How to De-Stress While Dealing With COVID-19 Anxiety

Published on April 4, 2020


Merely seeing the word in print can get the heart beating faster and the palms sweating as we think about all the things in our life that cause us stress. Our families, our next visit to the doctors, and certainly our work life. With the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the globe and many being forced to work from home, finding ways to de-stress and cope in uncertain times is paramount.

Finding effective and creative ways to de-stress makes everything in our life flow a bit more smoothly, especially with your newfound coworkers (family and friends) crowding personal spaces. There are ways to reflect positively on our health. This is important, as the stress hormone cortisol increases with stress and can cause weight gain.

April is Stress Awareness Month and April 16th specifically is Stress Awareness Day. In the current social and health climates amid the COVID-19 epidemic ,now is a good time to discuss how to de-stress. We spend so much of our time at work, which now includes a pivotal crossover for many newly working from home. Work itself can be a huge source of stress, let alone adding additional family pressures while quarantined. Businesses are always, or at least should always, be looking at ways to make the workplace less stressful. This includes your new office space. The notion of work-life balance is great but may not be realistic at a time like this. We must learn to, “work smarter, not harder” while “working less and producing more.”

Here are four effective strategies you can begin using immediately that can help de-stress your work (and home) life beginning today:

Planning your day: This doesn’t mean simply thinking about what you must do each day, but writing a list of each TO DO item. The simple act of scratching off a completed task can help you feel less stress as you feel more productive at the same time.

Regular exercise: No need to tout the importance of regular exercise, but one often overlooked benefit is that it decreases cortisol levels that build up in our bodies. As mentioned above, this hormone builds up due to stress and can cause unhealthy weight gain.

Financial education: Financial stress is common for just about everyone at one time or another. By taking some time to increase your financial education, you can put yourself in a better financial position (or merely feel better about the one you are in). Investing just a little time daily on this subject reduce overall stress about financial issues.

Embracing burgeoning technology: The more one embraces current technology in the workplace to accomplish tasks, the more productive that person can be. This can result in working less while accomplishing more. Learning about new applications that can support your daily work goals eases the stress of your workplace environment.

Many more tips on how to de-stress are included in books that focus on helping workplaces become more efficient, more productive, and less stressful for employees and employers alike.

In this “new normal” that we are all adjusting to is a great time to create a sense of work life balance. This includes many employers, HR leaders, and organizations who are looking for ways to keep employee morale through implementing complete wellness programs aimed at maintaining productivity. With the social distancing laws in place until at least April 30th, people need to learn how to manage stress effectively for their mental, social, emotional, and physical well-being.


Richard Polak is a contributor to Grit Daily and 35-year HR veteran who specializes in HR forensics benefits specialist, workplace productivity, diversity and inclusion. He is on the board of the Alliant and American Benefits Council Global Leadership team and based in Los Angeles, California.

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