Coping With Stress During COVID-19 Pandemic
With Bagia Saputra
Stress & Anger Management Specialist
It has been a month that I’ve been working from home, and I suppose, many of you do too. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world significantly, including our personal and work lives. By this period of time, we should have been more aware that everything in our lives are intertwined; you cannot separate each aspect: your health would affect your work/business, relationship, family, and finance/wealth. It also works the other way around. How businesses are struggling or even shutting down, people are being laid off, employees are being forced to take unpaid leave to stay at home, schools are closed, children have to learn from home accompanied by parents, families have to be with each other 24/7.. These circumstances would lead to the increasing level of stress whose cortisol hormone, according to Harvard Medical School report, could weaken the immune system in the long run.
Yale Health defines stress as a physical and emotional reactions to a perceived threat, whether it is real or not. Researchers proved that the lack of ability to cope with stress might lead to mental issues such as anxiety and depression as well as physical issues such as autoimmune, Alzheimer’s and heart diseases. The good news is stress management is actually a skill that you can acquire and train!
Here are some tips or what you can do to cope with stress and live peacefully during the pandemic:
1. Limit your news intake
Usually the most common and overlooked stressor is the overflowing of information. Information is indeed helpful, however if it’s too much or false/fake, it might backfire and cause more stress. It is time do declutter the news that we receive and only stick to reliable and valid sources.
2. Identify your stressors
Be aware of any sources of stress and how it affects you mentally, emotionally and physically. The stressors might come from work, finance, relationship, family or health. To help you assess your stressors better, start journaling the stress that you face daily and find the root of the issue.
3. Meditate and go inside yourself
In order to dig deeper into the root cause of your stress, you need to go within, and meditation is the most practical tool to help you go inside yourself. American Psychological Association (APA) has recommended meditation to combat stress. Meditation allows you to be more aware of the state of your thoughts, emotions and physical being and reconnect to the forgotten experiences that became the seeds of amplified stress that you experience today. Once you can pinpoint the root cause, you’ll be able to address and resolve the issue and eventually empower yourself to de-stress easier, maintain your strength, and boost your immune system.
4. Focus on what you can do
The founder of The Golden Space Global Organization, Master Umesh H. Nandwani always says “What you focus, expands”. Instead of being concerned of and frustrated by the things that you cannot do due to the lockdown, focus your energy into doing something that you can do to elevate your mood: brainstorm on the innovative and creative approach to your work, reflect on your life, rethink your career, find your life purpose, take online courses, learn new things, resume your hobbies, work out, etc.
5. Take charge of your life
You will not allow fear, worry or anxiety sabotage your power to create the life that you desire: the happy, healthy and purposeful life that you are destined and meant to live!
Stay healthy, keep calm and meditate!