The chronic stress survival guide: how to live with the anxiety and grief you can’t escape


Elle Hunt

Stress can feel like a baseline condition for many of us – especially during a pandemic. But there are ways to help alleviate the very worst of it, whether through support, sleep or radical self-care

At a time when all life’s challenges have been amplified by the pandemic – and awareness of burnout, at home and at work, has never been higher – stress might seem to be our baseline condition. For most of us, these periods of pressure pass relatively quickly. Even serious stress can be temporary and, given the chance to recover, we usually will. “But emotional resilience won’t solve everything,” says Rachel Boyd, from the mental health charity Mind. “Some of the causes of stress are very challenging to cope with, even when we feel OK.”

Many of our everyday challenges have been amplified by the pandemic and its consequences for the economy and society. Those living with financial hardship, health conditions, or caregiving responsibilities, in particular, may feel there is no end in sight. But even if stress seems essential to your circumstances and you don’t have the option or the resources to change them, there are ways you can support yourself.

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