How 5 Women With High-Stress Jobs Are Staying Positive Through The Pandemic

Photographed by Shingi Rice.
My pandemic low point happened in the produce section of my local grocery store. Four months into COVID, working from home in a tiny apartment with two roommates, across the country from my family, and still fooling myself that everything would be back to normal by the next month, I’d been coping the only way I knew how: throwing myself into work. (It’s a privilege to even have steady, safe work in a time like this, I know, but still not the healthiest coping strategy.)
What started out as normal eight-hour days snowballed into 10- to 12-hour marathons staring at my computer screen and running solely on coffee and energy balls. Which is what led to me, standing in the middle of a Metro, bananas in hand, having a full blown panic attack.
We’ve all had days, weeks, months, like this the past year. While they may look different for everyone, depending on privilege, circumstance, and how well we manage stress, the pandemic has stretched women, and especially women of colour, in ways we never imagined. And we are feeling it: A report by the Canadian Mental Health Association found that 44% of Canadian women said their mental health had declined during the pandemic.
Here, we asked five women whose high-stress careers only became more high-pressure during the pandemic, just what they do to cope with their stress and bring themselves joy (and yes, bingeing Netflix is definitely on the list).

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