01 June 2022

How to cope with stress in the workplace during wartime

War is the word that many people wish not to hear, but as events in Ukraine unfold and Russian aggression towards Ukraine escalates, employers face fear, apathy, and uncertainty regarding the future including their job and wellbeing. Unfortunately, a great majority of people get traumatized by current events and many of them develop vicarious trauma. This condition can be transmitted through observation but not through direct contact. Information overload, violent videos and images, brutal acts, and immoral behaviors are the things that each individual observes on the media and affect his mental state. Sofiia Fedorkova, Social Media Manager at Soprana Personell International, who is also a native Ukrainian, will share some tips that may help others.

Limit exposure on social media

When the invasion started, all news portals and social media platforms were exploding with shocking and overwhelming information. According to Lara Wolfers from Leipzig Media Research Center, social media can serve as a stressor in many cases, when a person gets bombarded with disturbing information over and over again he may develop anxiety and other horrible conditions. Even though it is really tempting and the desire to stay updated is high, it’s crucial to set a rule for yourself to not check the news every minute. It is even harder when a person is at his workplace since loses focus and his mind is occupied with completely different stuff. In this case, setting a rule is key, an employee may finish his job-related task and then as a reward check the news, or he can try to not check any portal for at least 30 minutes.

Take actions

Studies have shown that it is easier to cope with stress when an individual is involved in something. During wartime there are plenty of things that anyone can do, some of them include donations, discussion groups, presentations, peaceful demonstrations, or voluntary activities. An employee can easily discuss share his thoughts and worries with the company’s employees, in this way he will relieve his stress and discuss with others things that bother him. Working in a bustling office can be hard during such times, so don’t hesitate to ask your boss for an option to work from home or even a day off.

Focus on self-care

Taking care of both physical and mental health is utterly important in this situation. Getting ample sleep, focusing on good nutrition, and spending more time outdoors exercising or simply walking will drastically improve the situation. “The first days were the hardest for me, as I was spending at least 7 hours a day on the phone, I was sleeping for 3-4 hours and my eating habits were awful, but when I started focusing on my health and my wellbeing, by spending more time outdoors and limiting my technology exposure, I noticed that my performance at work increased and I was more productive,” says Sofiia, Social Media Manager at Soprana Personell International. There are many apps that can help anyone to calm done and find life balance during these hard times. Here are the top five apps for self-care and meditation:

  • Calm- one of the best apps- 70-400$
  • Happify-great for sleep- $13 per month or $70 per year
  • Headspace- great for meditation- free
  • Insight Timer-best budget- $10 per month, $60 per yearMoodkit- great for
  • Self-awareness and cognitive health- $4.99
Connect with others

War is an extreme situation and not everyone is prepared for such serious changes in the lifestyle. Both at work and in daily life a person may have troubles concentrating on regular tasks, he may have fear and even paranoia about the future of him and his family, emotional waves, anger, apathy, depression, and health problems like lack of appetite, headaches and stomach issues are the most common symptoms in this case. Connecting with other individuals who are affected by the same issue may be helpful and even beneficial since showing compassion to each other would relieve the stress and anxiety. Moral support from friends, work colleagues and even strangers can relieve and even eliminate some of them. However, if symptoms don’t go away or even intensify, it’s a good idea to seek professional help and talk with the psychologist in order to get back to normal life.

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