Screens. They’re everywhere. You’re looking at one right now.
Stress is everywhere too. Could there be a connection? You betcha. Does that mean you should ditch your devices for good? Not at all. You just have to be smart about how you use technology. Don’t be a slave to it. In fact, make technology your b*tch. (Did I just say that? Yes I did.)
Here are five easy things you can do to slash your stress levels while making technology work in your favor.
Get a notebook. You know, the kind that has real paper inside. Make your to-do lists there and update them often. Otherwise, every time you go to update an electronic to-do list, you’ll be tempted to check Facebook or email.
Walk away. Try to enjoy a walk outside for 20-30 minutes per day, and leave your phone at home if at all possible. You’ll be more likely to breathe deeply and notice your surroundings if your phone isn’t competing for your attention. Wondering how you’ll know when it’s time to head back home? See my next tip below.
Get a watch. Any kind that speaks to you (but I don’t mean that literally… no Apple watches please!) That way, when you need to check the time, you won’t be checking your phone and then reading your latest alerts as well.
Use an old-fashioned alarm clock. Nothing disrupts your sleep more than the light emitted from electronics – such as digital alarm clocks and phones. If you’ve been using your phone as an alarm clock, you’ve been sleeping with electro-magnetic waves right by your head. Power down every device possible while you sleep. In the morning you’ll be better rested and ready to face any stress that comes your way.
Schedule a screen-free day. Find a non-work day when you can forego checking email, Facebook or anything online. What will you do with that time? Breathe, walk, and connect with loved ones – this gives you a boost of the bonding hormone oxytocin which directly lowers stress levels. Worried other people will think you’ve fallen off the face of the earth? That’s what auto-responders are for. Let them know you’ll get back to them in 24 hours.
These simple changes hardly require any time at all and will help you get your sanity back!