Stress Management in Context of Current Pandemic

By Sr Dr Judy Lewis
Sr Dr Judy Lewis UFS is a clinical psychologist and counsellor.
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October 31, 2020

INTRODUCTION

Due to the pandemic of Covid-19, which has affected the whole world, it has also brought all of us to a stressful situation. In India, the number of affected people is jumping in leaps and bounds every day. Among the most affected people are our children as they have lost almost a full year of their academic life. Since it is natural for their parents to experience stress during these pandemic times, I am sharing few of my thoughts with them just to help them know how they can cope with stressful situations.

Stress is actually unavoidable. School Children experience stress while appearing for school exams. An adult experiences stress while appearing for interviews and then in the execution of his or her job. Old people experience stress when they fall ill and cannot move about. Stress is the companion of our life.

Then we can ask the question what stress actually is. In our ordinary language it is nothing else than tension, pressure or burden and strain of our responsibilities. So why do we feel or experience stress in our body? We experience it due to worries, and worries due to anxiety and anxiety due to stress and stress leads to burnout and depression. That is the reason why you must have heard some students or young boys and girls attempt suicide due to their inability to cope with the stressful situation.

An example for stress could be this: someone is competing with me in my job. So I want to prove that I am better than she or he. What is the result? Result is stress. We have many causes for stress. For example, misunderstanding, competition surrounding our employment and targets to be attained, lack of time management so on and so forth. Some people work morning to night - they are said to be workaholics - expecting maybe a promotion and later on they are prone to get exhausted and burnout.

MANAGEMENT OF STRESS

This leads us to the topic of how to manage the stress in life. Stress could be made beneficial to us when we know how to manage and streamline it. Stress helps us to achieve many things in life. But we need to know how to deal with it and manage it. If stress is allowed to go to the extreme, there will be a breakdown. This means stress leads to worries, tension, anxiety and finally breakdown. Do we ever consider that our energy is limited and our potentials are finite? Overburdening our minds and entertaining too many desires beyond our capacities result in stress that can lead ultimately to breakdown.

Research on stress has indicated that approximately 70 to 80 percent of health diseases are related to stress - for instance heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and the like. Know therefore the importance of stress management. Right from the moment of birth till the last breath, each and every individual is always exposed to various stressful situations. Thus, stress is not only inevitable and unavoidable, but also a normal part of human life. A person without stress is a lazy person, who simply wants to waste his life. If he wants to achieve anything, he has to face stress.

STRESS MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

Let me present a few of the techniques which you parents can put into practice in order to manage the stress that you experience in day-to-day life.

The first and the easiest one is the ‘laughter’. It is said that laughter is the best medicine against stress and there is truth in that. It is very difficult indeed to remain stressed and tense when you’re bursting with laughter. Scientifically speaking, laughter is very beneficial as it increases oxygen supply and relaxes muscles in the diaphragm and chest. What happens when you laugh? Your brain produces endorphins which are neurotransmitters of happiness. Laughing is also contagious. If you get a group of friends together and watch funny movies, and if one starts laughing, soon all the others join in.

Other readily available means are body-massage, adequate sleep & rest, playing games and sports, doing some exercises like yoga and most important, eating healthy food. All these are means to reduce stress. Still another help to reduce stress is forgiving, yourself and others. If you go on with hurt feelings and guilt feelings, you can never be at peace with yourself and with others. Therefore forgive and forget, reconcile with others, whoever he or she may be and be at peace. There is no greater medicine than peace for a person who is in stress. Of course, yoga meditations can go a long way to reduce stress. But it needs regular training and desire to learn the methods of meditation. Those who can do it go ahead and be joyful and relaxed.

COPING WITH STRESS

The next important aspect of management of stress is coping with it when it occurs. Hence coping with stress is the next point that we like to deal with.

How to cope with stress? There are some important strategies which you can employ to cope with the stress. These are: learning to take life the way it comes could be one; stop blaming others is another; learning to live in the present and working for the future could be the third one. The fourth one is maintaining a harmonious relationship with others. Responding to situations with equanimity, detachment, courage and determination is the fifth. Avoiding negative emotional reactions like anger, grumbling, gossiping and apprehensions are the sixth; and the last one is seeking professional counselling.

CONCLUSION

To conclude, we can affirm that Stress is manageable but it needs efforts to regulate your thinking and to change your behavioural patterns. Learn to lead a well-balanced life of satisfaction. Stress is a companion of our life. Only a lousy person who does not want to achieve anything in life can afford to live without stress. But normal stress is necessary for a normal life. Who would like to get up early in the morning and prepare breakfast and pack up for the office to earn your daily bread? Which child would like to get up so early in the morning and go to school – if there was no stress which compels us to do things and perform, we could be totally relaxed. But it is not possible in the contemporary context of the world. But stress is dangerous when we allow it to cross the limits. It is the cause of many physical and mental problems and illnesses, loss of mental peace and anxiety. Hence we need to learn to manage stress. If we manage stress properly, it will be with us to achieve great things in life. Stress will make us dynamic personalities. It will impel us to work systematically and manage our time well. Stress should go along with relaxation. Learn to relax your body and stress will not disturb you. Cultivate the habit of relaxing your mind and stress will make your intellectual life very fruitful.

