“Travelling, partying, and hanging out with friends, having a dinner party with the family, and what not!” Ah! Those were the happy, healthy, blissful days when every human being was king of the planet, the planet, the earth. But, boom! The Covid-19 pandemic, which emerged as a contagious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 astounded these kings.
The identification of first case was in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and the disease has spread since then, worldwide. this has lead to an ongoing pandemic which leads to the salvation of many deaths, stress and depression for the living. World economies have fallen into crisis, work everywhere has come to a halt, education is risked, and millions of lives are at stake and yet one can do nothing.
But sitting at home hoping and praying for a miracle generates a feeling of restlessness, fear, uncertainty. Moreover, vehemence to question the very existence of human life this earth is there. wouldn’t anyone want a break from all this constant bad news? a way of stress management to help cope with whatever earth got going on?
What impact did COVID-19 have on humanity?
“Our inability to imagine the length of the rest of existence magnifies our problems.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
The Covid-19 outbreak–a sudden attack on humanity–enormously impacted world-leading economies and tottered out every living soul over this earth. Hundreds of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty. The virus outbreak and the series of lockdowns have posed an unforeseen threat to the socio-economic, physical, mental, and even emotional stability of humans. Leaving the poor, daily wage workers, women and children as the most hit.
The economic strain
The pandemic has disturbed the entire economic structure, from farmers to CEO of big corporate. All being tied in an economic chain are caged at their homes due to border closures, trade restrictions and confinement measures that have prevented them from entering into the market. This has prevented the money flow in the economy, disrupting the living conditions for poor and vulnerable groups. Though many enterprises have shifted on a work-from-home platform, and are somehow earning their bread.
The shutting down of many small industries has cost loss of jobs and has placed millions of livelihoods at stake. With low, irregular incomes or no incomes, many of them also resorted to negative coping strategies, such as the sale of assets, loans, and when they cannot overcome stress, even suicidal options. Amidst all this, stress management may seem like a fantasy only for the rich people or for the ones who can afford it. but it doesn’t have to be the case, because every human under the eyes of God deserves a chance of break and a time for stress management from whatever is going on in the world.
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Impact on familial ties
Surely, staying at home for almost half a year, even then maintaining distance from near and dear ones is not an easy task. Particularly for those diagnosed with Covid-19 and are self quarantined. Thus, feeling of uncertainty, anxiety, and claustrophobia are easily generated, resulting in more serious physical and mental health issues. Despite having the leisure of being connected through our small gadgets. Continuous exposure to negative news in these challenging times have brought about monotony and dullness in our lives, with a nerve-wracking question of ‘What next?’, ‘What best can one do?’ ‘How to fight against this unexpected guest?’ and innumerable doubts hanging around our necks twenty-four/seven.
The worst affected by the pandemic are females and children. Increased number of domestic abuse against female members of the family presents a clear picture behind the lockdowns. They are compelled to quit or to risk their lives which have also become a pandemic in itself. And the patriarchy continues to rule even in such crucial times, making it difficult for the families to survive in peace. Along with it, a shift in the mode of learning for students has become a hot topic. Particularly for poor families where children are forced to opt for child labour due to loss of jobs or lives.
Stress management and education system
Universities, schools and other institutions though have changed their way of offering learning, making it easy for them to connect through an online mode from the comfort of homes; a poor effect is noticed among these students. Lack of concentration, too much exposure to the screen, increased laziness; moreover, the happiness of having their loved gadget in their hands has drastically changed the meaning of learning for them. Teachers are equally at a loss when it comes to online teaching, managing out every source of lessons; teaching through hi-tech technology which is alien to them and still losing out their jobs or getting bullied.
Old-aged people are no less affected by this unanticipated pandemic. Lack of health facilities at hand, staying at home, adopting the new normal has been havoc on their stable state of mind. Largely, all the uncertainties and fears add up to more physical and mental instabilities. It is as if these issues come in handy with the virus itself.
