We all find ourselves affected by stress at some point in our lives. For each person, the definition of stress can vary, as we all have different levels of stress. This stress is usually caused by a “threatening or challenging situation […] referred to as a ‘stressor’” . Our body responds to the stressor by facilitating “increases in heart and respiration rates, blood pressure, perspiration, and energy production” . Long term, stress can mentally and physically harm you, causing you to develop problems such as “cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety, immune system suppression, headaches, back and neck pain, and sleep problems” .
There are many ways that a person can combat stress. Recognizing what you can/can’t control can be a big reliever of stress, as it helps you to realize that there are some things that you cannot change. Another effective way to handle stress is to open up time in the day for yourself. This can involve :
● Getting more sleep/proper rest
● Practicing different techniques to relax
● Avoiding the continuation of bad habits
● Managing your time wisely (by scheduling, planning, and organizing)
● Seeking help when you need it
Now that we have experienced the differences between working at home and working in the office with the introduction of COVID-19, we have, in turn, exposed certain stresses in the workplace, as well. Work related stress can be divided into internal and external causes, of which internal causes have to do with “an individual’s mind-set,” and external causes include job insecurities, very odd or long work hours, overloading or under loading work, etc. .
Some of the tips above may not be as attainable for those who are working a full schedule, but workplaces can also take measures in order to combat stress in the workplace. This can include: effective communication, providing employees with proper work-life balance, establishing diversity in the workplace, and bringing security to employees.
So, although stress is a very universal topic, there are many different forms of stress and different ways to combat it depending on the individual and their environment. Remember that “there are individual differences and preferences” . What is important is finding a method that works for you and remembering different methods might work at different times.
1. Jackson, Erica M. Ph.D., FACSM. STRESS RELIEF: The Role of Exercise in Stress Management. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal 17(3):p 14-19, May/June 2013. | DOI: 10.1249/FIT.0b013e31828cb1c9
2. Panigrahi, C. M. A. (2016). Managing stress at workplace. Journal of Management Research and Analysis, 3(4), 154-160.
Author: Kayjah Taylor
Editor: Lauryn Agron
Health scientist: Catherine Sarwat