I travel about 75,000 frequent flier miles a year taping TV shows, hosting various events, emceeing panels and doing social media influencer gigs. One of my super powers is “connection” and I love engaging with people both for work and during my personal time — so much so, when I’m not on the road I have a standing brunch appointment with a group of my close friends every Sunday afternoon.
So self-isolation and grounding my travel isn’t an ideal scenario for me, especially when it’s not something I’ve done by choice. Like many others, the impact of Coronavirus is taking a toll on me but I’m working to make the best of it.
Since I’m not in the high risk group, I decided to run my mom’s grocery store errands. Last weekend, it all felt more like a grocery store tour, as it took me about five hours to go to seven different stores to find the things on my mom’s shopping list. Of course it was full of hand-sanitizing and social distancing.
But Here Are My Tips For Grocery Shopping Now:
Be friendly with your grocery store employees and ask them when their delivery truck comes in. Some stores like my personal favorite Trader Joe’s gets two deliveries a day. So items not stocked in the morning may get stocked later in the day. (I’ve purchased enough of their Fruit Frenzy Bars popsicles to last me until Mother’s Day at least!)
Instead of mainstream grocery stores, try international markets. It was a suggestion my mother made and a very good one. I visited two and one had bleach, household sprays and toilet paper; another had plenty of produce and meats available.
Lastly, call ahead to a store and ask them about the items you are seeking. No need to expose yourself to people if the products you’re looking for are not available.
Here are my top picks for entertainment options during self-isolation:
MUSIC: Leslie Odom Jr. “Mr.” (R&B/S-Curve Records) / Darius Paulk “Strong” (Gospel/Malaco Records) / Jose James “No Beginning No End 2” (Jazz/Rainbow Blonde Records)
And if all else fails, TV One seems to always have a marathon of one of my favorite 70’s sitcoms “Good Times” on. Those classic episodes never get old and if you can catch “The Dinner Party” episode when they thought their neighbor Gertie was making dog food meatloaf, you’ll literally be in the floor laughing!
Pick Up The Phone: While we’ve been challenged to social distance from each other, that doesn’t mean we can’t use our telephones to actually make calls. I’ve been taking time to reach out to friends, family members and people who are important to me. I’ve also been checking up on folks I know that are older and in the high-risk groups. You may not have the physical connection you desire, but hearing someone’s voice can do the heart well!
In between enjoying my entertainment options, of course I’ve been spending time on social media. I’ve been particularly enjoying some of the things people I follow have been offering via Instagram Live.
I dance along as my favorite deejay D-Nice (@DNice) spins records for hours at Social Distancing Dance Party to help us all escape at home.
There’s nothing better than seeing R&B star Avery Sunshine (@AverySunshine) sit down at her piano and just start singing!
You can’t tell me I’m not Chris Brown trying to keep up as Debbie Allen (@TheRealDebbieAllen) teaches dance class from her studio in Los Angeles to keep us moving.
And lastly, I take a moment to focus on my wellness as therapist Jay Barnett (@KingJayBarnett) talks about the importance of self-care and virtual therapy during times like these.
While our current situation is our new normal at least for the next few weeks… maybe months, for now I’m adapting well and have plenty of things to occupy my time.