Fashion designer Alejandra Alonso Rojas sits down with her parents every day at lunch. They’re in Madrid, Spain, where she is from, and Rojas is in New York with her 15-month-old son and husband, but she’s trying to maintain a sense of closeness over FaceTime. Rojas, who is a a fourth-generation hand-knitter, has been feeling particularly far away from her family these days. Her grandfather passed away from the coronavirus last month, and she’s been grieving. “It’s been hard to be creative,” she said. But she’s keeping busy. To raise money for her team, she did an archive sale online, and 30 percent of her current collection sales will also go to No Kid Hungry and God’s Love We Deliver, where she volunteers once a week. She’s also making time for her own physical, mental, and spiritual health. “Last night, I was finishing some work and my husband was giving my son a bath. I just wanted to be with them, and the water seemed so nice, so I literally jumped into the tub with my clothes on,” she said with a laugh. Here’s how Rojas is carrying on:
Morning workouts: One thing that’s been helping out so much has been doing a virtual workout class like every other day, very early in the morning. I’ve been doing “The Class.” I love it because it’s super intense and a little crazy, but I feel like we’re all a little crazy right now. It was complicated in the beginning, because I had my son jumping all over me and the dog, but I pushed through. My son actually loves dancing along. I started with 20–30 minutes, and I’ve been able to extend it to an entire hour. It’s exhausting, but it makes me feel so much better. It gives me purpose for the day.
Lighting a candle: Another thing I’ve been doing is lighting a candle every day and meditating and sending positive vibes to people who are sick right now, or need help, or who went the way of my grandpa. He passed last month because of COVID. It’s been a peaceful way to deal with my feelings, and my grief. I’m pretty far away from my family right now — they are in Madrid in Spain — so sitting down and thinking beautiful, positive things helps a lot. I’ve been using my meditation candle from 3rd Ritual. There are golden studs in it that measure the minutes, and they make a beautiful sound when they fall off to finish the meditation.
Making time to read a novel: I’ve always loved reading, but I don’t really have time most days. It’s something I associate with holidays. Since lockdown started, I decided to read a novel when my son is taking a nap. I needed some time for myself. I’ve already read five! One of my neighbors is a writer, her name is Reggie Nadelson, and I was telling her right before the lockdown that I had run out of books. She was like, “Oh, no worries! I’ll bring you some!” I love mystery novels, and she actually wrote several of them years ago. It’s a series about a New York detective named Artie Cohen. I’ve read Hot Poppies, Bloody London, Disturbed Earth, Red Hook, and Fresh Kills. I know it sounds crazy but they’re really good.