Will the Chronic Stresses from Covid Lead to Even More Death?

chronic stresses and covid

Is the stress of uncertainty as likely to cause mass death as the actual covid virus?

Chronic stresses from covid?! Okay, so I’m not trying to create any sort of fear-based click-bait bullshit but I read something interesting earlier today and I feel like I must share. 

As many of you know I’ve been working on the Phallic Food Diet cookbook and recipes. But what you may not know is that I also have been doing behind-the-scenes research on the entire food scene– our diets, our systems for acquiring food, the choices that we make when we decide what to eat, and how to have a more holistic healthy lifestyle.  All of this has been fascinating, and I know, you’re now wondering, how this is related to the pandemic? 

chronic stresses and covid
To namaste or to not nama-go that is the question…

Well, recently, I’ve been reading a book by Deepak Chopra, called, What Are You Hungry For? In it he talks about how mindfulness and awareness are the most important elements when it comes to weight. This makes sense, when we listen to the body, like really listen, we know what it needs or when we’ve consumed too much etc. But, most importantly, STRESS plays a major role in our overall holistic health– this I suppose is pretty obvious. But chronic stress, that which may be even low-grade, almost like a daily hum that you have ignored or found distractions from, could actually kill you over time. He discusses how there are three main factors that lead to a chronic imbalance:

  • repetition
  • unpredictability
  • and lack of control

Check this out, he goes on to talk about these factors in example form:

“In one classic laboratory experiment in animal behavior, mice were placed on a metal grid that administered a mild shock, not enough to harm them but enough to jolt them. The shocks were administered at random, and the mice could not run away. Thus the three worst factors–repetition, unpredictability, and lack of control were all present. 

Even though the shocks, considered one at a time, were harmless, the mice quickly declined and died. Their bodies’ ability to return to homeostasis had been exhausted. Unable to adapt, they shut down completely. The lesson seems clear: low-level stress appears to be harmless, but under the wrong conditions it leads to a breakdown of your ability to adapt.” 

Could we be the mice and covid-19 the electric shock? It feels almost like an exact parallel. We’re all afraid that we could get zapped with this deadly virus at anytime, the virus is unpredictable and with it, our society mirrors that unpredictability with all of these constant changings in lifestyle, business practices, healthcare etc. And we are definitely not in control about any of this. 

So, what do we do then? Seems like perhaps this is a classic, “adapt or die” type of situation. 

What do the chronic stresses from covid look like? How many of us are stress eating? Drinking excessively to numb out? Avoiding? Deflecting? Crying out of the blue for no “apparent” reason? Experiencing terrible sleep patterns? Being irritable? Depressed? Angry? I personally have cycled through all of these things (and found peace and then cycled through again). 

What’s the solution for chronic stresses from covid?

I’m not an expert, but my guess is that we need to learn how to better ride the waves of chaos.

I’m sure things like meditation and yoga and walks around the block help. Perhaps reading books and articles on mindfulness, spiritual enlightenment, death acceptance would also be good. Also, turning off the news, stepping away from the phone, big time game changers. And we def need to work on maintaining social interactions, even if they’re not as touching as we’d like them to be at the moment. 

I have tried all of the above and my mental health does feel much improved, I feel lighter, less prone to eating the ENTIRE bag of chips (now just like 10!). I have plans to live a very long time, until I’m 108 to be exact, if I don’t, such is life, but if I do, I want my time while I’m here to be full of joy, love, as opposed to fear and stress. And If I have to namaste my way through it for that to happen, I will! 

Do I want to go back to the way things were pre-covid? Absolutely not. I believe this is our opportunity to re-set, to re-imagine the type of world we want to live in. Time for some brainstorming sessions and a rewrite. Who wants to join me to discuss? We can have a google hangouts philosophy + design party!

(Photo by processingly on Unsplash)