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Dealing With Stress During The Pandemic

It is not difficult to understand why -- during this un-nerving pandemic -- youth are crying out for help, because of an increase in their stress levels. Photo credit: Claudia Barbosa/Pexels.

Dealing With Stress During The Pandemic

By Ettie Rutherford
Contributing Columnist

Ettie Rutherford 1Neither as a child, nor as an adult growing up in Jamaican, did I ever hear discussions about stress.

It was not until I migrated to Northern Alberta, that I was told, by a doctor, that I was suffering from such a disease. Yet, in past years, stress has become one of the most common illnesses, world-wide, and even more so, in these extremely challenging days during the coronavirus.

As a result, there has been an unbelievable increase in the number of people — young and old — who are having stress-related mental problems, due to the existing circumstances of lock-down, unemployment, educational challenges, and physical disabilities.

Consequently, we now see a dramatic increase in the number of suicides, suicidal attempts, violence against women and children, as well as an increase in the amount of people, who are depressed.

It was revealing to read that Markham Stouffville Hospital, here in Ontario, has hired a full-time social worker to assist the hospital staff, because of increased stress among doctors, nurses, and other hospital employees.

So, it is not difficult to understand that even children and youth are crying out for help, and disclosing that, because of the increase to their stress levels, they have not only had suicidal thoughts, but have even attempted suicide.

Reports have also shown an increase in the number of people going to emergency rooms, after trying to self-mutilate.

So, as usual, I ask, “Where do we go from here?” We should try to:
·       Get immediate help for family members, who are in distress.
·       Start viewing mental illness, as we do all other sickness.
·       Stop seeing the psychiatrist as a doctor for crazy people.
·       Demand more mental health resources from the government.
·       Stop accepting stress as a part of everyday living.
·       Stop pretending that drinking more coffee will alleviate stress
·       Start exercising today. Take a walk.
·       Remember,Jesus did not die on the cross for us to be “stressed”.

Have a blessed — and safe — week.

In Sisterhood!

Award-winning Ettie Rutherford, B.Ed, Dip.Ed, M.Ed, is an educator, life coach, consultant and author of “Why Perch Like A Chick When You Can Soar Like An Eagle?”. An accomplished public speaker, Ettie is the Founder and CEO of Women Are Worthy, which provides step-by-step strategies for women to achieve their goals, with a minimum amount of stress. She can be reached at ettie@womenrworthy.com

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