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How do I cope with job stress during COVID-19?

COVID-19 has changed the way people work. Working during an ongoing health crisis can evoke feelings of fear and anxiety on top of the stress of having to work from home or risking exposure to COVID-19 as an essential worker.

Here are the ways in which you can cope with job stress related to COVID-19:

  • Understand how stress manifests in your thoughts, feelings, and actions. You may experience different emotions that looks like anger, lack of motivation, feeling overwhelmed and burned out, and having trouble carrying out your daily routine.
  • Develop a plan to build your resilience and manage job stress. It is important to note that you are not alone in what you are going through, a lot of people are also adjusting to a new way of working. This means that you can give yourself some space to figure out the best way for you to carry out your work duties at home.
  • Consider reaching out to your co-workers and employers and sharing best practices on productivity at home. By being open about what keeps you from doing your best work under certain circumstances, you are giving yourself an opportunity to learn from others and also allow your work community to identify how they can support you remotely.
  • If you are working from home, it is recommended to have a dedicated space for you to work if available, and to establish healthy boundaries between work and personal life even if you are working from home. This might look like establishing offline hours to rest, run personal errands, and work on your hobbies.
  • You must also try to eat and sleep at regular hours because this usually gets overlooked when you work from home.
  • Seek help when you need it. While everybody is experiencing the same adjustments to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, every person has a different way of coping.

Know that you can seek help from your loved ones or a professional mental health provider when you have increasing difficulty carrying out your daily routine and work duties, when you feel yourself using alcohol or other drugs (including prescription medicine), and when you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

You may contact any of the following hotlines:

  • 911
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741

For more guidance, go to: CDC, MHFA

This article was written and edited by the Tayo editorial desk and has been reviewed by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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