Impacts of coronavirus upon nature
While humans saw an enormous number of threats in the pandemic’s way, nature had its time to heal and grow once again. It not has come with a message to always think towards ‘environment-friendly behaviour,’ but made people aware of themselves and their pathetic lifestyles. With everything at a shut down, industries, corporate companies, vehicles on the road, the ban on air travel, less exploitation of natural resources. Also, schools closed along with the non-essential business has minimized the risks for toxins to escape, in turn improving air quality, along with the reduction in water pollution. Other environmental benefits include governance-system-controlled investments in a sustainable energy transition and other environmental goals, such as the European Union’s seven-year €1 trillion budget proposal and €750 billion recovery plan “Next Generation EU,” which aims to set aside 25% of EU spending for climate-friendly spending.
Pandemic: A boon for animals
As people were at home due to lockdown and travel restrictions, some animals were visible in cities, such as deers in populous colonies, turtles on the beaches. Even the endangered aquatic and land animals are spotted by human civilization. The imbalance in the food chain also has been compensated through a very less or no consumption of animals and other animal products. Reduction in emission of toxic chemicals in the air, as well as water also has been detected which helped these renewable resources to replenish and purify altogether.
However, According to a study published in August 2020, global NOx emissions decreased by as much as 30% in April. But this was offset with a 20% reduction in global SO2 emissions, weakening the cooling effect and indicating that the direct effect of the pandemic response on global warming will probably be negligible with cooling of about 0.01 0.005 °C by 2030 compared to a baseline scenario.
But indirect impacts owing to an economic recovery-oriented toward supporting a green economy, such as by cutting fossil fuel investments, could minimize future warming By 2050. It is possible to avoid future warming of 0.3 degrees Celsius. According to the report, a significant impact on global warming will need a systemic change in how humanity powers and feeds itself.
Less exploitation of natural and renewable resources has given a chance for the environment to breathe, and humans have been aware of both the threats and the potentials that nature has been hiding in it.
The emergence of negative thoughts during the pandemic and stress management
No one said stress management was easy. Someone died; other lost their job, a ten year abused by their father, yet other lost their family. Yes! It sounds heart-wrenching, but it is the sole truth. With a lot going in this world all at once, it is hard to remain sane. Rumours, negative news, and mental traumas have added up to yet another pandemic to deal with.
Constant exposure to phones in general and social media in particular, it is highly likely for a person to be a prey of rumours and negative news, creating many delusions in the tiny pot of our minds. Moreover, there is a force on people due to a series of lockdowns to grow impatient, anxious and there is no challenization of frustration. For instance, the male of the family often poures down his anger over their other half, and the same frustration is brought out on their children or other soft targets of the family; now this being a chain ends up in an obstacle in the familial ties.
effects on people
Even a new phobia has emerged because of the pandemic: corona phobia, or the dread of catching COVID-19. Everyone is concerned about cleaning and sanitizing to some extent right now. So it’s tough to tell when these ideas and practices become a problem! Apart from that, the prohibition of non-essential travel people has gone months without social connection, as they cannot physically meet up with pals. Humans are social animals by nature, even if this does not apply to everyone. It suggests that people are usually looking for ways to connect. COVID-19 made it difficult to interact with others. As a result, one may retreat, which is a cause of anxiety.
Unexpected changes, such as a child’s schooling or work style, might cause stress. It is possible that doing so will make you feel anxious, especially because many people have contracted the illness while outside their houses.
Churning of such thoughts and poor channelization of these negative ideas can cause either some serious mental trauma or even can develop into suicidal steps which seems easy for most people to opt.
Stress management during this crucial time
You put your complete well-being at threat if you live with high levels of stress. Stress has a negative impact on both your emotional and physical wellbeing. It makes it difficult to think clearly, work efficiently, and enjoy life. It may appear like there is nothing you can do to relieve tension. However, you have far more command than you may believe.
Effective stress management strategies
Effective stress management allows you to free yourself from the grip of the stress, allowing you to be happier, healthier, and more profitable. The goal is to live a fulfilling life, with time for work, friendships, relaxation, and fun—as well as the resilience to keep going when things become tough. However, stress management is not a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why it’s crucial to try new things and see what works best for you. The following stress management suggestions can assist you in doing so.
