How to identify stress and deal with it

Stress Source: Google Images

2020 has been the year that no one could have predicted would be as stressful and exhausting as it has been. Capetonians have had to deal with a global pandemic and the chaos that has ensued. For some, this included retrenchments, salary cuts, worrying about the health of family and other loved ones, and a few unexpected earthquakes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress can manifest in a number of ways. These inlude:

– headaches

– neck and shoulder pain

– an upset stomach

– a heavy feeling in the chest

“Added to the fear of contracting the virus in a pandemic such as COVID-19 are the significant changes to our daily lives as our movements are restricted in support of efforts to contain and slow down the spread of the virus. Faced with new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues, it is important that we look after our mental, as well as our physical, health,” the WHO said.

The organisation has recently released a new guide to help anyone better cope with and alleviate stress. Called Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide, the resource material aims to equip people with practical skills to help cope with stress.

“A few minutes each day are enough to practice the self-help techniques. The guide can be used alone or with the accompanying audio exercises,” the WHO said. “Informed by evidence and extensive field testing, the guide is for anyone who experiences stress, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.”
Those who access the guide will be able to choose which language they would like to be instructed in. Each day, those who are feeling the physical build-up of stress are invited to participate in one activity, and these range from grounding exercises to learning how to be kinder to yourself.