by Mita Mallick · 20 Apr 2020 · 3 min read
What we are going through as a nation and a world is completely unprecedented in our lifetime. Other than finding reputable advice on COVID-19 from the CDC and WHO, we are all looking to one another for support to create a daily road map for this uncharted territory we are all traversing with high anxiety. Everyday, we are stuck wondering how we will get through this experience and questioning if we are making the right decisions or not. It is nervewracking. I know these feelings well, as I endured them for more than a year after the onset of PTSD back in 2016.
We live in strange times. The pandemic is far more serious than many people initially wanted to believe.
If you're feeling stressed by the current global crisis, you're not alone. After all, our sense of normalcy has been upended almost overnight. Health worries, economic fears, "social distancing," and uncertainty about the future have created in many of us a sense of deep unease. Add to that a 24/7 news cycle focused almost exclusively on the latest information (or misinformation) about the crisis, and it can start to seem like everything is spinning out of control.
Iwoke up last Monday unable to get out of bed. I was lethargic, had a faint headache, and could feel a sore throat coming on. I felt blue and just didn't want to move. Not so unusual given that many of us are confined to our homes and experiencing a flood of emotions. We all have had our share of days when we just don't want to get out of bed lately.
Since starting my entrepreneurship journey almost three years ago, running my own PR agency from all over the world, my weekends disappeared. I replaced brunch and lazy mornings with crafting media pitches, strategies, and research. Sure, I enjoyed my weekends and did fun things, but work was still a priority. When you are a business owner, the stakes are high, and taking a full day off (let alone two) seems wrong. There is always something more that can be done and life becomes an endless cycle of to-do lists. Then COVID-19 disrupted the world
I am a first-generation Mexican-American daughter of immigrants. Both of my parents were born in Mexico and eventually naturalized in Texas. I have been the first to hit many milestones in my family and life. I was the first to go to college, I was the first to go to grad school, I was the first in my family to enter the world of finance, I was even one of the first Latinas in my group at a Wall Street bank.
How do we build an emotional moat around ourselves so that we can still thrive in a time such as this?
The day I started writing this essay, I got in a spat with my husband while I was baking brownies with the kids. He didn't understand why I had doubled the recipe. Despite the fact that I announced this fact multiple times, because I wanted to make them thick like I did as a child. As soon as I poured the batter into the pan, he came in and said, "Oooh, that's going to be so thick! Shouldn't we split the batter into two pans?" I saw red; I lashed out on him telling him how dare he question my nostalgia brownies and why not just say, "Thank you for doing this with the kids and I can't wait to eat them"? He looked at me like I was crazy.
The spread of the current pandemic and the resultant quarantine is affecting all of us at the moment, and for each person its effects are unique. Something I know I've been struggling with in the midst of this change is holding onto my creativity, and somehow I don't think I'm alone in that fact.
I have been a single mom for the better part of my 20-year-old son's life. And for the past 10 years of it, I have had virtually no help in raising him. I made this single mom thing work by prioritizing my son and his needs above all else. Next came the job, because, well, I had to pay the bills, and lastly came me. Always.