Stress Management: What’s Worked, What Hasn’t, and Why Stress Management is a Work in Progress for E
Michael Mejer, Vice President of the Board, Affinity Patient Advocacy
With work-life balance becoming harder for people to achieve since the pandemic forced many into remote work and work-from-home situations (which has many benefits), the line between our personal and professional lives has been blurred. I’m not here to attach work-from-home or remote work. In fact, I’m a big supporter of the perks and benefits that a work-from-home or a remote-work lifestyle offers. However, I’m also very aware of the price many of us have to pay in exchange for some of those perks.
Personally, I’ve been working from home for about four years now. It was amazing at first. One year into it, my thoughts on work-from-home changed because I would find myself often feeling guilty for not answering a call, email, or working later into the evening knowing there was a project that still needed more work-even if it wasn’t urgent or on a tight deadline. There was also no more feeling of relief when I’d walk in the door after a long day of work because well, I never left the workplace to begin with.
Can you relate to some of this? Do you ever feel like it’s tough to fully disconnect or unplug? Whether you’re working from home or working in a fast-paced industry or environment, stress management is something we need to all be conscious of, understand, and know how to apply it to our busy lives.
Three Things that Help with Unplugging and Recharging
1. Put your devices away
Between phone calls, emails, texts, and so many of the other hundreds of notifications we receive on a regular basis, keeping our phones glued to our hands might be necessary for some more than others during the work day, but there needs to be a point in the day where the phone goes away. Pick your head up, put the phone down, and look around you. Be present with yourself, with your family, and do something around the house or go for a walk with no phone. Make a conscious effort to not even check your phone for thirty minutes and you’ll notice how liberating it feels.
2. Put yourself in a new environment
This is the best piece of advice I’ve ever received as someone who works from home. It’s important to have a designated area for work. Once you’re done with work, you can physically remove yourself from that area and it helps imitate the feeling of leaving the office.
3. Go outside
Vitamin D from the sun has been proven to help improve mood. Make it a habit to get outside for just 15-20 minutes before the day starts and after it’s done. It’s amazing what a bit of fresh air and sun can do. As an added bonus for those who struggle with falling asleep, this will also help improve your body’s circadian rhythm.
Don’t feel pressured to have your stress management figured out in one day, week, month, or even year. Our lives are constantly evolving and as time moves on we’re presented with new challenges, obstacles, and circumstances. Once you understand that stress management is an ongoing process and that it’s something we need to be aware of in order to not just feel better but perform better at whatever tasks we do day in and day out, it’ll be a game changer in all the best ways.