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We all feel it, but is the Corona stress generator real at work?

“God, damn it feels like I’m doing 10 times the work I did before Corona!”

The corona era is proving to be adding a lot of stress to everyone.

“My anxiety is through the roof”

The stress is happening due to changing working life circumstances and a leadership style that is compounding the issue and both relate to time.

“I hate my life!”

A bit extreme that last one BUT how common is it to hear it from friends, colleagues and feel it ourselves!

But why exactly? Good questions, let’s find out.

Let’s look at our working life pre-Corona.

The pre-Corona life was normal to each of us.

  1. That normal was getting up, having breakfast and heading out to work.

  2. That normal was commuting, driving, train, tube, walking to work depending on your country vs city vs suburb living.

  3. That normal was hanging out with colleagues and chatting to your desk buddy as you had a morning tea or coffee.

  4. That normal was attending meetings with civil colleagues red faced bosses and civil customers and red faced customers.

  5. That normal was popping out for lunch for your choice of food based on mood and the rush or time you had to enjoy it.

  6. That normal was packing up and reversing your morning journey, getting home, unloading about your day, eating, chill, watch, read, sleep.

A fairly common six step process for most office workers. That life was super helpful for our stress and peace of mind because it was littered with micro social interactions. A social interaction is a matter of survival for every person on this planet as it connects into the best part of our brain; our reward system.

Re-read each that normal and you will see its many interactions with other humans. Breakfast, interacting with a stranger to offer them a seat, thanking the person who hands you a coffee, saying hi to your work mate, even a grumpy boss meeting, through to lunch thank yous, more meetings and interactions, some pressure, some work praise, food suggestions, enjoying those suggestions, travelling home, more smiles, more thank yous, the occasional door opening by you for someone else and vice versa.

100’s of micro social interactions everyday which is 100’s of neuro rewards. Even negative experiences give us these micro rewards. The logic and gains of these rewards is vital to existence for the exact reasons that loneliness is on of the biggest killers around; we are very social beings and each social interaction - no matter how small it might be - is a chemical release:

  • Being thanked - Chemical release.

  • Giving thanks - Chemical release.

  • Boss being grumpy - Chemical release.

  • Boss telling us off - Major chemical release.

  • Boss praising us to a room of colleagues - Major Chemical release.

  • Friend high fiving you - Chemical release.

  • Fucking around on social media at work - Endless chemical releases.

  • Email - Endless chemical releases.

Corona has robbed us of those micro social interactions and that right there is a massive reason as to why we all feel much more stressed but not sure why. We are not sure why because these chemical releases are fed to us unconsciously all day, everyday, or where.

Give myself a break.

We all need to. Simple. Give ourselves a break.

To breathe.

Part of our ‘Is Corona messing with our mental health and why’ series.

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