How to handle stress throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.

In such unprecedented times, many of us find ourselves experiencing the stress and anxieties of rapidly changing routines and work practices, heightened risk to ours and our loved one’s health, and increased uncertainty for what the near future holds. If you are experiencing any of these negative outcomes from the Coronavirus pandemic, ‘business as usual’ may seem a far cry from reality.  The Clear Company would like to offer some free practical advice on how to handle your stress throughout this crisis to ensure we are all caring for our wellbeing whilst still providing optimum performance in our work responsibilities.   

Stress is both a psychological and a physiological response where often, your environment triggers an influx of stress hormones that increase blood pressure and heart rate. Whilst short-term stress has been shown to have many benefits on physical health and the immune system, chronic stress can slow the function of immune cells, increase susceptibility to infections, and even increase your likelihood of developing chronic illness and disease. Furthermore, stress is detrimental to work performance because it causes: 

Circle of hands together
  • Burnout 
  • Withdrawal 
  • Lack of engagement 
  • Absenteeism  

In the situation we find ourselves in today, it is important to manage your stress levels. Not only to ‘keep calm and carry on’ but to stay healthy both physically and mentally. 

What can I do?

Body scan  

Apps such as Mindspace or practicing yoga will help you tune in with your body and catch the early signs of stress. By paying more attention to our bodies we can notice stressors before they manifest in more severe physical or emotional symptoms.   

Sleep  

Stress can have a detrimental effect on sleep, especially in current times where you might be feeling the pressure of increased job demands, juggling working from home and childcare, or caring for ill relatives. The temptation to work throughout the night or stay awake ruminating is ever prevalent. However, it is important to remember that sleep is vital for our physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing; the stress hormone, cortisol, is lowered by getting enough sleep and sufficient sleep also improves the immune systems and helps fight off sickness. Keep an eye out on our socials for our upcoming blog about sleep!  

Exercise  

Exercise has repeatedly been shown to have profound effects on stress. As isolation measures tighten, consider going outdoors for a run or walk, or even doing some simple exercises at home every day. Not only will the endorphins trigger a positive feeling, but a little exercise each day will boost your immune system.   

Mobilise psychological therapists  

Organisations are responsible for ensuring the physical and mental care of their employees – this still includes employees who are working from home! The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have a different impact on different employees, so it is critical that line-managers check in on their colleagues and provide the right support for everybody’s situations. For those struggling to handle the stress of the ever-evolving situation, professional help should be provided. If help isn’t readily provided, staff can check with occupational health to see what’s available.  

Keep in touch  

We all find ourselves in the same surreal situation so you may find comfort in knowing those surrounding you feel the same way.  Reach out to your colleagues and check on how they’re managing, reach out to the new starters and see if they need any help or guidance and reach out to any vulnerable members of your team to offer comfort.   

 Be kind to yourself 

If working from home is causing you stress, check out our guidance on how to work from home. If your stress has been triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding it, trust that this moment in history will pass. Trust in our incredible health service and researchers globally who are working around the clock to cure and find a cure. Trust that your family, friends, colleagues and associates are doing their best to prevent the spread of the virus. And trust that you can get past this. 

The Clear Company are here to support you in these unprecedented times with all of the assistance, guidance, learning and implementation support required to successfully manage business as usual

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