Stress levels, uncertainty will increase post-pandemic: Rachna Singh

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Representative image (Courtesy: New York University)

By Vishnu Makhijani

New Delhi– Stress levels and uncertainty will increase for professionals post the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown it has caused due to fears of layoffs or overwork due to the heavy backlog that awaits them if an and when they return to work, says lifestyle & relationship expert and practicing therapist Rachna Khanna Singh, whose work over the last 20 years has touched over 10 lakh lives and over 100 organisations.

Work-life balances are under threat and there is the omnipresent shadow of emotional ties at the workplace reviving, Singh, who has just published a book, “Stress Diaries – From The Eyes Of A Therapist” (Bloomsbury), told IANS in an email interview as she expanded on the impact of the lockdown on a post-pandemic world.

“Post Pandemic, stress levels are soaring high for most professionals – whether it be with respect to lay-offs due to lack of business or over work due to heavy back log. Further, we saw during the lockdown phase, most people irrespective of whether they were working from home or not, were struggling with keeping a healthy lifestyle and a routine.” Singh said.

“Now once the lockdown lifts up, it is further going to get harder to get back to a healthy lifestyle since most of us are in our comfort zones (with gyms and parks shut),” added Singh, who has worked extensively in the clinical set-up with reputed hospitals such as Fortis Escorts and Dharamshila Hospital and currently heads the
Department of Holistic Medicine and Counselling at Artemis Hospital, Gurugram and is also the Founder Director of The Mind and Wellness Studio.

Post COVID-19, when the entire world experienced work from home conditions, “the boundaries between work life and home life further got blurred for most people. While most people tried their best to maintain a proper work schedule, unfortunately a large number could not owing to the unfavourable conditions at home for eg, lesser space,
poor network, having children around, responsibility/ expectations to pitch in to the house work etc which further made work- life balance tougher for most people”.

“While some people experienced lesser productivity at home, there still was lack of me-time, due to the jumbling of the time, making people more hassled and stressed,” Singh added.

Added to this, tough bosses will stay irrespective of the pandemic or post-pandemic period “due to more squeezed deadlines”, she said.

And, with temper issues being quite common, “with the increase in stressors, anxieties and frustrations post the pandemic, a lot more people are tend to be irritable and angrier”.

Also, office politics is something which most people have faced prior and will continue to face post pandemic as well – though the levels could well increase.

“Politics arises when one tries to outdo the others, in order to become more visible/gain recognition in front of superiors. Since post the pandemic the markets are very slow and people fear losing their jobs/appraisals, they may try harder to out -do their colleagues using different ways,” Singh pointed out.

What will also need to be addressed is something often spoken about in whispers or swept under the carpet.

“A major reason why people fear their partners having an affair at workplace is because of the mere fact that they spend too much time at work, now due to the lockdown most couples have spent abundant of time with each other giving each other a lot of attention and time, once the lockdown opens partners will certainly not have as much time to devote to their homes and families- which could add up in increasing the insecurity,” Singh explained.

Does this not make for a revised edition of the book, in fact, even a totally new book based on the lessons learned from the pandemic?

“Absolutely it is a great idea; we could surely talk about it and may be come up with a separate issue on handling stress post-pandemic,” Singh concluded. (IANS)

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