Handling Stress in the Covid-19 era

Handling Stress in the Covid-19 era

If you alive right now, you are likely feeling a crazy amount of stress. Whether unemployed or fully employed, there is increasing pressure associated with the unknown. As you factor in that very few businesses are thriving (with some obvious exceptions) — it is clear that the pressure to survive is immense for virtually every organization.

If you are unemployed, the amount of competing applicants is staggeringly high. And if you are employed, the amount of stress your company is experiencing is passed onto you. (It’s hard to miss the signs of company stress during a pandemic).

As this totally “not made-up” graph shows — the stress at work has nearly doubled during the Covid-19 era.

I have yet to mention what everyone is likely dealing with within their home environment. Nowhere to go, no care for the kids, or the parents, masks everywhere, and a lot more juggling to obtain some semblance of normal. This is a time where home and work are so blended together, the result has been an increase of stress all around. From friends to family to coworkers — the stress levels have certainly increased.

How to deal with the increased Stress

Up your Empathy

Your own stress management starts with empathy for others. Everyone that you are working with is going through something right now. Whether you work from home or are making your way to the office, start with a personal check-in. In the end, the easiest way to stay sane is to build empathy for what others may be experiencing. See Simon Sinek on Empathy for more.

Add some Humor

This is an odd time, and things are weird. One of the best ways to manage your stress levels is levity. The more stress that is thrown your way requires equal portions of humor to manage it. Please do not underestimate the value of laughing – there is plenty of data to support the importance of humor in times of stress. However, you should start with Loretta LaRoche thoughts on Humor – she’s fantastic.

Find Self-Forgiveness

There are days that suck. And more of them happen in times when people and the company may need to battle. The best thing you can do for your stress is to forgive yourself for having it. In stressful moments, which there are a lot more of now, you’ll say things you’ll regret, or you’ll not say things you wish you had. It’s ok. It’s important to forgive yourself and do it quickly. There is enough stress with the current situation without you piling it on yourself. See more from Josh Galarza on the topic of Forgiveness.

Add a Side Hustle

Get a side hustle going. A side hustle is something outside of your day job where you can be your own boss. It invites you to be scrappy and to live in your aspirations. This mentality will get you out of whatever cycle you may be in at your day job. Stress melts away when you are in control – a side hustle can help with that. Watch This is the Side Hustle Revolution by Nicaila Matthews Okome to learn more.

Demand Work/Life Balance

This is the hardest one to keep, but work/life balance should become a priority for you. I block 2 hours a day for “Dad time,” and I’ve stopped working on weekends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m working a ton of hours for my company, but if I don’t have “personal non-negotiables,” I will be working every minute of every day.

Establishing a work/life balance requires a lot of self-discipline combined with bosses that respect these boundaries. Ensure success by making it clear why you need this during the Covid-19 era. Watch How to Make Work/Life Balance Work to further your knowledge on the subject. But also watch (and read the comments) for The Fallacy of the Work/Life Balance to understand how incredibly difficult it is to suggest a holistic approach to the issue.

References and Resources

The Way We Work TED Series

Supporting Music

Mad World by Curt Smith and Diva Smith

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