Coping With Stress While Working During COVID-19

Medically reviewed by Natasha Zervaas
Medically reviewed by Natasha Zervaas on August 23, 2020
Naturopath, Health and Mindset Coach
Updated on August 26th, 2020
Coping With Stress

Prior to Covid-19, you may have been working outside of the home or had your own home-based business.

Now all of a sudden your new reality is trying to negotiate study and workspace as your partner is also working from home, while trying to wrangle three small children into their makeshift classroom (i.e. the guest room), keep them engaged throughout the school day, and try to get your own work done!  

It’s no wonder you are feeling stressed and completely overwhelmed at the moment, unable to cope and not knowing where to go for the support!

The latest statistics for alcohol consumption during Covid-19 restrictions are staggering, revealing that 70% of Australians drink more alcohol than usual, with 28% drinking more just to cope with the additional stress and anxiety. 

Another study by the Australian National University found that almost one-in-four women who drank at all (22.8 percent) reported an increase in drinking during May 2020. The main reason given was spending more time at home, with psychological distress the key driver.

Quality sleep

Best advice for coping with stress and overwhelm whilst working from home is getting a good quality night’s sleep, which is directly affected by the alcohol you are drinking (1).

Good quality sleep is not just having 7-8 hours of sleep every night. It’s falling asleep within the first 15 minutes and staying asleep all night, waking refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

Having a glass (or three) of wine at night to help you wind down for sleep does feel relaxing initially. However, 3-4 hours afterward, your liver starts working overtime, trying to process this alcohol. The detoxification process can wake you up around 2-3 am in the morning when you should be in a deep restorative sleep.  

[Also Read: How to Destress Yourself ]

The other problem with alcohol is, it stimulates the stress response in the body. This means your body goes into ‘fright or flight’ mode and begins a cascade of chemical signals that spike your stress hormones called cortisol and adrenalin.

This is the reverse of what you want when you are asleep – your levels of these stress hormones should be at their lowest overnight.

The flow-on effect of having a terrible night’s sleep is an increase in caffeine consumption. Drinking a cup of coffee does give you a quick energy boost, however, it further spikes your cortisol and adrenalin levels, resulting in a completely frayed Adrenal and Nervous system, leaving you feeling ‘wired but tired’.

This is not ideal when you have a lot to deal with on your plate.

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[Also Read: Relieve Stress With Bathtub Meditation]

So how can you get a better quality night’s sleep so you wake up rested and refreshed, ready to tackle whatever the day may throw at you? 

Minimize or ideally eliminate alcohol and caffeine (particularly if you are very sensitive to it) and drink alternatives such as caffeine-free herbal beverages like this recipe below:

Spiced Hot Toddy

This calming hot toddy recipe will not only help you relax and unwind in readiness for sleep, but it has the added benefit of containing anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving compounds.

Ingredients

  • 250mls of nut milk such as Almond, Coconut or Cashew milk
  • ¼ of a teaspoon of Vanilla Bean paste or essence 
  • ½ a teaspoon of ground Turmeric ¼ of a teaspoon of ground Cardamom
  • ¼ of a teaspoon of ground Cinnamon ¼ of a teaspoon of freshly grated Ginger
  • Stevia to taste

Method

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until just warmed through.
  2. Add the spices, Ginger, vanilla and pepper, and stir to remove any lumps.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine sieve to remove the grated Ginger.
  4. Add Stevia to sweeten to taste and enjoy immediately.

During the coronavirus outbreak in Australia, in the four weeks to March 22, 2020, at-home consumption of coffee beans grew by 49 percent.


About The Author:

Natasha ZervaasNatasha Zervaas is the Founder of the Green Secrets Holistic Health Clinic and School.  Natasha is a degree qualified Naturopath, Health and Mindset Coach specializing in Adrenal Fatigue (stress and anxiety), Thyroid, hormonal and digestive disorders.

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