11.2 | coping during covid

it`s been almost eight months that we`ve been dealing with covid-19 and its madness. i know we`re all sick & tired of the havoc it has been wreaking on our lives. a lot has been going on and there seems to be no end or solve to this madness. during my time working from home, i`ve been trying to do small things that bring a little joy and comfort to my world while also keeping safe. i have been struggling mentally, so these really help me to climb out of this funk. i`ve never been much of an "outside" type of girl but dammit! i want to be outside outsiding! it feels different when someone tells you that can`t be outside rather than you just not wanting  to be outside. in july, after i moved into my apartment and outside sorta opened back up, i was able to go furniture shopping & buy necessities needed for my new space. that brought me a sliver of happiness because i was going through a super depressive time and moving out brought me some peace. i`m going to share five simple things i`ve been doing to stay sane.

[ please note: this is simply what i am doing as i understand that everyone has different circumstances and experiences. i don`t want this post to come off as disconnected, tone deaf and insensitive to what`s happening in the world and in your personal lives. ]

 / 1. creating newness + decorating my apartment
i`ve been in so many different stores finding cute trinkets and home decor pieces for my apartment. my place is pretty spacious, spanning over 1100 sq. ft so i have lots of room to work with. i`ve been going for a minimalist, industrial aesthetic—so while i don`t want to crowd my space—i am always tempted! what i like to do is build on the big furniture pieces with smaller accessories so that i`m still keeping it minimal but also filling my space with things that make me happy. i`ve found alot of great pieces in homegoods, target, crate and barrel/cb2, ikea and overstock to name a few places. when i`m home, i feel like i`m in my own little museum curated by me. i only buy things that catch my eye and that i feel would bring something special to my place. unfortunately, i deleted my empty apartment tour off of youtube trying to do an update. hopefully, i can record an updated video, without exposing too much of my new sacred place (you know, you gotta keep some things to yourself lol).
another thing i`ve been doing is buying books (that i need to start actually reading now, lol). i recently started reading dapper dan`s memoir, titled "dapper dan: made in harlem" and it`s so good! i`m only a few pages in but i felt so much encouragement and motivation just from reading about his childhood. i also purchased andré leon talley`s memoir, titled "the chiffon trenches", along with antwaun sargent`s photography book, "the new black vanguard". in addition, i most recently purchased "unseen", a visual book about black americans (pictured in title photo). if ya`ll have know of some good (& special) books that you think i should cop, holla at me in the comments (or an e-mail).

this chair is sooo cute. i bought it from ikea for $12.50 and it`s still on sale. you can find it here. it comes in black and white. the cacti and pot are also from ikea. you have to purchase real plants in-store but you can find the pot here for $.49. i purchased the dapper dan and andré leon talley books on bookshop.org to support local book stores. i purchased antwaun sargent`s book here and it is on sale right now for $42.50!

/ 2. turning off the lights & lighting a candle
lightly scented candles are the perfect anodyne to help you relax. they help to set the mood, the ambience. i like to choose my candles by both scent and appearance because i don`t want just any candle, ya know? you have to look the part as well. there are sooo many types of candles to choose from, so i do my research (yes, research) to make sure i buy the right candle. i prefer soy candles as they are less toxic than candles made with paraffin wax. soy candles don`t really cause soot to stain your walls + stuff like candles made with paraffin wax. i also like really warm, light, and musky scents. sometimes i like a touch of floral, too... preferably jasmine lol. when i feel overwhelmed or just in a blah mood, i throw on some slow tunes, light my candles and slow dance with myself lol. it sounds funny, but it works for me. i like to perform sometimes and pretend that i`m singing to an audience. lol.

to really blow off some steam, though, i take a mildly hot shower in the dark with my candle lit. it`s super calming and refreshing ya`ll. the steam, the darkness, the scent of the candle... they all work together to create a stress-alleviating environment. i cleanse my body and mind *raps* at the same damn time. sometimes, i throw on a face mask for added relaxation. boom! instantly at the spa.

also, i`ve been binge watching celebrity homes on architectural digest`s youtube and whew... the inspo!
(candle from homegoods, architectural digest magazine)

/ 3. wining down with some good food
i love me some good pasta accompanied by fine wine. food brings a smile to my face just as quick as seeing the "approved" screen pop up at the register. i`ve definitely been treating my tummy with all this yummy goodness (and my body has been paying for it). my favorite wine at the moment is peach moscato by barefoot. i`m not really a wine connoisseur, so i can`t give any real details or info on this wine except the fact that it is just soooo good (and inexpensive)!

in between ordering take-out and occasionally safely dining out, i`ve been trying my hand at cooking. yes, please send prayers! cooking is not a skill i was blessed with, but it`s time i really try. i`ve adopted a pescatarian lifestyle (for the 3rd time), so i`m trying new foods and i`d like to start making these meals at home because it gets pricey! i`ve been looking for good black cook books, but i haven`t gotten really lucky. i found one at marshall`s, so i`m gonna see what that`s about. if ya`ll have any good recommendations, let me know!

/ 4. sipping my favorite tea while doing one of my favorite things
i had been looking for my favorite teavana tea (peach tranquility) and it`s been at target this whole time! i figured i needed to stop spending money at starbucks and just simply make the tea at home. so i bought a traditional kettle ($5.99 from shop-rite) and i prepare my tea right at home. one of my favorite people bought me this kitchen set and it came with these huge mugs. does this make me a real artist now that i`m sipping tea as i paint? lol.

/ 5. finding good sales
oh yeah, last but not least, catching those sales! honestly, i haven`t been shopping like i used to. your girl is a super saver now! i have been so good at saving my money, ya`ll. i can`t even believe it sometimes, but that`s what happens when you stick to your plan and discipline yourself! anyway, on to these sales. needsupply, an online retailer, recently closed and had a blowout 80% sale. i managed to grab two things from that sale, which i will be showing in a haul video when i get around to recording it (lmao). i purchased this one sleeve helmut lang top (pictured, far left) for $25 during their surplus sale a few months ago. they actually just had another surplus sale last week, but ya girl had to chill. the other two items were purchased at full price but they were not expensive at all. the simonett top is $69 and you can have your payments split into four payments if you want. the aliétte (black owned) tee was $75, i believe, and it is soooo soft! i`ll be showing these in the same video i have yet to record, so be on the look out :)

so there ya have it... five simple ways i`ve been finding comfort and coping during covid. please feel free to share some ways you guys have been coping during this time. i`m interested in finding new ways to bring joy into my life and am more than happy to see what brings you guys joy right now. sending lots of love and hugs your way! <3

- the broke girl