Lady Gaga may be a mighty Mother Monster to her fans, but the coronavirus pandemic has left her feeling less powerful than usual.
The “Chromatica” singer, 34, told USA TODAY she shares what many people feel during this time: “an epic sense of powerlessness over what’s happening in the world.”
“We’ve encountered a super virus that is epic in its disastrous proportions,” she said. “So that feeling of powerlessness in some ways is, I think, something that we all share.”
The pandemic has energized her in other ways, though, adding that it has “really mobilized me to work on how I can help the world.”
One way she’s taking action is by partnering with the International WELL Building Institute for its WELL Health-Safety Rating, which assess what buildings and businesses have taken steps to reach a certain level of safety amid COVID-19. Spaces that meet the requirements receive a WELL Health-Safety seal that indicates they’ve passed.
Gaga believes hopes it will be “one of the movements that is part of building back our global community and building back our local communities,” by showing people that we “can get back to quote-unquote normalcy, but we must do it safely.”
She’s also been focused on keeping her mental health in check by staying active.
“It’s been really important to me that I continue to move my body. It’s really important for my mental health,” she said. “So I’ve been doing, you know, regular exercises that I would normally do. But I mostly take walks, and I mostly hike. I wear my mask, and I go on hikes.”
She said she “used to be really nervous about hikes” because of her chronic pain condition, but she’s overcome her concerns.
“I found during COVID that… you can grab the courage that’s happening in the universe and grab that bravery and put it right inside yourself and be fearless,” she explained.
She hopes others stay active, whether through an online yoga class or a “walk around the block you live on,” while the world is “in the midst of a mental health crisis.”
“I really encourage people to move their bodies and be in the world. Wear masks, stay safe, but don’t forget to move. Because when your energy’s stagnant like that, it really can lead to mental health problems,” she said. “I really believe that by practicing everyday skills… like moving your body, drinking lots of water, eating healthy, making sure to take care of yourself, self-care – these are things that we have to make sure that we’re doing to take care of our minds.”
Gaga also got outside to perform the national anthem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, which she described as a “beautiful, joyous day.”
“I felt very, very honored to be there, I still feel very honored to have been asked to sing our national anthem, and it will always be an honor for me to sing to the great people of this country,” she said. “And I really wanted to sing for everybody. In a moment of healing, of togetherness, and I had very much in my mind also the building of the beloved community, the beloved community that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of.”
She added that she was “just so taken by” the words of Amanda Gorman, the Harvard grad, National Youth Poet Laureate and youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history that became a breakout star of the inauguration.
“She was just brilliant – What a lovely, lovely young woman,” she said of Gorman.
Of her own performance, Gaga added, “I really just want to continue to do work that I believe is essential, which is kindness. Kindness is essential.”
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