2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily lives considerably: healthcare workers are providing care in difficult circumstances and fear bringing COVID-19 home with them; students are taking virtual classes while their parents are juggling work and overseeing homeschooling; workers have lost their jobs or are worried about layoffs. And many people, including those with mental health conditions, are suffering from social isolation.

On Mental Health Day, the FreemanWhite team wanted to share the mental health practices that have helped them through this year.

Mark Sweeney, Director – Project Management

  • Do not stress over things you do not control.
  • Be empathetic and recognize the atypical nature of things is not permanent.
  • Keep social media and news watching to a minimum.
  • Enjoy the outdoors in some way every day, and get a good night’s sleep.
  • I’m pretty sure M&Ms are important as well.

Steven Curtis, Operations Manager

Limiting the consumption of media, via social platforms or TV, especially as we approach Election 2020. Since I’m working from home fulltime, maintaining a “work” and “home” schedule keeps me balanced.

Steven’s home office

Mark Snyder, Project Architect

Things were getting a little stressful when we were all stuck at home. My wife, a skilled pianist and clarinet player, wasn’t getting enough relief playing just those two instruments. During one particularly stressful moment, one of us – I’m not naming any names – said, “I really want to hit something.” We decided pounding on a drum set was the best solution. So we bought a standard drum kit and have been banging the skins to relieve stress. The neighbors are not impressed, and the offers from famous rock groups have not been as plentiful as I anticipated. But it beats the alternatives.

And yes, my wife is the better drummer.

Mark’s wife showing her drumming skills

Liz Jones, Project Coordinator

I help my neighbor walk her dogs, but we stayed socially distant. Also, cooking more; being home every day has made it easier to cook dinner at night. I also have zoom calls with my siblings and parents.

Sam Pruitt, Project Designer

I think human health/wellness/wellbeing have been at the forefront of many minds during this strange time. We have done two things, primarily, to take care of ourselves.

  1. Minimize stress in our home by controlling visual clutter and maintaining a good rhythm of cleaning/tidying each day so we are able to unwind in the evenings and on weekends.
  2. We have been intentional about immersing ourselves in nature by literally getting outside or bringing in as many natural elements as possible into our home.

I swear our family walks have kept us from the brink of explosion a few times, haha. My kids are just better “people” when they get away from interior distractions (devices) and get outside to explore.

Sam and his family enjoying a walk

Header image of Keebler Pass, Colorado, by Ron Maddox, Senior Plumbing Designer.