We can't escape the cultural and historical moment that we live in.

Painting of medical workers holding white coats 4 black lives matter
Painting by Carolyn Olson


We can't escape the cultural and historical moment that we live in.  I can fully accept that.

It's hard to have good mental health in this context, even if you started out with fairly decent mental health, and many of us didn't start out with that. I think it can be very destabilizing for people, and I know it has been for me. 

It's taken a lot of effort every day to make sure that I am doing healthy things and staying with my values around good health and what the elements of that are for me, movement, good food, regular exercise, all of that stuff, having a schedule, for me anyway. I know for a lot of people, the freedom to not necessarily follow exactly the same pattern all the time can be very stabilizing too. But for my nervous system, I need the stability of more or less rising at the same time every day, more or less going to bed at the same time every day.  I know that if I start to feel depressed or anxious or overwhelmed, that those are things I can do to re-stabilize myself. 

I feel more creative at the moment. I'm doing more writing and more creative work in general, and I'm not sure whether there would be a pandemic or not be one, whether it would make any difference. I'm not sure if it's a factor. I think I have more grief and sadness and depression and anxiety than I would otherwise have, for sure. But I think we can't step out, we can't escape the cultural and historical moment that we live in, and that's the nature of it right now, so I also can fully accept that.

— Mitra Emad



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