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Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.139

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura PhD.

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D.,PhD., Yuki Senoo MUDr.

277. Listening to the warning signs of stress

 The widespread COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing event across the globe. The current restrictions require residents to stay home. In the time of COVID-19, many people may experience heavy physical and psychological burdens from the prolonged dramatic changes in daily life routines.

 When dealing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to recognize the warning signs of stress. Changes in mood, such as feeling anxious and depressed, and having decreased motivation, are signs of stress, as are different physical changes, including tiredness, headaches, dizziness, stiff shoulders, and even constipation can manifest. Furthermore, behavioral changes such as increased alcohol consumption, smoking, overeating, and being irritable are signs of stress. It is important to note that one’s body and mind are connected.

 Even if you feel motivated with your current tasks and initially are able to push forward, in other words experiencing a runner’s high, you suddenly may burn out. This is because when you are under stress for a few months, your resilience to stress lowers over time and leads to a mental breakdown. Therefore, it is crucial to note that this could happen to anyone and recognize the small changes in yourself.

 One way to check your physical and mental status is to take a moment every day, even for a short time, to sit calmly, take a deep breath, and concentrate on how you are feeling and whether your body is healthy.

278. More caution for heat stroke during exercise when wearing a mask

 As of May 14, 2020, the COVID-19 state of emergency has been lifted in Fukushima prefecture. Many people will likely resume their daily routines in increments after the state of emergency is lifted. Still, careful consideration is needed for making any changes in our living environment, particularly in the post-coronavirus phase.

 One example is heat exhaustion. The weather in Japan will gradually grow warmer around May. Currently, days with the temperature rising above 30 °C have been observed several times. In addition to the increased risk of heat exhaustion associated with high temperature, note that some people may take longer than usual to acclimate to the heat because of recent restrictions from going outside, working at home, or studying at home. Furthermore, some people may not have been able to sleep well due to the lack of exercise or changes in daily routines. It is important not to underestimate the environmental changes the COVID-19 pandemic caused and gradually acclimate yourself to the hot environment.

 Also, when you wear a mask during exercise, your body cannot cool itself adequately by removing the body heat by ventilation. This results in an increased rate of inhalation and exhalation to produce more sweat.

 When exercising with a mask on, be sure to adjust the intensity of exercise and drink plenty of water to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration. Also note that you could get heat exhaustion inside the house as well. When you are indoors, make sure to ventilate the room frequently to avoid high humidity and use the air conditioner when necessary.


The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, 10th May and 17th May, 2020 was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.


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