How We’re Coping during COVID-19

9 minute read

This year has brought many challenges for all of us, and everyone is experiencing the pandemic differently. Some are juggling work and parenting. Some are grieving the loss of a loved one. Some are isolated from friends and family. Some are feeling the weight of the ongoing racial justice movement. Some are still trying to convince their relatives to wear a mask! And some are experiencing a multitude of these things all at once.

When faced with these challenges, it can be easy to feel hopeless, angry, sad, or stressed. Most of us aren’t qualified to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, and the cure for racial injustice isn’t as simple as an injection. While it’s important to stay informed and acknowledge these struggles, it’s also important to care for your mental health, and take the necessary steps to nourish your wellbeing and build positive energy.

We put out an open call to better understand how our teammates were coping during COVID-19, and RVers around the world responded candidly and thoughtfully. As you’ll see, coping looks different for everyone — and that’s okay.


“I cope by …”

“Taking pictures of my cats, rearranging my bar cart and trying to raise houseplants.” – Melanie Lieberman, Senior Travel Editor | NYC

“Becoming a passionate runner. Running has become my morning meditation and habit. I plan to participate in half marathons and marathons for the first time in the near future. Also have been coping by creating reading habits.” – Luis Roman Gerardino, Senior Associate | CLT

“Cooking outside on my BBQ/smoker and by taking long walks with my wife and my dog… the winter is going to be rough.” – Jacob Virgil, Director | CLT

“Reading lots of books / playing with foster kittens to get them ready for their future homes / singing showtunes loudly and off-key, but with sincere enthusiasm / playing video games with my kids.” – Sarah McTigue, Editor | FL

“Working with my doctor to get on an appropriate level of antidepressants because the lack of contact or interaction was really making my depression unmanageable. I guess we can say crafting and reading as well, but that can only distract for so long.” – Anonymous

“Committing to an exercise schedule that builds to a specific end goal (e.g. running a longer distance).” – Anonymous

“Becoming a serial hobbyist, trying out every random thing that I’ve always thought I didn’t have the time to learn. Guess who hand-embroidered her own patch last week? :)” – Mariah Ackery, Writer | CLT

“Taking small mental breaks throughout the day. I have a basket filled with slips of paper with mental break ideas on them. Several times a day, I pick an item from the basket and walk away from my desk to do it. For example, it might be a short exercise routine, listening to music, playing with my dogs, doodling or going for a walk. This has made a huge difference in my days!” – Lisa Shasky, Director | CLT

“Taking a weekly hip hop dance class on Zoom.” – Jackie Cruz, Associate Photo Editor | SF

“Always having something new to look forward to, whether that be plans to go to the lake, camping, social-distance hangouts, just something to keep me looking forward.” – Megan Feichtel, Engineer | CLT

“Replacing my daily Atlanta commute fighting traffic with my daily ‘Walk to Work.’ Before the workday begins I walk a three mile loop to my home office. No traffic, no social distancing issues, and I still get to listen to sports talk radio hosts argue about what Braves and Falcons need to do to finally ‘win it all.'” – Robert Caiello, Account Director | ATL

“Reading before and after work each day. It’s replaced my commute and acted as a mental break – plus it’s perfect for when you run out of Netflix shows! I just finished book #37 of COVID so let me know if you need any good fiction recommendations!” – Katey Mishler, Senior Associate | CLT

“Cooking a nice breakfast every morning for my family. We usually don’t have time but now that things have slowed down, it brings us together.” – Anonymous

“Going out in the back yard and screaming until my throat is sore and my voice is gone. JK. Working at RV Healthline affords the opportunity to surround myself with stunning colleagues and invaluable information to stay focused and balanced. And, my wife is the most remarkable person on the planet Earth for tolerating my endless Zooms. We’re enduring the pandemic well, gratefully.” – Steve Swasey, VP of Communications | SF

“Practicing yoga and currently learning to teach Growga for kids! Also, growing plants from seedlings… (Did You Know: you can grow an avocado tree from that left-over avocado seed?)” – Kailey Zahurones, Benefits Coordinator | CLT

“Taking things each day at a time. That and taking pictures of my cat, who we conveniently adopted in February. I have some cat-loving friends and family, and participate in the Healthline “cat chat” Slack channel, and somehow sharing his adorable self is a simple way to mark time and get excited about life.” – Kendra Smith, Editorial Director | SF

