We all fear the end of the world. Climate change, terrorism, wars, and global pandemics, often leave us with a sense of dread. We all wonder how much longer our homes can survive, whether the end is near or not. Fear of the end of the world is not a new feeling. People have lived with this fear for a long time. However, no one was prepared for coronavirus. The halt it created in everyone’s lives, has been of monumental nature.
It is important to understand that fearing the future is very natural. However, if this fear causes disruption in your day-to-day activities, it must be addressed. The first thing you must introspect is why this fear is causing such significant distress. In simpler words, why is the fear of the end of the world magnified? A possible explanation for this is the tendency of individuals to fixate on things that are simply beyond their control. Spending too much mental energy on things you have no control over will inadvertently make you feel helpless, and thus, you will experience anxiety.
During these times of uncertainty, self-care is pivotal. At times when the thought of the uncertainty of future makes one anxious, it is important to ask oneself the following questions:
Does worrying about the future help you right now?
Various stressors related to the future such as career, job, relationships etc., help us strive towards growth and personal development. However, worrying about the end of the future cause anxiety, and has no productive outcomes. Thus, it is better to try to focus on aspects of the future you have control over.
It is also important to logically devise your time. Constantly reveling in your worries will have a negative impact on you. Thus, it is important to try to distract yourself and invest your time in activities that will help you do so. It is necessary to take your mind off of stressors you have no control over.
Is there any evidence of an upcoming apocalypse?
Our Earth has survived various catastrophes, such as earthquakes, asteroid showers, wars, riots, pandemics, and it is still standing. Thus, it is important to rationally investigate factors before coming to the conclusion that the apocalypse is among us.
Is the information being presented to you valid?
Let us take the example of the coronavirus for this particular question. During the first wave, there were various sources of misinformation (mainly social media) that created havoc and a sense of panic amongst citizens. Thus, is it imperative to ensure that one’s source of information is credible.
What can you do?
Letting go of your worry is simpler said than done. Thus, it is important to contribute, to ensure that you make a difference. If the climate change of the world is affecting you, it is important to take steps which will help control climate change. If the political climate is bothersome, you can try to actively participate in political movements and give your contribution. This may not make a significant difference, but at least, it may give you relief to know that you are doing your part to try and make things better. In situations that you simply have no control over, it is better to simply focus on what you can do.
Can I seek support?
It is important to understand that you are not alone in this experience. We are all somewhere anxious about the future. Thus, it is important to try to find solace in individuals who feel the same way. It is important to stay connected with the people you care about, and reach out to those who provide you comfort.
Another facet of seeking support is educating yourself on the subject matter. For example, if you are anxious about the impact of coronavirus on the world, gain knowledge from credible resources, and take the advised precautions to prevent it from spreading further.
There are various forums available online where you can express your concerns and ensure it reaches a mass audience to either seek support or make a change. Sites such as 7-cups may help you seek social support and alleviate your anxiety.
You can also seek support in the form of indulging in practices that will help your anxiety, such as body scan meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation, etc. Every time you feel a wave of anxiety rushing over you, you can conduct deep breathing exercises such as the one described below;
Try following the 6-3-5-3 rule.
Inhale for six seconds through the nose (at this point you may feel your stomach expand along with your lungs). Hold your breath for three seconds. Release your breath through the mouth for five seconds. Hold your breath for three seconds.
Repeat this for 5-10 times
A final option when you feel like you experience significant distress which is inhibiting you from conducting your routine, it is important to seek professional help!
Stress of dual roles at work
With the ever-advancing careers, many people have fallen prey to stress related to dual roles at workplace. In this race of success, they take up varying roles and responsibilities. This doesn’t only affect their efficiency, but also hampers the progress. Mental stress is another major repercussion.
Women are the major constituents of this population, engaging in multiple roles at workplace. They have the entire responsibility of their home, family, children, in-laws and the professional work too. They continuously shift between roles of a mother, role of a wife and role of the employee. Research, over the years, has shown that multiple roles have been affecting women’s performance at both the home and workplace. Each role comes with a set of responsibilities and expectations. With increasing competency at their office, they aim to improve things with least space and support.
