Updated: Apr 24, 2020
While we're collectively going through something we probably never expected to ever experience in our lifetime, there are many ways we're processing, coping and dealing with the unknown. Some of us may be taking the time to learn something new or perhaps picking up an old hobby we simply lost touch with. Some of us may be binge-watching all of the Netflix or Hulu shows we never seemed to have time for before. Maybe we're trying to keep active and healthy both physically and mentally with yoga, at-home workouts, meditation, cooking healthier foods, etc. The important thing to remember is we're all going through this experience together, but we all feel its impact differently. Maybe it's not the same way you're choosing to get through, but try not to judge the way others are. Most importantly, don't judge yourself. Be kind to one another. Be gentle to you.
Personally, I needed a little inspiration! There's nothing that inspires me more than music and my favorite artists. I was curious about how some of them are spending their time social distancing from the world. Disconnecting? Interacting with fans? Creating? I spoke with singer/songwriter - overall artist, Emilie Brandt. I first discovered her from her breathtaking vocals on her track with Illenium "Lost" on his album, Awake. From there, I couldn't get enough and after discovered the variety of her own original work, too. Between her album, Freeform, original singles and various collaborations with other EDM artists, Emilie Brandt is by far one of my favorite vocalists. Here how she is spending her quarantine:
1. How are you holding up during these unpredictable times? A positive outlook and grateful perspective are crucial to staying grounded. How are you spending your time keeping a happy and healthy mind, body, and soul?
2. Are you turning to art and music to keep inspired? Creating it? Enjoying it? Both? What/who has helped the most?
Emilie Brandt: 1+2. I'm pretty vocal and open about my mental health, but this isolation and huge shift in my day-to-day routine have been especially difficult for me, as I'm sure it is for many people. I've been struggling with the pressing guilt of needing to utilize this time effectively, but the reality is that what we're dealing with in the world right now is unprecedented, and there is no "right way" to deal with it. Personally, I've been spending a lot of time not just writing music, but exploring my other creative outlets such as drawing, painting, or macrame (I've started a new Instagram page dedicated to my non-music related creations-- @embrandt.pdf). On days where it feels too forced to sit down and create something, I like reading books, going outside for some fresh air and sunlight, exercising, whether its a walk or yoga or just some stretching, cooking, listening to music, calling or texting friends I haven't connected with in a while, or writing in my journal to just get out some emotions or thoughts. I've also spent a lot of time meditating, and it's important to note that meditation isn't always just sitting in silence-- you can also try active meditation. Engaging in simple, mindless tasks, such as going for a walk, doing laundry, doing the dishes, cooking, organizing your closet, etc, calms and clears your mind in the moment and helps keep you grounded.
3. Many people might be scared or living in fear. What is a message of encouragement you can leave them with to motivate a more peaceful mindset?
Emilie Brandt: Living in fear isn't living! Stress is the silent killer, and can take a huge toll on your body and mind, and can even weaken your immune system. Sure, there is a lot of scary stuff happening in our world right now, but it's important to find peace, whatever that may look like for you. My advice is to start accepting the "good enough" mindset. If all you can afford to do energetically today is lay in bed and listen to music or watch a movie, that's good enough! Of course, don't let yourself just become a vegetable-- but if there are days where that's the best you can do for yourself, that's definitely okay.
4. What are you most looking forward to when we no longer have to live our lives social distancing from one another?
Emilie Brandt: Pretty obvious, but I'm really just looking forward to human interaction again. I miss in-person co-writes, coffee dates with friends, and the love felt in hugs. On a positive note, I think this whole situation has already created such an awareness for how much we take for granted. And hopefully, after all this forced and excessive introspection, we all come out of this more focused on creating a more healthy and sustainable work/life balance.
If you haven't already, check out my interview with Emilie Brandt from the beginning of last year! I can only hope we can sit down together again sometime soon to connect again! Check out her music on Spotify, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emiliebrandt
Stay safe and healthy. You're not alone. We will get through this stronger, more aware, and with far more compassion, empathy, and gratitude.