Chicago College of Performing Arts

The Center for Arts Leadership is a newly launched center for empowering students and alumni of the Chicago College of Performing Arts through experiential learning and growth opportunities in community engagement, social justice and career development.

We’re All In This Together: A Guide to Surviving Social Distancing During COVID-19

Hello CCPA Friends,

If you are like me, the weight and anxiety caused by the reality that is COVID-19 is starting to hit hard. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having a few emotional breakdowns over the last week during conversations with roommates, friends, and family members. With the decision to participate in social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus, our daily lives, education, work, and even friendships will be experiencing lots of change in a very short amount of time. While I never expected so much change to happen during my final semester at CCPA, it is important to remember that we are all in this together, as a community.

Shot of the High School Musical Cast Dancing

Actual footage of us dancing our troubles away as a team, like Troy and Gabriella.

In a few days (a week if we are lucky), extroverts like myself will probably find themselves feeling like Rapunzel, trapped in a tower and wondering when their lives will be back to normal.

When will my life begin?

Fun Fact: Did you know Rapunzel’s kingdom is called Corona? Ironic, right?

While it’s easy to spend time focusing on the negative, I instead would like to offer some advice, resources, and ideas for this time spent in self-quarantine. (Brace yourself for some silly memes I included to lighten the mood.)

Maintain a routine. It’s hard to not take advantage of this situation and sleep your cares away but getting up and going to bed at the same time every day will help you feel more normalized. Choose a specific time to wake up, exercise, work on academics, attend class, clean, practice, cook, eat, meditate, journal, play games, and to check in with family and friends.

Schedule during COVID-19

A pretty relatable schedule during this difficult time.

Exercise at home. Now is the time of the living room workout! You can burn off that Freshman 15 by virtually going to the gym. Try the different Youtube channels that tons of positive reviews and plan a workout that best suits you and your goals. Fitness Blender, Blogilates, Popsugar Fitness, The Fitness Marshall, Yoga with Adriene, and HASfit are just some of the many popular options out there, and many of these channels don’t require any equipment to feel that burn. I personally love a good old-fashioned Jazzercise routine, like this one….Just kidding, but if you were at Jazzercise during Health and Wellness Week, you know that it’s both a good workout and a good source of the giggles.

Pug Planking

This pug feels your pain!

Do something creative, EVERYDAY. Whether it be participating in Lucas Meachem’s “Arias While Washing” challenge, ordering art supplies on Amazon and following a Bob Ross painting video, practicing fundamentals, giving a concert for family and friends via Instagram live, knitting a blanket for next winter, creating a dance routine for the latest bop, learning a new monologue, writing a short story, or even coloring in a coloring page. Keep your creative juices flowing and spread joy through your art!

Bob Ross painting

Is it even possible to be stressed when painting “happy little trees” with Bob Ross?

Think ahead and check things off your academic to-do list. Set an academic goal to accomplish every day and work towards successfully finishing your semester. With everything going on in the world around us, the will to focus on academics may be extremely low. However, setting small, daily, achievable goals will help you to conquer classwork over the next few weeks one task at a time.

Patrick Star crossing off his To-Do's

How it feels with all of the free time brought on by social distancing.

Fill time by learning something new. Do you have a dusty, old instrument in your house that hasn’t been touched since you were in elementary school? Learn how to play it! Have you always wanted to learn a different language? Download Duolingo or Rosetta Stone. Want to learn that new awesome hairstyle or makeup look? Watch a Youtube video and try it out. Interested in learning about a different field or administrative skills? Join an online class for FREE. Many of which are available via coursera. You can find a full list of available courses here.Buzz Lightyear showing Woody all of the learning opportunities in the world.

Practice. Just do it. It will be hard without having performances to prepare for, but it’s important to keep those skills up so that you can perform incredibly in recitals, plays, ensemble concerts, and even auditions next fall. Challenge yourself. Continue to grow. Work on your weaknesses. Practice sight reading. Work on memorization and try new memory techniques. Play with different interpretations. In times like these, the world needs art and you have a place in that.

Should I be practicing right now? Flow chart.

Don’t think you need to practice? Think again.

Start Spring Cleaning. Now is the time for cleaning your dorm room, apartment, house, mansion…whatever you live in! Clean the shower, your fridge, appliances, ect.. Make it shine like the top of the Bean! Go through your closet and consider donating what you don’t wear to those in need during this trying time. Need some extra cash while you are out of work? Try selling the items you find or don’t use on websites like Poshmark or Vinted.

Spring cleaning is like a treasure hunt!

Limit your screen time. I cannot stress this enough. It is so easy to get carried away with the news in the media, the hardships around the world, and even the opinions of others. It is important to be informed, but it is also important to maintain your mental health during this crisis. When I want to limit media usage, I like to set limits on specific apps. To set limits for an android device or an iPhone, follow the links.

Too much screen time.

Read a book. In my opinion there is nothing better to escape the troubles of the world than with a good book. Unsure of what to read? Check out this list of “The top 100 books Americans love the most”, sift through the New York Times Bestsellers list, or download some of the books listed in the Amazon Best Sellers (many of which you can download for FREE).

When you lose track of time from reading too much.

Cook something new. Try out that recipe that you have always wanted to make. Be creative with the ingredients you find left in your fridge or at the grocery store. has a great option to search for recipes by ingredients.

Cooking Ramen.

Check in with friends and family. It is important to remember that your community cares. Check in on your extroverts and make sure that they are okay being stuck in an antisocial situation. Touch base with your introverts and make sure that they have a safe place to be. Touch base with your community, let them know your needs, and let them know if you are struggling. Also, make space for fun! Create a Netflix Party and watch your favorite movie or TV series together. Facetime or play games together online. One of my personal favorite games to play with others is While it isn’t free, it includes multiple games and allows you to play with anyone, no matter where they are, as long as they have a phone. All you have to do is download it and share your screen! Remember, while we are distancing ourselves, it does not mean our social lives need to end.

Dogs facetiming each other.

Enjoy some entertainment. While it is hard to be stuck inside, there are so many options beyond watching Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Take a virtual tour at one of your favorite museums that is currently closed to the public. Attend a virtual concert hosted by one of the most prestigious ensembles. For an updated list of all online arts and culture activities currently available, click here.

Confused statues

These statues are shocked that you can now virtually view them at any time.

Open your windows and let that natural light in. My view is unfortunately that of a brick wall, but anyone with natural light should take advantage! Vitamin D is important for our bodies to stay happy, healthy, and full of energy. Not to mention that using natural light will help you to save money with your utility bills.

Happy seal enjoying sunlight.

I hope you find some of these tips to be helpful, let us know in the comments below if you have any more advice or if you put some of my tips to use! I will surely miss seeing your lovely faces in the halls of CCPA but know that being apart is for the better. Wishing you all health and safety during this crazy time.

See you on Zoom,

Kaitie Krogh

Kaitlyn Krogh's Headshot






Center for Arts Leadership Graduate Assistant

MM Voice Performance – Class of 2020

CALCCPACCPA Center for Arts LeadershipCCPAartsleadcovid-19

amontanari • March 23, 2020

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