Work can be stressful enough, and when you add the heightened anxiety brought about by a viral pandemic, stress levels can really shoot up. The coronavirus has disrupted everyone’s life significantly. It has forced us to change the way we live and work. Each day brings news of more infections and more deaths.
For many, the constant worry about avoiding infection for themselves and loved ones can make daily living sometimes hard to bear. It can even lead to depression and other mental health issues. It is important during these times to find ways to cope – and to know where to go for help in handling these issues. When you are feeling overwhelmed, it is especially important to realize that there is nothing wrong with seeking help. Here are a few tips on handling the stress at work.
1. Get some help
If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, it may help to try and reduce your workload a little to get some breathing room and dial down the stress. If you are able to delegate work, that is one option. Or you can ask colleagues for some help.
2. Get away from the desk
It is not a good idea to work through lunch. The cost outweighs the benefits. Taking a walk during lunch is also a great way to relieve stress and improve your mood. Studies have shown that walking for as little as 12 minutes can improve your mood. It also helps to clear your head and increase your energy.
3. Take care of yourself.
This may seem like common sense, but during times of heightened anxiety, people may forget to do this. Taking care of yourself means getting enough exercise and sleep and eating well. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes each day of physical activity. Most people also need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Eating well means avoiding processed foods and sugar, as well as too much alcohol.
We often don’t give much thought to these key lifestyle ingredients. In fact, when work piles up or we have family issues to take care of, we skip the exercise and sleep or look for something we can eat quickly, even though it may just be empty calories.
But these lifestyle components are probably the most important factors in maintaining good health and dealing with stress. They affect our cognitive ability, our energy levels, our immune systems, even our emotional states.
4. Resources for help.
Here are some places you can go for help if you are feeling really overwhelmed.
Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233
National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-TALK