The Pandemic Stressor

My family and I are cooped up at home attempting to cope with our social distances and this covert Covid-19 threat, or the invisible enemy, as it has now been termed. The three of us in this household all have reason to respect the new rules – one of us is 97 years old (not me). We started our exile by attempting to watch more television. Unfortunately, news of this adversary is on every channel…there’s no escape.

I started this web site project to share some of what I’ve learned about stress in life. You might have thought when I started that this idea was good information for ‘First Responders’, having come from a former ‘First Responder’. Compartmental thinking at its best. I think our clan’s brand of exposure has just grown exponentially due to this pandemic emergency. Let me explain:

  1. Episodic stressors are not as dangerous as chronic, non-stop marathons of stress response.
  2. Pre-Pandemic most of us were enjoying the roller-coaster of episodic excitement, suspense and disappointments. The benefit to that way of life was that there was usually a space of time between each trial to recover and prepare for the next test.
  3. We are now in the Pandemic – The world is making dramatic and rapid shifts at the hands of a very frightening problem to which we don’t have a fix yet. The best case scenario for any solution is predicted to be a year away. People are already asking, “How much longer do I have to stay inside?” Meanwhile, the media is showing us the worst of the worst, thousands of people are dead and more are destined to die – while networks are competing for viewership. That in of itself is particularly stressful for me and makes this, our new state of being, a chronic, non-stop marathon of stress response. Are you with me?
  4. Social distancing practice has taken away a number of stress coping strategies that many of us have previously enjoyed in the past – now what??!! We are all in the same non-stop stress boat now. This open-circuit of fight/flight reactions happening in us all will start taking some tolls soon without an intervention. We need to come up with a good, proven plan.
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A Non-Stop Marathon of Stress Responses

Attack this kind of stress with a comprehensive strategy of balance. I suggest balancing an approach of mind-rest with physical exercise. Find some free examples of ‘progressive muscle relaxation exercises‘ for your mind’s sake and practice them. There are many such sources on line. Balance these with some brisk walking – 15 to 20 minutes a day to start. Just these two tools (described in more detail further into this site) will get you started on a good footing that will favorably impact the negative effects that stress is having on you now, if you are doing nothing to mitigate it.

If you are reading this and find the information on this site helpful then please share the site with others in your circle of influence. I paid a price for being naive to the stressors that took me down twenty years ago. My only goal now is to be a part of preventing my same fate from befalling another unsuspecting victim.

Be safe…

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