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How to Stay Sane During Social Distancing – THE Guide
Social distancing is hitting us extra hard because the art world is a profoundly social place
Art Girls Jungle 04 Apr 2020

We all have a lot of time on our frequently washed hands these days—more than most of us are used to. As social distancing forces the hectic, caffeinated art world to grind to a virtual halt, we find ourselves at a collective loss for how to fill the extra hours. Coffee runs, studio visits, late nights at the gallery—all cancelled.

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Social distancing is hitting us extra hard because, as you know, the art world is a profoundly social place. Luckily, we still have the Internet. Ironically, we’ve lived to see the day when social media *actually* brings us together instead of making us feel more lonely. Checking in with your family, your friends, your artists and your interns will have immeasurable impact on our collective morale, so do it. With much of the world on lockdown, we truly have no more excuses for putting off that FaceTime with a long distance friend, so pick up the phone and call. Do it now. Seriously, we’ll wait.

As artists already know all too well, being cooped up alone all day can take a toll on mental health. Add a little uncertainty about the future of civilization into the mix and you have a foolproof recipe for a breakdown. That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself, mind, body and spirit, during social distancing.

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On the bright side, social distancing gives us all the time in the world to work in some self-care into our daily routines. While your instincts might keep you glued to the news all day, this can be incredibly stressful and draining. News flash: unless you are the president of a country or the CDC, your responsibility to keep up with the latest twists and turns of this surreal saga is much lower than you think. While it can feel irresponsible to disconnect from the outside world right now, try to reframe social distancing as a rare, precious opportunity to look inward.

Let’s be honest; there’s a tiny, guilty part of all of us that’s secretly a little relieved to be on government-mandated lockdown. If nothing else, I, for one, might actually get around to cleaning my bathroom mirror, which, since I started flossing, has seen better days. Now’s the time to dive deep into your treasure box marked “Things I Would Do If I Had The Time.” You finally have all the time… really, all of it.

And in case you’ve misplaced your own personal treasure box, I’ve decided to spill mine. Below, a curated list of things you could be doing to spice up your quarantine between instead of refreshing Twitter and napping—although naps are definitely encouraged.

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Move

1) Dive (deeper) into a yoga practice

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If you’re already sitting around in loungewear all day, you might as well plunk yourself down on your mat. Take a break from stress-eating Inner Peas to actually find some inner peace with a free yoga vid. Check out some of our favorites below.

For a sweaty, serious practice in every style, try Fightmaster Yoga.

For chill yin yoga you can do in your PJs, check out Yoga with Kassandra.

Or, head to Yoga with Adriene for super creative themed classes from 5 to 45 minutes (she even does meditations!).

If you want a little eye candy to go with your flow, look no further than Patrick Beach’s channel (sorry, girls, he’s taken).

Glo Yoga is an app that lets you quickly search for a meditation, Pilates or yoga class, sorted by levels. Once you do a few, it’ll give you recs based on your interests.

If you’re feeling a little unconventional, head to Buti Yoga to get the, yes, booty of your dreams. “Yoga” might be in the title, but don’t be fooled—you won’t find any incense (or bearded Indian men in turbans) here. Buti is a modern remix of Vinyasa that blends yoga, cardio dance, booty sculpting and “primal movement,” cooked in a steamy soup of self-love. They boast an average calorie burn of 600-900 per class. The online subscription platform offers a 14-day free trial for those of us not ready to commit.

Or, if you’re ready to level up your home practice, try a free trial with Movement for Modern Life, a subscription platform offering yoga, mindfulness and meditation videos by world-renowned teachers.

2) Host a dance party for one

social distancing dance meme

May the art gods bless Spotify user jenniferw613, who created this glorious playlist aptly titled “Social Isolation Dance Party.” For two hours and one minute, good vibes will abound. These tunes will definitely get you off the couch, moving and grooving, shaking off the stressed and depressed vibes. If you’re not feeling a full-on home workout, pop it on as you clean your room, do your laundry, bake a quarantine cake… guaranteed to enhance any at-home experience by at least 300%.

3) Discover belly dancing

le-harem chasseriau

“Le Harem,” Theodore Chasseriau (1852)

Want to get the toned tummy of a problematic Orientalist painting’s subject? We can help. Or, rather, professional belly dancer Leiah Isaac can. Head to her YouTube channel for tutorials, workouts and routines, including a whole section of Shakira-style workouts… you’re welcome. Not only will these moves kick your butt and tone your core, but Leiah Isaac is an actual ray of sunshine incarnate in a cute British girl’s body. There’s no chance you’ll make it through one of these without a significant mood boost.

