Coping with the fear, stress and anxiety caused by the coronavirus crisis

Life has become incredibly stressful, uncertain and challenging for us all as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. And with our all lives changing dramatically, how do we cope with the feelings of stress and anxiety that brings?

The world is currently gripped in a very scary situation because of this virus. It is important to note that we are in the midst of three pandemics:

1. The first pandemic is the fear and panic around COVID-19 and how it might affect us physically, mentally, emotionally and as a society
2. The second is the coronavirus itself
3. The third pandemic, which we are are inevitably going to see in the near future, is the mental health pandemic which is a side effect of what we are currently experiencing

Poor mental health is already one of the biggest issues affecting modern society today, and this is only, very sadly, going to tip many emotionally vulnerable people over the edge.

To cope with this, it’s important to take back your power! Right now we have tremendous power in how we choose to act in this scenario. There is social distancing but it might also be time for social media distancing, too. It might be time to unplug from Facebook, to stop consuming the news because ultimately that may just be putting you into panic and taking your power away.

No matter where you are and what your state of health, you will benefit by disengaging from the panic and fear that crises inevitably trigger in us all. Keeping yourself as positive as you can and being able to make light of even the darkest of situations can massively increase your chances of being able to cope with what is otherwise a heavy situation.

We have put this video together to help you to maintain some perspective on this constantly evolving situation, and to empower you to make the best decisions to keep you as happy and healthy as possible as we navigate a situation for which there is no historical precedence!

Contingency at The Stress Management Society

Anyone that works with us knows that my team always finds a way!
I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we have processes and plans that ensure we continue our business operations, to support you and deliver your projects and programmes – we have the technology! It will be business as usual from our end, as long as we are able to, we are here to help and support you at this challenging time as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop.

As you may well be aware our primary mission statement is ‘Since our inception in 2003, our dream has been to create a happier, healthier more resilient world’. That statement has never been more poignant and relevant as it is now. The health and well-being of our team, colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers has always been of the utmost importance – this is even more important to us in light of the current crisis.

Here are just some of the contingency plans we have as standard:

1. To date, no team member has been taken ill; if any of us, (including trainers), or their families display symptoms such as a high temperature, cough or a sore throat – they will be asked to stay at home for 2 weeks

2. Things will remain as they are providing we do not experience large scale illness and absenteeism.

3. Half of us have already been working from home (WFH), being cloud based we are ready for the entire team to WFH if/when necessary without any disruption to service. All documents, session plans, data and designs are available to us wherever we are, whenever we need them – you wouldn’t even know we weren’t in the office!

4. Our telephone network has an app that we install on our mobiles. Many of you would have called our office phones in the past and we may have picked up in a different part of the world – if you call the office and we’re not there, our mobiles will ring like we are! As per our standard practice, there will be no dropped calls or missed messages

5. We have our own video conferencing platform, 3CX, that can host up to 300 people at a time. We have found this extremely effective and does not suffer the same data lag that we have noticed on Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts etc. We can share, edit and draw on documents in real time and even record the entire call (with consent) to capture any notes or ideas for the project

6. We are also able to host online workshops and seminars for you and your colleagues which is imperative to ensure we are able to continue to support their wellbeing at this crucial time

7. We’re quite a healthy bunch anyway, but we have ensured that we are keeping ourselves fit and well with exercise, fresh food, vitamins and mineral supplements

8. Our offices are cleaned on a regular basis, we have reinforced good practice with a particular focus on personal responsibility and keeping communal areas deep cleaned regularly

9. We all follow vigorous hand washing protocols anyway, but alcohol hand gel has been available to team members and visitors for some time.

Over the coming weeks we will be providing a series of guidance papers, videos, webinars and other resources to support you and your colleagues at this critical time, and ensuring we are working together to maximise your wellbeing.

Wishing you the all the best – stay happy and healthy, look after yourselves and each other – and click here to get in touch should you need any support.

Love life and smile,

Neil Shah and the entire team at The Stress Management Society and International Wellbeing Insights