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Distress and De-stress towards the Virtual Setting

Distress and De-stress towards the Virtual Setting


Stress is often stated during school works, jobs, and other factors such as conflicts in life and so on. The word stress is mostly associated with negative aspects, with its definition of emotional or mental strain due to tension or pressure exerted. Some may assume that it is a negative factor because of its description. In reality, stress is a normal response of the body towards changes due to different demands. Stress is identified in two classifications.

Eustress and Distress

Eustress and distress are the two categories under stress. Eustress is identified as a mental stressor that is highly associated with positive and health benefits. It is mostly referred to as good stress in terms of stress. In contrast to eustress, distress is the negative stressor that causes concern or anxiety that can lead to mental and physical problems which can affect the normal functioning of an individual.

How stress affects the brain?

Exposure to severe stress will not only alter an individual’s performance but it also influences the brain structure and functions specific to the hippocampus. Hippocampus is part of the limbic system that plays a vital role in the formation of new memories such as learning. Under human and animal studies, uncontrollable stress hinders the activity of the hippocampus. Impairments of hippocampal-dependent memory tasks may occur. Thus, shrinkage of hippocampal and brain volume will be involved due to stress. Studies of McEwen et al. (2009) have shown that in the hippocampus of a person with chronic stress that shrinkage of dendrites, dentate gyrus neurons, and loss of spine neurons can occur.

Stress During the Pandemic

In today’s setting with the on-going pandemic of COVID-19, stress is one factor given with the situation. Due to the life-threatening situation, the risk of mental health concerns may develop. Reports of distress, anxiety, and depression had increased because of this occurrence. With the disruption of the normal life function of people, this creates an effect of emotional reactions that can be a form of distress.


Distress and De-stress

Distress might be known as the negative stress that can fluctuate an individual’s health both emotionally and physically but the word “de-stress” differs from it. De-stress is a way of decreasing stress levels. In a way, it is classified as relaxation to release mental tension.

Ways to De-stress in the virtual setting

The transition of traditional into a virtual setting as the classes and work start because of the pandemic takes a toll in ways of coping. Due to the new setting, managing might be a bit difficult because of the improper transition of change. With the continuous alarming case and as well as the increased distress and mental health problems, the World Health Organization (2020) stated different coping techniques to eliminate stress in this occurrence. The following are the list of coping techniques given by WHO:

  • Stay connected with your friends and family. During the pandemic, feeling a variety of emotions such as unhappy, angry, stressed, and scared is normal reactions because of the disturbance of the normal life. By being connected with your friends, significant other, and family can ease negative emotions as you expressed yourself. Thus, it can also provide comfort to both parties as you help one another.
  • Build a routine. As home quarantine being implemented, the daily routine before an individual is interrupted due to the new normal setting. In this case, it is highly encouraged to create a new routine to adapt to the new setting. It is also a possible way of creating a healthy lifestyle to ensure proper health or to draw a skill.
  • Set a specific time to see the media coverage. With this in mind, it will limit the chances of worry and agitation since the media can be overwhelming specifically during this pandemic. Although the goal is to eliminate media coverage, this does not mean to remove and stay outdated about the news. By setting a specific time, it will lessen the feeling of agitation and anxiety to avoid being overwhelmed.
  • If things are too overwhelming, seek help. Needing professional help is not a sign of weakness but rather an action of courage. Talking to a professional physician will help you with your mental and physical health. As the director of the World Health Organization stated, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus quoted “there is no health without mental health”. Mental health is as important as your physical health, keep in mind that asking for help is never wrong.


Types of Stressors (Eustress vs. Distress). (n.d.).

Li, C., Cao, J., & Li, T. (2016, September 01). Eustress or distress: An empirical study of perceived stress in everyday college life.

McEwen, B., Lupien, S., Gunnar, M., & Heim, C. (2009, April 29). Effects of stress throughout the lifespan on the brain, behavior, and cognition.

Kim, E., & And, B. (1970, January 01). Eun Joo Kim. Stress effects on the hippocampus: a critical review.

Lupien, S.J., McEwen, B.S., Gunnar, M.R., & Heim, C. (2009, April 29). Effects of Stress throughout the lifespan on the brain, behavior, and cognitive.

Fuchs, E., & Flügge, G. (2003, June 25). Chronic social stress: Effects on limbic brain structures.

Lupien, S., Maheu, F., Tu, M., Fiocco, A., & Schramek, T. (2007, April 26). The effects of stress and stress hormones on human cognition: Implications for the field of brain and cognition.

Salari, N., Khaledi-Paveh, B., Rasoulpoor, S., Mohammadi, M., Rasoulpoor, S., Hosseinian-Far, A., . . . Vaisi-Raygani, A. (2020, July 06). Prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Pfefferbaum, B., & North, C. (2020, August 6). Mental Health and Covid-19 Pandemic.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). De-stress.

World Health Organization. (2020). Coping with stress during the 2019-nCoV Outbreak.


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What do you think?

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Written by Kim Colico

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Nidhi Dahiya

Amazing work

Riya Rajkotiya

Well Written

Sushmitha Subramani

Stress is very much prevalent in our lives especially after the pandemic and the sudden shift to the virtual world. Well conceptualized. Congratulations.

Grisha Vora

I agree with you since there is this mew tread on online education the stress has even more increased.

Sushmitha Subramani

Exactly. That’s why your article is relevant and impactful. It is a well conceptualized topic and a well executed article. Well done

Simone Morarka

Very well conceptualized!

Israela Pinto

Very well written. If at any point of Time I experience stress I’m gonna make sure to use the coping methods written in your article.

Amrita Jain

very good article but there are stressful conditions in virtual life too like it increases screening time which further give rise to other problems so a couldn’t say that the information you provided about de-stress is fully reliable.

Grisha Vora

This article is truly beautiful. I loved the way you explained two types of stress and also that might not be known by many people, so I loved the way you tried adding newness to your article. There were few grammatical mistakes but that can be ignored reading this amazing article. Also, please take care that whenever you quote someone you need to add double inverted commas to it.

Keep going..
Take care!!

Tanisha Jain

Insightful read! I think someone else has already pointed out some technical corrections so I just wanted to ask, have you implemented someone of the coping techniques mentioned by WHO and has that helped you de-stressed?


it’s commendable how in such a brief article you explained about stress so easily. i’m a student myself and often find myself in stress, will definitely try these de-stressing remedies when in stress.

Ishita Saha

It’s really well written. To be exact it’s just short and crisp. And it’s really relevant in these tough times. Keep going

Aditi Dhoundiyal

Hey Kim! loved the content provided in the article. The explanation is commendable and really easy to understand,even though it’s a vast and an important topic. Would’ve loved if you could conclude it a bit better the next time and also express your opinions too.Also, all the best for the future!

Andrea Shannon

Good concept and well written
Keep writing

Dhriti Chadha

Stress really changes our of living. Your article helped me understand the basis of stress, eustress and distress and ways to cope with stress. This way, our mental health improves and feel good about ourselves. The article has been very beautifully written in a short and crisp way.

Simone Morarka

Great job!! Very well written :))

Simone Morarka

A very fascinating read!

Yuvanue chauhan

Loved to read this beautiful written.

Jigyasa vashistha

This is such a lovely read