Richa is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of YourDOST. In this era of rising expectations and aspirations of people, YourDOST is built to take care of emotional wellness of the people. Richa is a compassionate person herself. She has seen a lot of people around her suffering emotionally right from the days of her IIT preparation. She always believed that this could be avoided. The tipping point for her was when her friend at IIT Guwahati committed suicide and none of them had any idea of her suffering before she took this step. All the while the college had counselling cell but no-one was approaching the counselors, psychologists available. This incident impacted her deeply and that’s when she started her research and started looking for answers to what options were available to her friend and why are people not approaching the available counselors? This incident and her compassionate nature made her start YourDOST.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a testament to India Inc’s resilience. Whether it be switching to remote working or supporting employees in their time of need, the efforts made by organisations has been commendable.
But let’s not forget, we’re all human, our emotional well-being is critical to a healthy personal and professional life. As per the study, Over 55% of Indian working professionals experienced a significant increase in their stress levels due to the pandemic. Additionally, they also experienced a significant increase in feelings of anxiety, anger and loneliness.
But does this mean that the pandemic has caused all these issues and workers were never affected by emotional issues in the past? No, not really. A 2015 study by ASSOCHAM found that a shocking 42.5% of employees in the private sector suffer from generalized anxiety disorder or depression.
In such a situation, certain digital wellness tools may prove to be beneficial to workers. These can be divided into two categories:
- Emotional Wellness Test
Stress is our body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When we feel threatened, our nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. Stress isn’t always bad, though. Stress within our comfort zone can help us to perform under pressure, motivate us to do our best, even keep us safe when danger looms. But when stress becomes overwhelming, it can damage our health, mood, relationships, and quality of life.
- Anxiety Test
Anxiety is an emotion of dread, fear and worry that something will go wrong. While anxiety in small doses is good for us, because it motivates us to do our best, when anxiety gets out of hand, it impairs us from leading a happy, peaceful life.
B. Relief Techniques
Once a worker is aware of how stressed or anxious, they are, they may choose their next steps to tackle the same. Some digital tools to help them cope with moderate levels of stress and anxiety are as follows:
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
PMR involves progressively tensing and then relaxing various muscles of the body and focusing one’s attention on the sensations from these.
Stress usually manifests itself in the form of tensing of certain muscles in our bodies. With time, we get so used to carrying this stress that these muscles stay stuck in this tense state, and we do not even realise it. PMR forces us to tense and then relax every muscle. This ensures that we also relax the muscles that were already tense. The release of this tension induces relaxation of the mind as your body returns into its most relaxed, natural state.
The efficacy of PMR is tremendous. Studies show that in many cases, it proves to be as effective as SSRIs (A class of commonly prescribed antidepressant medications) in treating stress, anxiety & depression. It is recommended that it be practices at least once a day, ideally at bedtime.
- Talk Therapy
In cases of severe to very severe stress and anxiety, it is recommended that the individual speak with a professional counsellor/therapist to receive personalised tips and techniques to combat and recover from their distress. What matters here is the availability and accessibility of counsellors as well as a confidential and non-judgemental therapeutic environment.
Thanks to digital technology, this is now available directly through smart devices (phones, tablets, laptops, desktops) from anywhere at anytime.