This week is International Stress Awareness Week (5th- 9th November) and there are plenty of ways you can get involved. The theme this year is ‘Does Hi-tech cause Hi-stress’ and will explore both the positive attributes technology has bought to our lives and the negative effects that a 24/7 lifestyle with technology can bring.
It cannot be denied that technology brings both news stresses and new challenges to our lives, which is why it is a really important topic to explore and to learn how to deal with the disadvantageous effects it can have.
Here are 5 of our top tips on how to deal with tech-related stress:
1. Plan Ahead
At some point we have all sat consistently refreshing our inboxes, double checking our smartphones for any new social interaction to be disappointed that a new message has in fact not come through in the last five or 10 seconds. Try to disconnect by scheduling times in your day where you check your emails or notifications, this way you can avoid unnecessary time-wasting and even the disappointment of not having a new notification. In these breaks try popping your phone on silent to further avoid distraction!
2. Face to face conversations
When communicating through either email, text messages or even social media sites, it is important to think about what you are writing. For example with written word it is extremely hard to sense a tone in the same way that you would when talking to someone in person and this can lead to misunderstanding. For some people having to wait for a response can also cause them stress and anxiety. Avoid these stresses by organising face-to-face meetings for your important conversations, which will also help develop relationships. Stop relying on technology so much and leave emails and texts for more trivial discussions.
3. Switch off from work
Although in some cases it’s difficult to completely separate from your job, having a work-life balance is extremely important to your stress levels. VTech and Toluna conducted a survey in which being constantly accessible for work was the number one cause for technology-related stress with nearly a quarter spending more time working as a consequence. So turn off your computer and phone, make your colleagues aware you will be unavailable for a period of time and set aside some work-free time. If it is absolutely necessary to check your messages outside of work, set a time in the evening for you to check to ensure you are not over doing it.
4. Digital detox
Do you know how much of the day are you connected to the internet? Most if not all of it, right? Being in constant connection to an online world means you are probably missing out on real life conversations and interactions which are much more important to your life. To help reduce your tech-related stress levels try to spend a day, a week (whatever you feel comfortable with) without any technology. Appreciate the views your life has to give without taking a photograph, listen to the real life sounds around you rather than your headphones and most importantly – live in and enjoy the moment. You may find it odd at first having become attached to technology, but you will realise when you return to it – that nothing bad has happened with your constant online presence and you may even look at life in a slightly more open way.
5. Leave technology alone at bed time
Technology has the ability to affect your sleeping patterns, which in the long run can lead to health issues. Sleep deprivation can lead to tiredness, irritability and can also wear down you immune system. Exposing yourself to the blue light your screens emit suppresses your melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your body to know when to sleep and wake up so it is important to make sure your resting correctly. Instead of checking your feed one last time, or watching one more episode of your favourite programme; open the book you promised yourself you’d finish or take a relaxing bath!
We have a number of free resources that you can use to ascertain your own stress levels and tips on how you can de-stress.
Be sure to take our Individual Stress Test above, because for one week only we have added 10 more tips on how to better communicate stress in celebration of International Stress Awareness Day 2017!
Get regular tips and updates from our Blog!
We regularly post on our 10 step solution blog about all things stress. You can find more tips and tricks on the blog every week, but this week we are focusing on how you can communicate about stress. In particular we have 4 blog posts that you may find useful