How to Handle Cumulative Stress

By Jonathan Black, Working@Duke

Adric Hardy is adjusting to a new position as assistant dean of students for the Duke Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. He’s also searching for a home in Durham. But the heaviest burden remains navigating life during a historic pandemic. 

While many stressors are typically isolated occurrences, cumulative stress occurs when several prolonged concerns—such as chronic illness, death of a loved one and the uncertainty of a pandemic—pile up with no recovery or resolution in sight.

“Handling all these different stressors is a work in progress,” Hardy said. “It takes a toll juggling so many different stressful life events.”

Robin Gurwitch, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, said sources of cumulative stress are not managed, they can cause exhaustion, mood swings, burnout and more. 

Read the full article on Duke Today.