 

 

 

Comment on this article

  • Same, Kuwait.

    Thu, Nov 5 2020

    Dear Dr.Judy very good article about stress. Congratulations.

    Agree [1]

  • Jason, Udupi/ Thottam

    Thu, Nov 5 2020

    Dear Sr. Judy. Thanks for the inspiring article.

    Agree [1]

  • Shanthi, Mangalore/USA.

    Wed, Nov 4 2020

    Congrats. Good article. Keep writing.

    Agree [2]

  • Diana, Kuwait.

    Tue, Nov 3 2020

    Dear Dr.Judy very good article about stress,which is beneficial to the readers.

    Agree [3]

  • Nancy Lewis, Kemmannu/Mississauga, Canada

    Mon, Nov 2 2020

    Congrats Sr Dr Judy Lewis
    You are Genius! I have read your previous articles too. All well written.
    A very timely advice during this difficult time of pandemic. The tips and techniques you advised surely will benefit many readers. Hats on to you Sr Dr Judy. Keep up the good work.

    Agree [3]

  • Lancy, Bahrain

    Sun, Nov 1 2020

    Dear Dr.Judy very good article about stress. I think so many people have financial and future problem that is why can not balance personal and professional life because more of expectation.

    Agree [6]

  • Frans, Capuchin, Philippines

    Sun, Nov 1 2020

    Congrats Sr. A very effective article so to say in the language of common man. Simple and power techniques to manage our stress. For surely many will gain from this great resource. All the best.

    Agree [6]

  • Leedia, Chickmanglour

    Sun, Nov 1 2020

    Dear sr Judy your article stress management is very much appreciated. You have explained it very well. This article is really medicine for those who are in stress due to their work load and our life's situations. So for this great article you have written to us thank you very much. Congratulations to you. May God be with you.

    Agree [6]

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Sun, Nov 1 2020

    Nice article, but if the person is financially broken down what sort of option is available??

    Agree [11]

  • Sr Lily Fernandes, Mysuru

    Sat, Oct 31 2020

    Dear Sr Judy
    Thanks for the inspiring article. The pandemic Covid -19 has resulted in frustration in many people. Your timely article will surely help to come out from this stress and frustration. Thanks for the good tips.

    Agree [5]

  • Trenitha, Mangaluru

    Sat, Oct 31 2020

    Thank you sister.
    It's a practical article and suits to this situation where virtual dealings creates stress and tiering wirld. As a student I got few ways to relax and take ease life amidst busy schedule.

    Agree [5]

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 31 2020

    I would like to add that a well planned day reduces stress to great levels. To be an achiever there need not be a mix of stress in the formula. A self realised person can live a stress free life, but it needs practise lest we g back to the old habits as the mind is used to repetitions and a slave of habit.
    Very nice article with lot of important information.

    Agree [6]

  • Fr Vincent D Souza, Capuchin, Mogarnad

    Sat, Oct 31 2020

    Dear Sr Judy, the above article is well written and very much useful to cope up Stress. In the present scenario Stress is unavoidable but can be managed. You highlighted the techniques which are necessary for our daily living. Thanks a lot for this wonderful article which is beneficial to the readers. Thanks a lot.

    Agree [8]

  • Joe Gonsalves, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 31 2020

    Dear Dr. Lewis, I join scores of people in congratulating you on your meaningful and instructive ADVICE on STRESS MANAGEMENT.

    The, people all over the world are going through the trauma of STRESS and your ADVICE has come forth at the right time.

    Just for your information I am a ninety-nine old person and I am trying to manage under the difficult circumstance the world is going through.

    Agree [8]

  • Fr Richard Mascarenhas SJ, Puttur/Bidar

    Sat, Oct 31 2020

    Congratulations dear Sr Dr Judy Lewis . It's a very good article on Management of Stress. You have nicely explained what is meant by stress and how one experiences it in ones life situation. Besides, you have also offered some suggestions and techniques to cope with the stress. No doubt the article will be a great help to our parents and teachers to understand their children and students in this particular time of Covid 19 pandemic. Kudos to you.

    Agree [9]

  • Arun Dsouza, Mangalore/Saripalla

    Sat, Oct 31 2020

    Stress Management in the context of present pandemic time is a timely article to live a normal life with all ups and downs of one's life. Life is all of stress and it is left to every individual how one handles it. Congratulations Sr Dr. Judy Lewis for the timely article.

    Agree [9]

  • Asha Monteiro, Ukkinadka

    Sat, Oct 31 2020

    Dear Sr. Judy very good article to mange stress. U have explained how stress is the cause for various disease in the body and forgiveness is the medicine, at which I am reminded that Jesus too used same method when he healed. He said your sins are , take courage... and so the patients were healed. In the same way when one is clean within can be fearless about future days and thus free from tension worries. Thank u for inspiring with your deep reflections.

    Agree [10]

  • Ivan Saldanha-Shet, Mangalore.

    Sat, Oct 31 2020

    Dear Sr., Thank You....Indeed very timely and fitting, practical..to be read by many hopefully. Bound to be of use and give results if followed suitably. The months ahead too are not going to be easy according to forecast. Please all be careful and positive in thoughts, while encouraging all around you.-

    Agree [14]


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