My Journey Through The Pandemic & A Divorce To Single Motherhood And Entrepreneurship

By Hsin Chen

In the fall of 2019, my husband, kids and I moved to Spain. Five months later, the pandemic began. We were stuck at home during lockdown while trying to settle in this new place, understand a brand new culture, and get my documentation ready so I could go to work. My children struggled. My marriage strained under the weight of it all, and then it all came crashing down like Jenga blocks. In July 2020, I was in my own apartment after my separation and divorce, and yet I remember the relief of it all.

Yes, I felt all the emotions imaginable: sadness, guilt, disgust, anger, fear. After having two children back to back, my health wasn’t 100%, and I was tired of feeling subpar. I decided to get on with my life by facing all of these things. I knew my kids needed a strong mom, despite what I might be feeling inside. The first think I knew I had to do was work on creating healthier sleeping and eating routines. Then, I did these four things:

Decluttered relationships

Single parenting is busy, messy, and hectic. Not everyone understands, and some people will be negative. I realized that I had a choice. I could stop allowing these people in my life and keep my mental space clear, or I could keep letting them in my head. I chose to declutter. Decluttering relationships is pretty simple. You have to first be aware that sometimes decluttering relationships is necessary to help you get into a healthy mindset. Then, identify the negative relationships. If they can be readjusted, great! If not, then let go and move on. When I recreated my core group, I intentionally surrounded myself with the right people. 

Practice Mindful Living 

Have you ever walked out of your home, only to later wonder if you’d locked the door? Don’t fret; you aren’t alone. According to a Harvard Study titled “Wandering mind not a happy mind“, 47% of American adults aren’t paying full attention to their actions, and this mind-wandering can cause unhappiness. 

Mindfulness is a way of living in the present moment and being fully aware of our words, feelings, and actions. It’s the process of looking and observing within ourselves without judgment. Mindfulness exercises can be used to help regulate emotions, manage stress, and cope with anxiety – all things that are part of single parenting. Because of mindful living, I’m more comfortable making better decisions and using self-talk to navigate through those decisions. 

After beginning mindful living, CBD was introduced into my life and it became a natural aid for relaxation and improved sleep. I often incorporate CBD with meditation, breathing exercises, and hot yoga practice. The efforts of my wellness journey helped me become a calmer, more confident single mom. Ultimately, it allowed me to enjoy motherhood. 

Practice Gratitude

Now, the kids and I are able to eat out and go on vacations because we’re financially stable. It all started with a shift in mindset. I could either blame the universe for leaving me in a foreign country amid a pandemic and divorce, or I could choose to live with gratitude. I chose the latter. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I’m grateful for shelter, living in the lovely city of Barcelona, and that my kids are happy learning in school. This is the motivation for improving my life step by step and for giving back. Giving back is one of the most powerful healing remedies! 

That’s how I decided to start Ehalo Care. I launched Ehalo as a way to share premium quality CBD products with women who are suffering from anxiety and stress, especially single parents. Not only that, but I also launched a website called Nanani World. Through this site, I offer advice on single parenting, wellness journey, and much more. These two projects have been my passion projects, the ways through which I’m giving back to single parents everywhere.

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Asking For Help

I started Ehalo Care with support from around the world. During the pandemic, I spent countless hours in front of the computer to make things happen in the U.S. Without my support system, starting my business would have been nearly impossible. 

Whether it’s starting a business or on the journey of single parenting, I know I’m not alone! I looked through my network and searched for various kinds of support. It is okay to ask for help. People will turn you down if they can’t help, and that’s okay, too. If you don’t reach out, your chance of getting help will surely be zero. 

Take time to identify possible sources such as banks, investors, financial institutes, and perhaps friends and family if it’s possible. For example, I’ve reached out to my former colleague from the IT industry asking for eCommerce platform advice. I’ve called friends with start-up experience to prepare me for the possible challenges ahead. During the product testing phase, multiple relatives and friends came forward to participate with honest feedback. 

Our first product-styling shoot was produced by a group of friends that were kind enough to lend us their private studio and were willing to take their weekends off shooting for Ehalo. The company wouldn’t exist without the support of trustworthy partners willing to handle the local details. Ehalo was born with tons of help and blessings. Reach out for help and ask for advice!

Just like all start-up companies, we’ve made mistakes along the way, and the learning curve is steep. If running a regular business is tough, starting a hemp business is even tougher. From the day that I decided to start Ehalo Care, it took more than a year to launch the business. From writing a business plan to diving deep into every detail for product quality and safety control. 

It hasn’t always been fun. My background is in marketing, so I naturally levitate toward that. Document applications and technology matters aren’t my favorites, but I had to have hands-on learning in eCommerce modules and systems. 

Embracing uncertainty is also part of my entrepreneurial journey. There will always be something that strays from the original plan. I’ve learned to be resilient but adhere to the core of the business: mission and value. When rejection arrives, I try to receive it with a positive attitude and use a solution mindset to keep moving forward.

That philosophy hasn’t just made me an entrepreneur – it’s made me a thriving single parent. 

Hsin Chen is a single mother of two children who has lived in Singapore, Hawaii, Boston, New York, Sao Paulo City, and Taipei City—currently residing in Barcelona. International exposure is her norm; adapting to change is her strength. Traveling to discover new cultures is her passion. She worked in a marketing and communication agency before moving to Barcelona. Today she is the Founder of Ehalo Care and Nanani World. Follow Hsin on Instagram, and visit the Ehalo and Nanani World websites for more.

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