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  • Keisha Mathew

    Keisha J. Mathew is a mom, wife, artist, social activist, writer, party planner extraordinaire, licensed clinical social worker, and youth and family advocate with skills and experience in the mental health field. She lives in West Ridge/West Rogers Park with her husband, two kids, and their Yorkie, Zoomy Zoom.



    Keisha Mathew

    Keisha J. Mathew is a mom, wife, artist, social activist, writer, party planner extraordinaire, licensed clinical social worker, and youth and family advocate with skills and experience in the mental health field. She lives in West Ridge/West Rogers Park with her husband, two kids, and their Yorkie, Zoomy Zoom.

    Reflecting on COVID: Being with my family 24/7 has strengthened us in a way that I never could’ve imagined

    In retrospect, that milestone year in front of a screen was painful for all of us — and I am so grateful for the shift that occurred when it did.

    Like most of us, the first month of the 2020 lockdown felt very confusing. After our family had an energy-draining cold while vacationing in Costa Rica, I recall asking myself, “Did I already have Covid-19?” Knowing how many people were losing their lives made the winter of 2020 all the more intense. One of the most heartbreaking moments I felt was when I came to the realization that my kindergartner was going to spend his first year of school on a computer. Remote learning was necessary at the time, but extremely frustrating.

    In retrospect, that milestone year in front of a screen (while, on occasion, our WiFi tempted our faith) was painful for all of us. 

    My wanderlust suffered as well; canceling anticipated trips was a gut punch. Just imagine: your best girlfriends coming over, all excited about your first girlfriends’ trip together, only to be crashed by a global pandemic!

    [Related: Self-care during Covid: Creating your own pandemic slowdown]

    I wanted to scream about the lack of incentives I was used to rewarding myself throughout the year. My stress from working at home and managing the stress of my children led to my weight gain, sleepless nights, and hair loss. As a therapist, other healers like myself experienced our own pandemic trauma on top of providing care to clients and our families. I was in need of some empowerment.

    During the spring of 2020, I experienced a mental reset. I committed to an intermittent fast and went down to my pre-baby weight. I began to practice yoga and meditation on a daily basis; I felt reborn. A light had been turned on in me that led to a fire that could not be doused.

    That fire rose after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. My voice as a Black woman became more pronounced in my work and personal life. My connection with my chosen family and momma tribe was stronger than ever because of their support, allyship and authentic empathy.

    [Related: Help your kids capture memories of this strange year]

    Being with my family 24/7 has strengthened us in a way that I never could’ve imagined. I learned intimate things about my children that inspired me to start a virtual community for families of mixed backgrounds. (I currently have 2.3K subscribers on my YouTube channel!) It’s been a wonderful outlet for me as a Black mother. It’s been even more inspiring to hear the impact it has had on my viewers and interviewees, as well.

    I've been humbled by the willingness of estranged family members to participate in family FaceTime on Sundays and Thanksgiving. Taking nature walks with our new puppy provided the movement and vitamin D that was lacking due to quarantine. These intentional practices saved me and my family from going down the path of toxic behavioral patterns.

    I am so grateful for the shift that occurred when it did. It has prepared us for the return to human interactions. We now have a wide variety of coping skills to keep us grounded, and we're grateful in the acknowledgment that how we feel and think is what is in our control.



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