To stress, or not to stress

May 17, 2020

Stress. It overwhelms us, it worries us, and sometimes it can consume us. As YouTube stars, Rhett and Link, from Good Mythical Morning, like to say, “Let’s talk about that.”


Stress comes when we have troubles, an overwhelming amount of work, or when there is too much happening in our lives. Stress can warn us of becoming overworked. When you feel stress coming on it is best to step back and take a minute to analyze everything. Take a breather, stretch, calm down, look over what you need to do, and take it one step at a time.


Stress during quarantine

I do have to say, right now we are in a pretty confusing and unprecedented situation. COVID-19 leads us into a unique end of the 2019-2020 school year. This has brought about a change our routines. Some of those changes include online schooling and not having access to go anywhere or see anybody. Writer, Maura Judkis, writes in the Washington Post, “The coronavirus pandemic has obliterated the rhythms of the American workday.” There is a great deal to get accustomed to. With all of these new changes, there opens a gateway for stress to flood our minds. 


Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. wrote in Psychology Today, “Researchers found the most common psychological symptoms related to quarantine included depression, stress, low mood, irritability, insomnia, anger, and emotional exhaustion.”


A time like this can induce cases of stress, anxiety, and depression. Carlie Porterfield, a Forbes staff member, says, 36% of Americans told an American Psychiatric Association poll that the pandemic has had a serious impact on their mental health, and according to a PiplSay poll, 31% of Americans say they’re sleeping less because of coronavirus-related anxiety.”

This brings about the question, “how do we relieve ourselves of stress?”


How to manage stress

When you experience stress, I say, relax, draw something, do some painting, sit down and read a book, etc. Try something new that you have never had the time to do before. Be experimental. For example, I have multiple friends that decided to try something new with their hair during this quarantine, whether that means they cut it or they dyed it. 


During this time, the amount of people working on home improvement projects rises. In order to do said projects, you must buy supplies. There is one slight complication though and that is what you can and cannot purchase during this time. This raises the now common question of “is it essential?” The answer to this question is currently a “no,” as larger places like Home Depot and Lowe’s are told not to sell items like paint.


Paul Burton, a writer for CBS Boston says, “But in our new world of social distancing, are those to-do lists really essential?” 


Many people might argue that it is not essential to work on improving your home right now and leaving to get supplies for it. But I have to disagree. 


Physical vs Mental

Looking at it with a physical point of view, they are correct. Remaining at home quarantined and only buying the essentials does not include buying a bunch of home design/improvement supplies. But in this situation you cannot just look at it from one side, you have to consider all perspectives and that includes the mental point of view. 


Like I mentioned, stress is on the rise right now and identifying ways to diminish that stress and calm down is essential to maintaining stable emotions during quarantine. This could include a home improvement project, painting, or taking a walk. It also might just mean binge-watching a show you just have not had the time to watch in the past. 


I say go for it. As long as it does not put anyone at risk and still involves social distancing, then do it. Do what you need to do to relax, calm down, focus, and clear your mind. Stressing right now will not help anyone and it is essential that everyone stay calm and collected during this time. 


I cannot stress this enough, but do not stress. You can either spend these next couple of weeks worrying about how everything will turn out, or you can take my advice and find something to relieve yourself of that stress.


In the end, it is up to you whether you choose to worry about tomorrow, or live for today.

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