Remember how we used to whine about not being able to take a summer vacation because we had become working professionals? But now we’re just wallowing in our misery because the dreadful COVID-19 has placed us all under house arrest. For many, having nowhere to go and no Saturday night outings can be incredibly boring and depressing.
Identifying the causes of stress in your life is the first step in stress management. This isn’t as simple as it may appear. While significant stresses like switching jobs, moving or getting a divorce are easy to detect. The recognition of psychological stress can be more difficult. It’s all too easy to overlook the role that your own ideas, feelings, and behaviour patterns have in your daily stress levels.
Sure, keeping a positive attitude amid a crisis can be difficult. But it’s essential for your immune system and mental health. Everyone is struggling to be positive today because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s hurdles.
Here’s how you can overcome the stress of Covid-19:-
There are things for which we should be grateful, even amidst adversity. Do a quick morning gratefulness meditation, noting both minor and large things for which you are grateful. Little things like a relaxing bath, a hot cup of coffee, a hilarious meme, or a decent book may make a big difference.
yoga and meditation
Yoga is a mind-body discipline that incorporates physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation or relaxing. It also gives you peace of mind, relieve stress, and drop your heart rate and blood pressure.
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Slow down a little:
Don’t rush into things. Since there’s no need to rush right now, whether it’s information from the news or information from friends and family. You may pace yourself and let go of certain frequent fears in social solitude. Pay attention by practising mindfulness regularly. Reduce the volume of your thoughts while increasing your awareness to hear your inner voice.
Follow diaphragmatic breathing:
As you begin to include meditation into your daily routine, try scheduling multiple mindfulness sessions. Diaphragmatic breathing is a wonderful meditation technique for focusing on your breath. Other advantages of diaphragmatic breathing include reduced heart rate, reduced stress hormone levels, and the ability to relax.
When you’re getting stress, getting up and exercising is probably the last thing on your mind. Physical activity is a fantastic stress reliever. You don’t have to be an athlete or spend hours in the gym to reap the advantages. Exercise burns calories, which produce positive outcomes. It can also be a fantastic way to get away from your everyday troubles.
While you’ll gain the most advantage from exercising for 30 minutes or more regularly, it’s fine to progressively increase your fitness level. Over the course of a day, even minor acts can mount up. The first step is to get up and move around.
Avoid distressing situations:
During a modern high-stress atmosphere, one gets easily stuck into unpleasant encounters that make them feel anxious. It’s critical to stay attentive and informed of what’s going on (both worldwide and locally). However, striking a healthy balance between our daily routines and news consumption is essential for maintaining our sense of well-being.
Relax your body:
Make it a practice to check in on yourself throughout the day. Examine your muscles to see if they’re in good shape. If you notice yourself tensing or seeing stiff muscles, relax them by unflinching your jaw, relaxing your shoulders, and taking a calming breath.
Incorporate laughter into your daily routine:
This is one of the most important activities you can do to boost your optimism. Laughter is the finest medicine since several studies have shown its long- and short-term advantages on the human mind and body.
Have faith in humanity, technology, and our healthcare heroes, who have helped us overcome the most insurmountable challenges to progress and thrive. Believe in yourself and your limitless potential to love. After all, self-love is the best stress management.
Pick up the phone and call your relatives and friends at a convenient time during the day. There is no better feeling than dialling your loved ones’ numbers and overcoming the blues with love.
Reflect on your goals and work towards them:
Make the most of your lockdown by focusing on your objectives. Adding to your skillset and gaining additional knowledge will help you advance in your job.
Also, everything will be fine if you remain hydrated, stay indoors, and follow the government’s advice.
It has now been almost two years since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged out as a threat to humanity. Our way of living has changed drastically. From eating only street food to making unusual recipes at home; from lying on our beds for sake of leisure to cycling out in open air for fun; and what not! Many negative thoughts flash through our minds while confronting the realities of the world, but this does not make things any better. Opting for coping strategies is what can relieve stress from our shoulders and help us fight through this crucial time.