. I get joy from learning new things, ideas, and concepts.
Therefore, I am in the process of pursuing a hybrid Masters program; to get my Texas Teaching Certification and a Master of Arts in Teaching.
10. Lastly, I attended OmNoire’s Virtual Wellness Retreat 2.0., and received powerful messages.
I consider myself spiritual more than religious, so I enjoy healing practices from all over the world. And having the chance to spend all day on a Saturday getting my mind, body, and spirit right in a community of like-minded Black women was the icing on the cake.
OmNoire provided messages through a variety of workshops, to include these favorites: