Co-Isolating With Influencers Moti Ankari and Christian Bendek

by Eddie Roche

Like many of us, influencers Moti Ankari and Christian Bendek have been under self-quarantine together in their Manhattan apartment. The Daily checked in with the boys for our latest installment of our Cabin Fever Diaries to find out how they’re holding up. 

Where are you right now and who are you with? 
MA: I’m currently at home with Christian Bendek. This isn’t so different since we do work a lot together, but we are spending more time than usual and typically have our own solo routines, which gives us some space and time for ourselves.

CB: I am home with Moti Ankari and it is pretty much the same. We live together and work from home, so it makes it easier. But we are about to kill each other… I find myself locked in the bathroom in the tub sobbing covered in towels most of the time since this whole shit started.

Have you learned anything new about yourself or Christian/Moti since distancing?
MA: I’m not an anxious person at all—and not to scare anyone, but the situation that we are in is very unique—and completely out of our hands. The feeling of being powerless really made me learn how bad my anxiety levels can get. I also learned that Christian really likes to sit on the couch.—or maybe I knew that from before, but noticed it even more now.

CB: I have learned that I can live without drinking alcohol (I’ve been sober for 4 weeks now), I have also learned that I have more patience than I thought I had and Moti doesn’t.

Moti Ankari and Christian Bendek

What is your social distancing/isolation theme song? 
MA: I can’t stop playing Forever by Fletcher—I STAN HER SO HARD.

CB: Getaway by Mac Ayres has been my saving grace.

What has been the biggest change to your routine?
MA: As a blogger/influencer our day-to-day is never the same which keeps our job exciting, a bulk of my day is having multiple appointments meeting brands and publicists, shooting on location and attending events, and now since all of that is cancelled. Jt really gives me a lot of free time to get creative. I still have a few conference calls for my shoe brand Ankari Floruss, but not nearly as many since we’re in a holding pattern at the moment.

CB: I can’t workout and I find myself constantly wearing baggy clothes and loungewear. My feet are actually so happy because all my shoes are tight and they are really enjoying this time off. But since I work from home aside from going to events and restaurants or traveling, it is pretty much the same.

What do you miss most about life before the quarantine?
MA: I miss my friends. I miss seeing my parents and family every Friday night for Shabbat dinner. I miss my freedom of going where I want when I want, but I 100% agree that we should all do the right thing and stay home to avoid contracting the disease.

What are you doing to decompress?
MA: I recently discovered I have a passion for baking! I’ve made brownies, a chocolate cake and a cookie cake, because instead of baking individual cookies they came out as one giant cookie, which led me to get creative and make a cake out of it. It came out amazing. I also love cooking. It really soothes me. I’m also cleaning out my closet, which is extremely therapeutic.

CB: I am taking a bath or two a day.—I feel it is not very environmentally conscious, but I need to do something to help me keep sane. Eating super healthy also makes me feel better.

How are you staying active?
MA: I work out every single day— usually taking a class or going to the gym for a solo workout so I’m trying to find ways to stay creative and still manage to work out. I’ve been using Melissa Wood Health’s app for yoga classes and SHRED For body weight workouts. They’re both really great and extremely user friendly. I’ve also gone to my friend @nathan’s Instagram page and done a few of his in-home workouts.

CB: I am not and it’s okay. I don’t know who needs to hear this but do not feel pressure to train and share workout routines  if you don’t want to train— if you just want to watch TV and cry, that’s fine too.

Moti Ankari

How’s your sleep?
MA: Really weird. I’ve been sleeping late. Waking up late. There are times at night that I’ll wake up mid-sleep and think the world is ending. Not to sound dramatic— but has anyone else been sleeping like that? Oh, it’s just me? Ok cool.

CB: Terrible. I wake up at 3 am, can’t sleep, go on my phone, have an anxiety attack, fall asleep around dawn and then wake up at 10 am and I feel it’s killing me. I am taking ZzzQuil and it’s not super helpful.

What was the last thing you ate?
MA: Oatmeal with one scoop of protein topped with green apples, granola and peanut butter.
CB: Same, we are trying to eat something healthy because we have a trip to St Barts for Memorial Day weekend that is not going to get canceled, I hope. I really want to wear this Versace thong I bought last December.

What are you doing to help others?
MA: I’ve posted on my stories the other day and asking people to reach out if they need anything and to see if I can help. I had one follower who was looking for hand sanitizers and Lysol wipes for him and his sick grandfather since they are totally sold out everywhere. I was lucky to find a few wipes and shipped it his way! Also, I’ve gotten reached out to by a ton of nurses looking for N95 masks—and although it wasn’t much, I was able to connect them with another follower who was able to help with a few. A little bit goes a long way.

CB: I am staying in— I locked myself home on Wednesday, March 11 when I saw things were getting crazy in Italy. I’ve been out just a few times to go to the supermarket—not even for a walk.

Are you using this time to work on anything special/anything you’ve been putting off? 
MA: I’ve been really having fun on TikTok—I always said I need more time to make more meaningful fun ones and now that I have all the time in the world I’ve been doing that. They’re fun I promise! (Follow me there, @MotiAnkari)

If you could be in isolation with anyone, who would it be and why?
MA: As much as I want to kill Christian sometimes— I wouldn’t have it any other way.
CB: I am already with my favorite person… so we good.

What do you wish you had an unending supply of?  
MA: Can money be the answer? I’m not sure why everyones panicking and buying everything- we’re not having a shortage of food so no need to buy the entire market. Buy what you currently need and grocery stores will be restocking—no need to be selfish and take the last 8 packs of toilet paper.
CB: Versace clothing

What did you probably buy too much of?  
MA: Cake mix— we definitely don’t need to be gaining 15lbs during this quarantine.
CB: Versace clothing… oh, for the quarantine?  Diet Coke.

Christian Bendek (Courtesy)

What are the last three things you Googled?  
MA: Best Yoga Apps, St. Barts and Capsule, the pharmacy app that delivers your medication for free— I just discovered it and it’s amazing!

CB: Ugly tattoos, KJ Apa and Four Seasons Maui.

What are you most anxious about?
CB: Catching that damn virus and dying, I don’t have health insurance so it is scary AF.

What’s on your isolation watch list?
MA: Toy Boy. I just finished it and it’s so good. It’s in Spanish—so once you get over the subtitles you’ll really enjoy it. I’ve moved on to Elite now and I have Self-Made, and Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu on my list too.
CB: Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City, any Nancy Meyers movies.

How has this experience changed your outlook?
MA: I’ve always washed my hands before this, but I’m going to do the proper 20 seconds wash after thi. Also, I’m really going to appreciate my freedom like walking and breathing fresh air.

What has been the most surprising thing about this whole experience for you?
MA: I really doubted the COVID-19—and never in a million years would have thought we would be in this situation— a lockdown. We need to realize that Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate —age, gender, race or how many followers on Instagram you have. Everyone can be affected by this and we all collectively as a group need to come together, not physically, because that would mean we’re not practicing social distancing, and listen to protocol —so if you’re one of those obnoxious millennials in Miami thinking that your Spring break is more important than the lives of others—Stay home!

CB: How mentally unstable I am! How much this is taking a toll on my mental health as opposed to my physical health.

Follow Moti and Christian on Instagram! 

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