A much needed story in times of increasing stress.
As from Monday March 16, so more than two months now, many of us are forced to work at home. Together with my partner I also have had to find a new rhythm, a new order, now that we are both much more at home. What will happen to both of us in this crisis situation in which fear and uncertainty play a major role? Which patterns do we fall back on and which survival strategies do we use? For me, this results in especially working very hard. Is it not finished yet? Just spent more and more time until the work is finished. For me an oh so recognizable pattern that I now know will eventually break me up and which I can now happily stop.
When I am aware of this pattern, I also feel in my body that I am dealing with stress. When I take a rest after such a stress reaction, I give my body and mind the chance to recover. Our body has a self-healing capacity which we put to work by taking rest. After this recovery I can again deliver a top performance.
If I do not give myself a rest after a stressful experience, I will stack up. This accumulation of stress can eventually lead to chronic stress, which in turn can lead to all kinds of diseases such as burnout. I now know all about it and luckily I learned to prevent it.
However, I see, read and hear something else around me; the stress level among the Dutch population is increasing. According to the National Center for Prevention of Stress and Burnout (NCPSB), the average stress level among workers has increased by 40%. With a structural increase of 40%, you are about 3 to 6 months away from a burnout according to the NCPSB.
Imbalance in work/private life
Working from home means there is less separation of work and private life, in-between care for the children and also loneliness due to the lack of “face to face” social contact with friends and family. We all need moments of rest. When you can no longer switch between rest and work, you become overloaded. Many people don’t talk about it because everyone is having a hard time, you don’t want to come across as a nag.
So our mind and body want rest, but we keep going. The body puts on the brakes, but we continue to accelerate. As a result, our self-healing capacity becomes unbalanced.
The fatigue trap
When we experience a lot of stress it is therefore extra important to give our mind and body peace and relaxation. You can do this by, for example, taking enough time to sleep, doing nothing at all, going out into nature, meditating, exercising and spending time and things that you just really enjoy doing without pressure something “should” is on it. Often, however, we end up in the fatigue trap; through too much work you give up relaxing activities =>
this causes even less energy => this makes you giving up more time to relax => at some point you don’t feel like doing anything anymore => you end up exhausted.
Do you have trouble relaxing yourself and don’t you give your mind and body enough rest? Then you run the risk of developing chronic stress and eventually getting sick.
Would you like to talk further about this topic or do you have any tips, let me know and contact me, then we will discuss it. For more information or to set up an appointment:email@example.com or 06-51338526.