“Fully immersing myself into the reality of what is going on in the world when I’m working, and then fully immersing myself into my children’s reality when I’m with them. For me, this is switching off through being present.” – Yella Hewings-Martin, Research Editor | UK

“Taking a long bath after a hard day. I use Bath and Body Works’ stress relief aromatherapy body wash / bubble bath, watch some Disney+, and afterwards I use my aromatherapy pillow mist to help relax me as I fall asleep.” – Anonymous

“Taking long walks on the beach—I mean the beautiful Charlotte greenway! I also cope by aggressively cleaning in the afternoon so my workspace is one that sparks joy!” – Kat Everett, Recruiter | CLT

“Journaling daily on my phone. I start my mornings with a minute of gratefulness journaling. I write down three sentences such as ‘I’m grateful that I can breathe easily and walk freely. I’m grateful that I have Melissa by my side in life. I’m grateful that there is so much abundance and happiness around me.’ My journal / behavior log acts as a ‘scoreboard.’ I write down my goals, aspirations, realizations, etc. I found that having this scoreboard allows myself to focus on all the good things I’m doing and not the negative.” – Dean Doukas, Associate Front End Developer | CLT

“Staying isolated — it’s helped me a lot. The fear of COVID escalates a lot of my anxiety so I’ve been diligent about not venturing out. With that, I’ve been very intentional about seeing a small group of people every week or weekend and constantly changing my work environment. This has made it feel like I’m socializing without risking a lot of my anxiety triggers.” – Anonymous

“Receiving therapy and taking antidepressants. I tried more yoga, more Zoom lunches, lots of other things. Ultimately it’s okay to not be coping well and to need more help.” – Anonymous

“Running 3 miles a day and spending quality time rolling around on the floor afterwards with my two cats, George and Sarabi.” – Daniel Doyle, Senior Engineer | CLT

“I cope with COVID-19 by increasing the cadence in which I see my therapist. I had been visiting my therapist for my regular ‘mental health equilibrium,’ but after COVID began and the fear of sickness, finances, and uncertainty kicked in, and my anxiety went through the roof. I am fortunate to have found a great support system that is there when I need them.” – Anonymous

“Going on a hike once or twice a week before work. It means rushing out of the house as soon as I wake up, but the peace and beauty of nature are so worth it.” – Chris Doka, Copy Editor | NY

“Closing my eyes and eating a random Lindt Chocolate Truffle from a variety pack after lunch every day. Being able to tell which filling it has helps me know I don’t have COVID.” – Sean Murphy, Director | CLT

“Trying to focus in (daily) on small ways that I can make a positive impact for my wife and kids. I look for ways I can take on some of the unending burden of caring for two ‘littles’ (2.5 yrs and 6 mo) during these strange days. Whether it’s doing bedtime routines, playing outside after dinner, or giving my wife a break on the weekend, I try to find a way to be helpful. I fail at it regularly, and I’m constantly reminded of how prone I am to be incredibly keyed into work and chores, at the expense of my family. Shifting my focus to their needs keeps me focused on what’s truly important. That and my faith are what keep me going right now.” – Ben Nowak, Associate Engineer | CLT

“For the first time in my life, I’m listening to myself and paying attention to my own needs. Being an enneagram 2, my default is to put others before my own needs. At the start of all this, I thought I was going to seriously struggle with the isolation. So I shifted gears and changed my default from helping others to focusing on myself. Instead of being involved with multiple projects (church council, multiple leadership teams, etc.) I decided that my only outputs are going to be directed towards work, so I can bring everything I have to the table – even though it’s not much at times. Everything else I do is focused on myself and what brings me energy: joining CrossFit and going to the gym 5 days a week, hiring a nutrition coach, being part of a comedy sketch writing group, and hiking (the goal is to hit 100 miles by end of August … 46 to go).” – Ruth Russel, Associate Creative Producer | CLT

“Keeping myself informed but not overloading on news.” – Anonymous

“Learning the latest line dance lessons online!” – Sharon Giannotti, Senior UX Designer | FL

