It’s ironic that while technology like smartphones, laptops, and tablets can be a contributing cause of work-related stress, technology can actually also be used to help quell it.
The lines between work and home life are continually blurring, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to achieve the right balance. While flexible work hours and work-from-home policies are making things easier on one side, it also makes it more likely that a person works way beyond the typical 9-5 parameters and/or the eight hour work day or five-day work week. Thus, stress levels are on the rise.
How can you use technology to your benefit instead of your detriment? Here are some ideas.
Leverage Stress-Reducing Features of Wearables
Yes, exercise and stress relief can actually go hand-in-hand. Using a wearable device, like a fitness tracker or heart rate monitor, can help provide a better visual picture of your activity level and sleep, as well as how often you heart rate rises, and what your resting heart rate is. Having this data at your fingertips can help you adjust your habits and schedule to hopefully reduce stress, whether it means taking some time for a morning or evening run to calm your nerves, or turning in for the night an hour earlier so you feel more refreshed, and thus less stressed, the next day. Trackers like the new Fitbit Versa include features like Reminders to Move that will nudge you to get up and walk about so you don’t get caught up in stressful tasks without taking a break.
Use Music to Soothe You
Soothing tunes can help stress melt away, whether it’s classic music while you relax with a good book, or favourite slow jams as you make dinner. Make the experience even more convenient with a voice-controlled portable speaker, like the Google Home. Summon it to play whatever song or specific genre of tunes you desire, any time you want, without lifting a finger.
Calm Nerves Using Fidget Devices
Fidget spinners might be last year’s news, and seem far more appealing to school-aged children than adults. But there’s a reason why items like the squeezable stress ball and Newton’s Cradle are staples in office spaces. Simply fidgeting with something can help get your mind off things that are causing you stress, or at least help you focus better. Whatever your vice, there are neat fidget cubes like The Fidget Cube that might not be tech gadgets, per se, but do offer a different thing you’d often find on tech gear with which to fidget on every side – from a spin wheel to a trackball, and a clicker.
Apple Watch Breathe Exercises
Apple clearly knows that its target market for the Apple Watch is business professionals. Which makes its Breathe app an ideal one for stress reduction. Open the app, then set a desired breathing session, for just one minute, or a full five. It will walk you through slow and measured breathing exercises to help bring on a sense of calm, or provide a much needed break from the workday. While in the back of your mind, you might be thinking that you just don’t have time for this, the realization that it’s only a mere minute or five out of your day might be the wake-up call you need.