Covid-19 Stress & Coping
Impact of Stress on the Body
When we think about stress, we tend to focus on the source of the stress, which might be challenges we face or big changes in our life. But these stressors are only part of the story. How much of an effect a stressful event has on us depends on how we manage or cope with the stress. We can all identify times in our lives where something significant happened in our communities and people around us reacted in different ways. Some people were overwhelmed and wanted to give up, others sat patiently and waited, others were extremely active and made efforts to figure out what to do. Each of us copes differently, and that’s OK.
It is important to recognize that in this pandemic, we are not experiencing just one brief stressful event, but rather a prolonged period of stress, which we refer to as "chronic stress". Our biological stress response system was not designed to be activated for such a long period of time, and chronic stress can put a lot of wear and tear on both our mind and our body. The figure to the left highlights the many ways in which stress can affect our various biological systems, which keep us healthy when they work well, but make us more vulnerable to illness when they do not work well.Return to Top