“Setting goals that are creative and more conducive to staying healthy during quarantine. My favorites so far have been, creating and maintaining a windowsill cactus garden (15 so far), taking up sketching and painting, mapping out my family tree, and really fine-tuning my stock and retirement portfolio.” – Justin Holm, Campaign Manager | SF

“Having regular virtual sessions with my therapist.” – Joanne Anderson, Senior Performance Coach | ATL

“There’s no reason to ‘cope.’ Life is awesome!” – Gene Sloan, Senior Reporter | NJ

“Doing all the things I kept putting off before quarantine — spring cleaning, deep dive into my finances, and trying out new recipes for example!” – Anonymous

“Giving myself 15-30 mins every morning before I start working to write in my journal, read a chapter from a book, etc., to clear my head and put myself in the right mindset for the day. I also brew enough coffee in the morning so that I have a hot cup with breakfast and use what’s leftover for an afternoon pick-me-up iced coffee. #nectaroflife” – Katie Greenwood, Accounting Manager | CLT

“Yardwork / landscaping — it’s never looked better!” – Michael Sousa, Director | CLT

“Cooking breakfast and dinner. I started to get more creative than before and have realized that a couple of minutes in the kitchen with headphones on makes me feel good!” – Jesus Arroyo, Associate | PR

“Appreciating my commute-free mornings. Time I would’ve spent in the car is spent reading the paper or a book — as screen-free as possible.” – Anonymous

“Riding my motorcycle through backcountry winding roads early in the morning. It’s still cool at that time and there are almost no cars on the road!” – Alfonso Cabrera, Platform Engineering Manager | CLT

“Understanding that some days I don’t feel very successful at coping. But when I do, it’s when I make time to sit in the garden with my cat, sink into a good book (preferably fantasy), relax with a deck of tarot cards, or watch a calming video by Liziqi.” – Naomi Farr, Copy Editor | NH

“Doing silly things like running to catch the ice cream man with my son. We’ll get him one of these days.” – Anonymous

“Doing creative workouts, setting weekly mini goals, and trying new things as much as I can — such as leading some RV virtual workouts!” – Carlos Jiminez, Director | PR

“Thinking that one day I will be able to eat the RV cookies again!” – Raphael Fabeni, Engineering Manager | CLT

“Walking my dog by San Francisco Bay while listening to a UFO podcast. It helps to keep my mind off of the problems here on Earth.” – Lisa Tsering, Newsletter Editor | SF

“Playing the piano to my new puppy who I rescued this year. He does not care how bad it sounds as I learn my way through new music. Especially since I always throw him a Kong of peanut butter and cage him so he has to be subjected… mwaa ha ha ha.” – Ben Carter, VP of Engineering | CLT

“Keeping my workspaces and humanspaces compartmentalized. The kitchen table, where I eat and scan the news and tinker with my fantasy baseball lineup, is off-limits for my work laptop. The same rule applies to the bedroom, which is for slumber.” – Anonymous

“Taking long drives when I get cabin fever too bad. I open the sun roof, blast my music and hit the road. Even if it is for an hour, it helps to calm me and get rid of some of my anxiety.” – Kenyetta Paudling, Compliance Associate | CLT

Share:
Back to top

About the Author:

Sarah Harris | Associate Creative Producer

Sarah joined the Red Ventures creative team in 2018 after graduating from North Carolina State University. (GO PACK!) When she isn't whipping up killer content for the Corporate Communications team, she can be found posting pictures of the many frogs that live around the Charlotte campus (there are like, a lot).

Related Articles

Interviewing 101: Tips and Tricks to Help You Crush Your Next Virtual Interview Read More

Interviewing 101: Tips and Tricks to Help You Crush Your Next Virtual Interview

Interviewing can be scary, especially if this is your first time doing so virtually, or since having been furloughed. Our recruiters are here to help.

The Secret Life of Lisa Shasky Read More

The Secret Life of Lisa Shasky

What does a Director on our Internal Product & Platform team have in common with Peter Parker? It's more than you'd think. - 4 minute read

Managing My Imposter Syndrome as a Road to Hire Mentor Read More

Managing My Imposter Syndrome as a Road to Hire Mentor

"I sometimes forget that from my tech mentee's point of view, I'm the expert of the field." Dean, a Road to Hire mentor, shares his story here. - 3 minute read

We’re Hiring!

Feeling inspired?

Red Ventures Careers