Since the start of the pandemic, stress levels have skyrocketed for plenty of reasons — but none more than work environments and health concerns.

Women’s Rio Rancho Business Center was aware of this ongoing problem and decided to do something about it. The majority of their clients are women, people of color, and low-income New Mexicans. They also have resources to assist anyone with a passion to start or grow their business. 

“It is no secret that stress has been scientifically proven to have a negative impact on us physically, mentally, and psychologically — especially in women,” Program Coordinator Sara Osusky said.

They hosted a workshop on Tuesday with Psychologist Dr. Stacey Goldstein-Dwyer, who talked about stress in the workplace.

Goldstein-Dwyer covered the main reasons of workplace stress and how to cope with it.

“The pandemic has only heightened emotional stress. Working from home can cause anxiety in people who have a hard time separating work and home,” she said.

Goldstein-Dwyer sees a vast range of individuals of all ages and backgrounds.(Courtesy of Dr. Stacey Goldstein-Dwyer)

She and her psychology group are getting many “high-stress individuals” who have anxiety about unpredictability. This means people are stressed about not knowing what will happen.

“No one knows when this pandemic will end and that is causing a lot of anxiety in people,” she said.  

Goldstein-Dwyer has simple ways to limit stress and it starts with work-life balance.

“People often take work with them on their phone when they go home. For example, I had one woman who had her work email on her phone and that was when she observed the most stress. When she removed the work email, her anxiety improved significantly,” she said.

Here are some other small things people can change, according to Goldstein-Dwyer:

  • Take breaks and distract yourself for at least 15 minutes every day. If you have a lunch break don’t work during your eating time.
  • Establish a new routine if your current one doesn’t work. That can mean setting a time for yourself when you stop working all together.
  • Keep a stress log. Keep track of when and where you feel stress.
  • Most importantly if you are having trouble managing your stress see a specialist. It is okay to get help.