The world is experiencing a transition to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic which is completely unprepared and unprecedented. The recent changes have tipped off the balance for every section of the society. With the COVID-19 lockdown, the work culture across the globe has changed. Work from home is the new normal, for at least a few more months. The workload is unavoidable in a corporate job. Besides being on your toes all the time, there's a constant pressure of being ahead of all your peers. Also, with little job security, there is a constant fear of losing your job. Work from home (WFH) may have given us “a perspective on slowing down” as we spend more time with our families, but it has also added to our responsibilities. Whether it’s household chores or increased office workload given our availability beyond working hours, the result is that some of us are feeling stressed out and anxious. Working under a stressful atmosphere not only creates panic and causes headaches but can also lead to insomnia, hypertension, weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, etc.
So what do our experts suggest on how to tackle this stress…
Accept your worries and anxiety as being normal. You are no different from any other individual in feeling the way that you are. Understanding this would allow you to not feel victimised or singled out in your experience.
Shift the focus to the present moment. In place of worrying about what would potentially happen, attempt to keep pulling yourself back into where you are and what you are doing in the moment. Keep working on one day at a time.
Ask for help. Being home all day doesn't mean you can or should manage the home life without help.The tendency to take on too many tasks without help becomes a source of stress. If you need help balancing home and work, ask for it from your spouse, partner, relatives, friends and/or children.
Schedule wisely: Focus on what you can control. Plan ahead and demarcate time to do the different things that you need to. It would help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and allow you to take a problem-solving approach.
Make sure you connect with friends and family. Use visual mediums and social media platforms to stay more engaged with family and friends. This will help you cope with the isolation you may experience.
Take care of your body: Practice mindfulness or meditation to help yourself feel relaxed.
Reach out to experts for tele-consultations or use any of the helplines available if you feel you are not able to cope.
Most importantly, remember to be kind and compassionate with yourself and don’t be too harsh in passing judgment about how you are feeling.
As per WHO guidelines, It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis. Talking to people you trust can help. Contact your friends and family. If you must stay at home, maintain a healthy lifestyle - including proper diet, sleep, exercise and social contacts with loved ones at home and by email and phone with other family and friends. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a health worker or counsellor. Have a plan, where to go to and how to seek help for physical and mental health needs if required.
Get the facts. Gather information that will help you accurately determine your risk so that you can take reasonable precautions. Find a credible source you can trust such as WHO website or, a local or state public health agency.Limit worry and agitation by lessening the time you and your family spend watching or listening to media coverage that you perceive as upsetting.
Draw on skills you have used in the past that have helped you to manage previous life’s adversities and use those skills to help you manage your emotions during the challenging time of this outbreak.