4) Learn ballet from the pros

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“Three Dancers in an Exercise Hall,” Edgar Degas (c. 1880)

Or, if you’re more of a Degas kind of girl, check out this ballet workout series by the graceful demigods of the New York City Ballet. The hour-long videos are certainly dated, as evidenced by the scary hair height of Sarah Jessica Parker, who introduces the video. And yet, this might be the most serene workout video on the Internet. Peter Martins narrates in his smooth jazz radio voice while professional dancers demo the moves, all on a backdrop of a gentle classical soundtrack. Don’t be fooled, though—the moves are hard.

5) Bike your brains out

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That’s right, my spin class thots. Peloton is offering a 90-day free trail. Throw on your lulus and get ready to rumble—bikini season waits for no one

6) Be.come your best you

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Non-binary fitness and lifestyle culture figure by day, LGBTQ+ activist by night, Bethany C. Meyers has launched the workout platform that promises to right the wrongs of all the workout platforms that have come before. The be.come project offers one short workout each week, to be repeated daily. They’re only 25 minutes long, but scarily efficient—and if time isn’t really of the essence these days, you can always do it twice.

The moves are rooted in yoga, pilates and dance and can be modified for more or less intensity. Best of all, Bethany completely shuts down fitness culture’s most pernicious BS, like before/after pics. Join now with a 10-day free trail.

Eat

1) Rest and digest

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We’re usually too busy running from fair to fair to notice the days getting longer, but this year, why not celebrate the spring equinox properly? The turning points between seasons are wonderful opportunities to reset our systems.

Jasmine Hemsley, London’s favorite Ayurvedic It Girl, has put together a three-day “Cleanse + Reset” program, four easy recipes that’ll help your body emerge from its winter cocoon—no celery juice involved. If you’re feeling like your system needs a little reset, try this no-stress cleanse that you can easily throw together with the contents of your pantry.

2) Or, unleash your inner chef

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Looking to cook up a storm in style? Sakara Life’s S Magazine published a list of social isolation-themed recipes for all your quarantine moods.

Listen and watch

1) Peep Jerry Gogosian’s new podcast

The art world’s favorite anon memer has hit pause on the snark to call up some of the art world’s big names. In these candid, no-edit coversations, Jerry and her interviewees discuss what COV-19 means for the future of the art world. Available on Spotify.

2) Attend a concert in your PJs

Pitchfork has put together a daily, ongoing compilation of playlists, new music and even musicians hosting free livestreams to help us boogie the blues away.

3) Peruse Russell Brand’s YouTube channel

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Equal parts entertainment and enlightenment, post-spiritual awakening Russel Brand’s YouTube channel is utterly sublime. Whether you’re looking for a hot take on the current crisis, some Kundalini yoga, or just a good laugh, look no further. He has some things to say about social isolation and mental health, too.

Get cultured

1) Tune into the Met Opera nightly livestream

Since the famed Metropolitan Opera has been forced to close its doors mid-season, it’s now offering free daily livestreams of past favorites. Operas will be available to watch in the day following the stream. Check the site for the up-to-date schedule.

2) Visit a virtual museum 

With brick-and-mortar museums shutting down, you can still get your dose of arts and culture with virtual tours. Google Arts and Culture has teamed up with dozens of the world’s best museums to offer online tours of their collections, and the Louvre has put up its own virtual tour.

Get mindful

If there’s one positive side to this crisis, it’s that we all finally have the time to take care of ourselves. Many companies and organizations are generously opening their hearts and their content up to the public to help us cope. The Free Mindfulness Project has compiled an ongoing list of free online mindfulness resources, including online courses, live practice sessions, articles, apps, and even a collection of mindfulness poetry.

Or, for a smorgasbord of mindfulness and spirituality content, check out Gaia, a subscription platform that offers a free weeklong trial.

Get frisky

Instead of sitting around worrying about actual death, why not have a little death instead? While we’re waiting and praying for a cure for corona, orgasms might be the best medicine we’ve got. Lowering stress and boosting your immunity, having an orgasm is an obvious way to pass the time while you’re lounging semi-clothed in your bed, anyway. It’s a free activity that can be practiced alone, with online guidance, with a partner, or even in groups, if you’re into that. But remember, six feet apart!

Got any tips on how to make the best of social distancing? Drop us a note at @the_art_gorgeous and we’ll publish the best tips on our story.

Text by Katya Lopatko.

Images via WikiArt and Tumblr.

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