THE LEVEL – We are dealing with record levels of pandemic-related stress and have fewer available escape routes. Worry, it seems, is not going away any time soon.
It’s a topic too few of us discuss, If it’s not dissipating, shouldn’t we figure out how to dial it down a notch or two?
Americans are problem-solvers after all. And, admittedly, overachievers too.
It’s a powerful combination and asset, and now, an additional concern too, according to health experts who report that COVID-19 is taking an unprecedented toll on our well-being and those around us who are looking to us now, more than ever, to lean in.
The majority of us have managed extreme levels of stress and done it well. So, what’s changed?
The amount of layers, according to scientists who explain that our bodies are built to manage short bursts of stress, which can actually enhance learning and performance. Layer on additional and massive chronic stress (aka COVID-19) and things change in our brain.
This seismic stress increase changes normal response mechanisms, blocking the creative and resourceful part of our brain, allowing our more instinctual thought process to take over.
Essentially, we become players in short game, that’s driven by survival instinct.
To take better care of others, we’ve got to reverse the game play and take better care of ourselves too.
Stress levels are rising, particularly in America, where 70% of workers report that they are facing the highest level of stress in their professional careers.
It is a common condition that all of us share and now, due to the pandemic, is moving from the ranks of a seldom-discussed “closet condition” to coffee table and hopefully, soon, water cooler and board room conversations.
More open dialogue is good and will be necessary to address what is anticipated will be the highest rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in our country’s history.
Other high-risk communities include the chronically ill and the elderly, who face greater isolation and barriers to treatment, due to COVID-19-related guidelines.
Seemingly, no one is immune from this shared concern known to worsen or increase the risk of other health conditions including obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems and asthma.
We confound stress when we are more open about it. Let’s talk.
Editor’s Note: Larry Berg is the founder of CBD Marketing Hub, a full service digital-to-door agency serving CBD and Cannabis clients.