Working From Home Can Be Stressful

The COVID-19 outbreak has pushed everyone behind their doors. New Jerseyans are not any different, as thousands of them are forced to work from home and practice social distancing. While it may mean more time with family, there’s also a likelihood of increased mental stress.

This is the new normal, and people across New Jersey will have to get used to it somehow. Both employers and employees will have to get used to the new stresses that entail this new normal. Recently, Judith Persichilli, Health Commissioner, announced that New Jersey is boosting its mental health services and providing a hotline number (866-202-HELP) that will be open from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening.

She believes that everyone needs to practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of the infection. But social connectedness is also becoming a valid need more than ever. Times are stressful, and people of New Jersey are also sadly facing the brunt of it in many ways. Here are two primary stress factors that people across New Jersey are facing:

  1. Loss of control: The primary stress that people are facing right now is the feeling of lack of control over their daily lives. Uncertainty is only building, and people are feeling it more than ever. To add to their anxiety, they are not able to wrap their minds around the virus—something that can’t be seen but engulfing thousands.
  2. Disruption of social life: Just like Hurricane Sandy disrupted communities, leaving behind a huge catastrophe and a scarred social support system, the pandemic too is creating a similar impact on New Jerseyans. The lack of social interaction can be something that affects certain individuals to a greater or lesser extent. This is where social connectedness–digitally or virtually—is becoming the need of the hour.

How to cope with stress?

  1. Continuing with the normal routine: Everything doesn’t need to be completely different during the lockdown. People should continue doing what they are used to doing, be it maintaining one’s normal waking and sleeping hours, exercising, and helping their spouse with the kids and household chores. They should also try regaining control by regulating their schedule.
  2. Living in the moment: Instead of fretting about what’s going to happen tomorrow, people should try living in the present moment as much as possible. They should focus on what’s happening RIGHT NOW.
  3. Bosses, it’s time to pace yourself: Remote working certainly poses some stress on bosses because they have to maintain a healthy employer-employee relationship. This phase is not ending in a day or so; it requires planning for the long term. Bosses cannot burn their employees out. They should be encouraging enough to help their employees stay healthy and safe.
  4. Keeping negative coping strategies at bay: While these present times can be worrisome and stressful, it does not mean people should resort to unhealthy ways of coping, such as drinking to excess at home. This is especially true for people who have a history of mental health issues, substance abuse, and physical issues.

If you find yourself facing any health issues during this lockdown period, please know that you are always welcome to reach out to us at NJ Advanced Surgical Solutions. We know this can be a trying time for many and we want to do our part to help our patients, friends and family get through this unprecedented period in history. Brighter times are ahead.

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