Keep Ya Head Up Interview: Téa, American Essential Worker

We recently caught up with Téa, an essential worker, to find out what her experience has been like working in a supermarket during the COVID-19 pandemic and how she is keeping her head up through dance and more.

TBYTWhat has your experience been like as an essential worker during this time?

Téa: It’s definitely been interesting to say the least. I’ve seen both the good and the bad versions of how everyone has reacted to everything going on. It’s definitely a learning experience for sure, it was hard, but in the end, it made me a stronger person. One thing I had to learn right away was to take everyone’s negative reactions towards myself and my other coworkers with a grain of salt. Everyone is going through something, and it’s best to not take comments too personal, otherwise it’ll get to you.

TBYT: As an essential worker, what is one thing that you wish people would keep in mind when they interact with you and your coworkers?

Téa: One thing that I wish customers would understand is that we, just like them, are humans. For some reason, especially now, people have been more ignorant than usual, and I understand their frustration. But we’re frustrated too, and we have to push through everything with a smile on our face. We’ve been working harder than ever just to keep everything going. I just wish they would treat us like normal people and not use us as a way to take out their frustration.

TBYT: How are keeping your head up in the face of this pandemic? 

Téa: Three things have helped me greatly in the midst of all of the chaos. Dancing, meditating, and staying away from social media more than I usually would. All three have helped me slow down time and really appreciate the little things. Dance has always been an outlet for me, but it’s helped me now more than it ever has. Meditation sounds cliché, I know, but my version of it isn’t just breathing in and out. It’s stretching, yoga, cooking, or listening to my favorite songs with no distractions while I sit outside. It’s quite peaceful. Staying away from social media has honestly been a blessing. There is so much negativity everywhere you look, no matter the platform. So some days I’ll ditch it all together, and some days I’ll check up on a few things. But once I start to feel my anxiety creeping back, I’ll ditch it again. When I’m not on social media, I’m in a much better mind space and I’m very productive. I highly reccommend ditching social media for a bit if you’re feeling anxious or depressed. It does wonders.

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