Managing Coronavirus stress at work has become a real concern for employers and employees as we all try to find ‘the new normal’.
Without a doubt, the Coronavirus crisis has been an incredibly stressful time in everyone’s lives, and everyone is dealing with their own particular stresses.
The stressors do not need listing here because you are probably acutely aware of them. Suffice it to say they range from not being able to find pasta to the death of a loved one and everything in between.
The Coronavirus has touched the lives of practically every human on the planet in every facet of their life. Home, work, relationships, money, health, nutrition…and so on it goes.
In this blog, we are going to focus on the practicalities of managing Coronavirus stress at work and what is causing it.
What Is Causing The Extra Stress At Work?
The wonderful mental health charity, Mind, explains stress as a response to one big change or lots of little changes that build up.
They state that medical professionals disagree over whether stress is the cause of the associated health problems or a result of them. But most agree that stress is your body’s innate response to a situation that threatens our wellbeing.
Mind state causes of stress might be:
It is no wonder everyone is feeling stressed.
In the workplace alone, many of us are under increased pressure as furlough and socially distanced working practices mean fewer staff.
The social distancing and hygiene measures in themselves are a big change that many are struggling to adapt to.
Working from home may sound like the dream but for many, it is isolating. It can be very difficult for some because of childcare responsibilities or unsuitable work stations. Other may feel like they are unsure of some of their tasks and are lacking the supportive structure of their managers and colleagues.
The uncertainty of whether a business is financially secure, will ever reopen in the same way, or even knowing if we will ever get back to normal is a major stressor.
And when you combine that with not seeing family and friends and having a release mechanism, it is no wonder people are struggling.
Managing Coronavirus stress at work is complex for these reasons. Not everyone is stressed about the same thing because everyone’s circumstances are different. But most people are feeling stressed.
So what can you do about it?
How Can I Manage Coronavirus Stress At Work?
Managing your Coronavirus stress at work will require a holistic approach.
Here at Wellspace, we work with businesses to help them have a happy, healthy workforce.
Long gone are the days where you ‘leave your home life at the door’ when you walk into the office. Humans don’t work like that. To use a crude metaphor, if one part of the machine is broken, the entire machine stops functioning.
Workplace wellbeing is about facilitating a healthy life outside of work too. A productive employee is healthy, happy, nourished, financially secure, well-rested, fulfilled and secure. Have a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs for more information on this.
We have summed up our top five tips on how you can manage your Coronavirus related stress at work.
- Take a holistic approach
- Exercise more
- Get enough sleep
- Reach out to your colleagues
- Give yourself a break
Take a Holistic Approach
Your health is not compartmentalised and, due to lockdown restrictions and social distancing, neither is your life anymore.
To manage your stress levels at work you need to look at your entire lifestyle. This includes your nutrition, sleep, exercise, relationships, and relaxation methods. It also includes workload, relationships with colleagues, and job fulfilment.
Exercise has been proven to release ‘happy’ chemicals into your brain. Getting around 20 minutes to half an hour of daily exercise lowers your heart rate and boosts your feel-good factor.
Get Enough Sleep
Enough sleep is essential to a person’s mental and physical wellbeing. Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can make you grumpy and agitated, which is the opposite of the happy, relaxed state you want to be in.
Prolonged sleep deprivation can also causes long term health issues. These include obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Aim to get around 8 hours each night on average. You may need more or less, but you should feel refreshed and not want to nap during the day.
Reach Out To Your Colleagues
If you are feeling very stressed at work, a good way of managing that is to reach out to your colleagues. This is especially important if you are working from home and feeling less part of a team than normal.
It is likely they are feeling similar, but even if they aren’t they are probably happy to help you.
It might be that you need help with a project, need more contact with your manager or just want to vent. No one else will understand the pressures you are facing at work better than a colleague!
It is especially important that you speak to your line manager if you are concerned about your health and protection from the Coronavirus at work.
Give Yourself A Break
Working from home has led to many of us working longer hours or spending more time at our desks. We don’t have the distraction of our colleagues anymore so chats at the water cooler are a thing of the past.
Managing Coronavirus stress at work is tough enough without piling it on yourself. Make sure you take time away from your desk every hour or so, even if that is to just stand and stretch.
It might feel counter-productive but you will actually be much more productive for it. Have a look at our blog here on managing productivity when working from home.
How Can We Help?
The Wellspace workplace wellbeing app is packed full of features to help you manage productivity and stress.
A sleep tracker helps you keep on top of the amount and quality of sleep you are getting and the reasons for that.
Our fitness tracker not only allows you to record active workouts you have done but also logs the incidental exercise, such as walking up stairs. You can even pit yourself against your colleagues in a leaderboard.
We have a tonne of resources plucked from the best articles on the internet that help you stay fit and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
As a Wellspace customer, you also get access one to one or in groups to our wellbeing training experts. Our experts range from medical doctors to lifestyle coaches and everything in between,
Why not get in touch with us today to see how we can help you manage Coronavirus stress at work?