Throughout the day, they feel stressed and tense. If the situation is prolonged, this may even turn to mental issues like depression, anxiety, so on and so forth. The balance between personal life and work is disturbed. Working long hours also disturbs their mental peace.
The major reason of taking up multiple roles, is that they wish to achieve more. Sometimes people do this when they are not sure about a particular career and wish to keep backup plans. This can be very challenging as entire focus is not put anywhere. It is not always for monetary benefits that people take up different roles, but also because of their interests. For some people, taking up two or more roles is very exciting and easy to manage. They understand how multiple tasks have to be carried out simultaneously, and stress acts as a motivator for them. It is very creative and refreshing for them, through which they gain experience of various fields. This also helps them maintain a wide professional network.
Managing two or more roles requires various skills like management skills, time management, decision making, problem solving, etc. Roles have to be prioritised and tasks to be well managed. Establishing an action plan is the main vehicle to achieve the desired aim. No work comes without interruptions and disturbances, but an efficient professional knows how to manage and solve them. The individual learns to integrate and categories different tasks.
When an individual takes up multiple roles, there is high chance of role conflict. It refers to conflict between the expectations of roles that are simultaneously being carried out by the individual. For example, anemployee cannot maintain friendship and workplace relation with their boss at the same time. It may also refer to neglecting certain roles to maintain another role. For example, when an individual is not able to join a party with friends or family members because of work. All of this results in Frustration, Irritation, anxiety issues and even Depression.
Roles must always be taken up keeping in mind the time frame, available resources, aims, expectations, personal space and ability to manage multiple tasks at once. The quality of work also suffers under such situations where the employees are stressed out.
Multitasking and taking up different roles destroys the element of creativity and thinking ability. Because initiating creative work requires space and time. Taking up multiple task roles at workplace bombards an individual with vast amount of information. The people who do not have the habit of working with such amount of information often feel lost and confused. Their innate skills are suppressed in such situations. The individual gets stuck in the vicious circle of tasks and responsibilities. It is not only the workload but also time limit that serves as a constraint in finishing work tasks efficiently. In a competitive environment, quality is a necessity. It is the ladder to climb high and make progress.
The worst side of taking up multiple task roles at workplace is the chaos between priorities and time span. The decision of choosing between activities and tasks is constant stress in such situations. And when one role is attached to personal life and the other to industrial, it results in feelings of guilt also. When individuals are not able to meet the demands and requirements of their family members, they often end up questioning the worth of working such long hours and taking up different roles. This makes people shift their jobs very frequently. While fulfilling demands of one role, they often end up ignoring demands of another role. In such situations, personal and professional relationships suffer a lot.
There are several ways through which an individual can manage multitasking and taking up multiple roles at workplace. Like, the routine that has been set must be practiced regularly. When we adapt to a particular routine, it becomes easy for us to carry out those activities without getting stressed out. But it definitely takes some amount of time to adapt to that routine. Taking frequent gaps and vacations always acts as a booster for concentration and enhancing work quality. Planning tasks beforehand is an excellent way to manage multiple tasks. Sequence of the tasks must be followed; it helps carrying out similar tasks in a continuum.
The day must be planned in the morning itself, with equal share of personal space, activitiesand work. The balance must be maintained throughout. In situations of high stress, taking deep breaths helps relieve the tension and stress. Under pressure and tension, it is extremely difficult to give one’s best. At the end of the day, checking the tasks list that we had decided in the morning, brings us a feeling of achievement, it breaks the loop of stress and instils positive feelings. Spending time with family and friends always helps. Apart from multiple roles, we all have responsibility towards ourselves too. Taking care of our mental health is in our hands. It is our prime responsibility. Because a stressed person always spreads negativity and stress in lives of people around himself.
Therefore, it’s high time that we realise the complexities of taking up multiple roles at workplace, and all the challenges that it comes with. And also, it is necessary to spread awareness about the ways to reduce stress of work.