Coronavirus

Coping In Quarantine: How Drag Star Bebe Zahara Benet Stays Centered

Bebe Zahara Benet
Justin Bettman

Bebe Zahara Benet photographed on Sept. 29 at RuPaul's DragCon NYC 2018.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and considering that May 2020 finds the world in the midst of a pandemic the likes of which we haven't seen in 100 years, it couldn't feel timelier.

As we all self-quarantine and try to keep our spirits up, Billboard decided to check in with some of our favorite drag queens and LGBTQ talent to see what they're doing in isolation and what techniques they're using to stay mentally healthy during this stressful time.

First up is Bebe Zahara Benet, the first-ever winner of RuPaul's Drag Race and current star of TLC's Dragnificent!, which finds Bebe working alongside three other drag queens to help a lucky woman prepare for her wedding. Aside from seeing Bebe on Dragnificent! and its companion series Behind the Queens, you can also catch her on the mic with her just dropped project Broken English.

From who she's texting the most to what she's binge watching, here's what the queen whose mantra remains "another day, another slay" has to say about her life in quarantine.

First Things First

"The first thing I do when I get up is pray and meditate to center myself for the day ahead. I ask for inspiration in my creative endeavors, guidance in my relationships and patience in my journey. It’s a great way to get focused for the day."

Texting Bestie

"I text my best friend and creative director, Diego, the most each day. We go back and forth about everything—projects we’re working on, reality TV gossip, music and fashion. If we ever see anything fun, silly or fierce, we share it one another."

De-stressing Techniques

"I go into the kitchen and cook with music on or go for walks around my neighborhood when I feel the most overwhelmed. This keeps me from getting too stressed out or going stir crazy. I especially love morning walks—with my mask on. I get inspired by just being alone with my thoughts."

Quarantunes

"Anything that feels uplifting and positive—gospel, vocal jazz and more—keeps me centered. There’s enough craziness going on throughout the world, music gives me a peace of mind."

Binge Watch Picks

"I love rewatching Real Housewives of Atlanta episodes, Project Runway, Making the Cut and other fun shows. If there’s fashion and/or drama involved, I’ll give it a watch. And of course I’ve got to watch my show Dragnificent on TLC!"

What's for Dinner?

"I love cooking. I’ve been eating a lot of grilled salmon, asparagus, kale salads with fresh fruit, Brussel sprouts and chocolate cake. I try to keep a balanced diet, but I always leave room for dessert."

Staying Creative

"I’m constantly having creative meetings with my team, getting inspired by what people are doing online and absorbing all of the creativity out in the world. That’s one of the great things about social media, as well. So much information and inspiration is at our fingertips. Know we have a lot of free time to see it, process it and engage with it."

What I've Learned

"I feel comfortable not being around people all the time, which is weird for a people person like me. I love chatting and being around people—but I am good without it, too. I love being able to sit by myself without getting bored and not needing to interact with people in person."

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