Our usage of mobile phones is increasing at an exponential rate.
Think about how much time you spend each day on your phone
- Your alarm on your mobile phone wakes you up every day.
- You then get distracted by news articles and Instagram posts (so much for getting an early start).
- To wake yourself up you listen to your favourite artist or Podcaster, before leaving the house and following Google Maps to your destination.
Alarming isn’t it?
Although our increased reliance on mobile phones has come with a string of benefits, there are also some serious consequences.
Technology has been blamed for a magnitude of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and stress. Most professionals have reported experiencing stress as they find it hard to switch off or disconnect from their work at the end of the day. This is partly due to people having access to their work emails on their phones, meaning there is no clear distinction between work time and leisure time. The sheer mass of information available to us means that our brains are constantly consuming content which can add to stress levels and an overall feeling of overwhelm.
However, the digital age is here to stay, and it is important as professionals to develop coping mechanisms and strategies to avoid exacerbating mental health conditions brought on by technology.
To help you, we discuss 7 ways to combat stress brought on by technology.
1. Take a Brain Break
Did you know that there is a formula for productivity? There are many variations, but one of the most famous is from Brendon Burchard who states that taking a brief break to stand up and stretch, walk around the block, or chat with a colleague, every 50 minutes is the most productive way to work. Take a break from staring at your screen and enjoy the fresh air, you’ll return feeling energized and ready to work.
2. Update Your Work-Space
When you spend over 7 hours a day at your desk, you want to ensure your space evokes happiness and motivation. Put time aside to organize your workspace, print of some photographs of loved ones, purchase some artwork or if you’re feeling ambitious an indoor plant can really boost the vibe (Jen Su,2017).
3. Speak to Your Manager
The greatest asset a company has is its people. If you are struggling with your workload and battling to maintain work-life balance, confide in your manager. Together you can assess your current situation and work on strategies to manage your workload.
4. Move Your Body
Ever feel like you are chained to your desk? The simple movement of moving your body can be incredibly beneficial to your mental health. Next time you are feeling stressed take a lap of the office for a quick chat with your colleague or run some errands during your lunch hour.
5. Set Boundaries
This is an area where most people struggle. How many of us check emails and respond to requests well into the evening? To alleviate these issues, it is important to set clear guidelines for your team members when it is appropriate to discuss work-related items. Setting boundaries for yourself is also important, for example purchasing a mobile phone purely for work situations and switching it to airplane mode during family mealtimes (Gionta & Guerra, 2015).
6. Reduce Unnecessary Communication
This is something that your company needs to look at from an operational perspective. Minimizing the number of people needed to make a decision, decreases the number of steps needed to reach a goal. Trusting your team and empowering them to make decisions will be rewarding for them and for your stress levels.
It sounds simple, but sometimes we need to be reminded that we can unplug. Our mobile phones are filled with a myriad of stresses and distractions; however, we have the power to remove ourselves and switch off. Remember to take time for yourself, catch up with a friend, take a spin class, endeavour on a hike. There is a wide world that exists outside your mobile phone.