Today the world is more dynamic and volatile than ever before and many people can hardly cope with life’s changes. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic created big changes in how we live and how we understand normalcy. Almost everything changed in how we live and the meaning of normalcy is altered based on how we defined normalcy in the past.
In the past, it was normal for us to do everything on our own terms.
We did not follow any health protocol, and we did not have to be far apart from each other. We could work freely at any time to earn and live and to be able to succeed in whatever endeavor we want.
However, today as the pandemic is still a threat to us, we have to observe some health regulations to avoid contracting the coronavirus disease.
We have to adhere to social distancing policy, wear masks and face shields although it is not too strictly implemented unlike in the past.
The pandemic also has adversely affected how we work and the result of businesses closing down that triggered unemployment has given many of us more stress than ever before. Many of us have lost our jobs and it is hard to cope with the financial dilemma as losing our job was sudden and even companies were not ready for such eventualities. This difficult situation triggered stress for everyone.
Work locations which are ordinarily in office buildings have also been altered as such many employees were allowed by companies to work at home which is a safer alternative against contracting diseases. Freelancing and telecommuting have become the byword for many of the workers these days. For many, this kind of lifestyle has made positive reactions from the workers themselves.
After a year of being under the threat of the pandemic, working at home has given more opportunities for family members to be together, spend more quality time in the comfort of their homes. Another advantage of working at home is that it is more economical and financially rewarding as workers do not have to spend money to commute from home to office. They do not have to spend on food while in the office and spend more for other personal purposes.
Spending time at home also reduces the stress that we are subjected to. At home, we are able to do other things aside from the workload we have to finish. We can bond with family members after we finish our work that makes our life more enjoyable and stress is reduced.
Stress has been simply defined by Webster's dictionary as “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.”
In other words, stress happens because of many factors that affect our lives that could cause physical and mental illness. Stress was also defined in the Gould medical Dictionary as “any stimulus or succession of stimuli of such magnitude as to tend to disrupt the homeostasis of the organism;
When the mechanism of adjustment fails or becomes disproportionate or uncoordinated, the stress may be considered an injury, resulting in disease, disability or death.” ( Palma, R.)
Thus, these definitions give us an idea that there are factors around us or even part of us such as emotions that stimulate stress to happen when we can no longer adjust to the eventualities that happen to us that may have adverse effects.
As human beings, we try to adjust ourselves and cope with stressful situations in our lives as we live today. There are things in our environment that help us to cope with these situations and be able to surmount these obstacles for better lives.
One of these coping support is the social environment. According to an online article (Powell, T., Enright, S.), " people who are part of an extensive social network are less negatively affected by stressful life events..." The term social support is referred to personal contact available to an individual from other individuals or groups wherein an individual under stress reaps some benefits such as:
1. The individual is given the means to express their feelings
2. Other people's feedback helps the individual form a sense of meaning or an appraisal of situations.
3. Social support can also give useful information and practical assistance.
The article also discusses some of the work situations that trigger stress for an individual such as:
- Work conditions
- Work overload
- Work underload
- Work uncertainty - pertains to work role that is doing things the worker does not want to do
- Changes at work
Some individuals who are under stress have their own coping mechanisms in order to hurdle the stressful events and experiences that they encounter in their everyday lives. Some of the adjustment mechanisms are:
- Engaging in forms of relaxation such as: doing yoga and medication, listening to simple and relaxing music, reading the Holy Bible which is the most read book in the world,
- Exploring nature such as mountains and seas
- Engaging in regular exercises
- Having pets at home
- Balance work-life environment
- Get enough sleep
- Limit Alcohol intake
There are other coping mechanisms that you can take in order to surmount these stressful situations lurking around you and you as an individual can take control of your life to prevent stress from harming you physically and mentally.
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