If you’re overwhelmed with stress related to work, school, your personal life, and what is currently going on in the world, it’s easy to lose a sense of work-life balance and reach complete burn-out. When you have a lot of thoughts, combined with planning for your future and additional responsibilities, you’re constantly jumping around in your mindset. Stress is created through wanting things to be different and anything that you haven’t completed, but it’s also created through being over-extended and planning wayyy too much. Planning for life experiences like marriage and making a particular salary at a certain age can create unnecessary stress. I’m all for being intentional, but timelines can leave you superrr unsatisfied with what is going on in the NOW.
With many people in their twenties and thirties working long hours for big companies while they are single, it can be hard to balance other areas of your life. Spending too much time working can even prevent you from entering into substantial relationships and cultivating other outlets and side-projects because there isn’t as much time to commit to adding something new into the mix. There is a positive side to stress in that it can propel you forward in order to perform better, take risks, and reach higher achievement. However, this blog post is about managing stress that is hindering you from feeling relaxed and impacting in ways you need to manage.
These are some strategies that have worked for lately to de-stress and create more balance in my life:
Studies have shown the average person spends 60-80 percent of their lives on their phones or using the internet. Isn’t that scary?
It’s nearly possible to do a technology and internet detox during the work week. For most professions, you need to use a computer at least occasionally. If you’re a student, you need your computer for research and writing essays. If you want an instant answer to any question, Google has it. Even if it’s the wrong answer, Google has it.
The truth is, for most of us, a full technology detox is not possible. It’s really hard to go off the grid and manage your relationships. It isn’t easy to tell your SO, mother, or anyone you talk to on a regular basis, “I can’t talk to you for the next week because I’m doing a technology detox.”
I’m all for women focusing on themselves first and being their own first priority regardless of what is going on in their life. It’s best for you in order to be in your natural feminine state- the receiver, the creator, and the nurturer. But when it comes to a technology detox, you need balance your commitments, relationships, and what’s best for you. Unfortunately, we can’t take a silent meditation retreat EVERY single time we’re stressed. It’s completely unrealistic. However, you can still minimize the excess that you don’t need.
Telling people you have boundaries and are trying to create work-life balance is the way to go. I always respect people who say that don’t take work calls or emails past 9pm or on the weekends. It’s not hurting anyone or a business in the long run. Your company gets the best out of you because you’re resting- and you create the space to chill. I also respect people who work overtime for long hours because they’re invested in their future. Still, doing so can create a lot of unmanaged stress, so balance is key.
The best way to detox from technology is to turn off your screens or on the weekends. This can involve using technology at work and then putting it away or setting dedicated time for it. Take a hike. Chill in nature. Spend quality time with family and friends. Put your phone away. Post your party pictures on Monday night.
- Charge your phone and computer at least five feet away from your bed at night, or in another room. (My dog gets super annoyed if I’m using technology at night. It’s disrespectful actually.)
- Only do Google searches for research and educational purposes during your detox. No searches for anything that could feed you false information or make you feel badly about yourself.
Social Media Detox
Social media has become completely integrated into our lives- sharing photos, life updates, memes, etc. Since most of us log into social media accounts every day, it’s kind of normal to be addicted to it and not really know- especially since it’s a communication outlet. We communicate through sharing content, images and online messaging. It’s the world we live in. It is true that communicating online or via text can create emotional intimacy and connection, so in that way it’s a valuable outlet to stay in touch and online meet-ups are super common. It’s a different kind of emotional intimacy, and it’s not fully complete, so you need to consider the nature of the relationship and how well you know the person.
Still, spending too much time on social media can have negative ramifications on your mental health. Sometimes you even see things you don’t want to see. We live in a world where what used to be private is now shifting into the public sphere. There is a contradiction in our society. In reality, as people go through transitions in life- graduating high school and college, starting jobs, building careers, entering into serious relationships- we are always focused more on our own lives. However, with social media, we become invested on what is going on in other people’s lives. It can create a perception that other people have “better lives” than you. You see major life updates- your friends getting jobs, starting companies, and getting engaged. Maybe you want these things for yourself, but you’re not there yet. Even though you’re happy for your friends, you’re creating a comparison that leaves you feeling unsatisfied with your life.
Regardless of your political beliefs about our US President, it goes without saying this election has caused a massive stir. Our country needs healing. Naturally as a result, our Facebook news feeds are currently cluttered with strong opinions, fear, hate, life updates, people promoting their businesses, engagement statuses, check-ins at restaurants and airports, and pictures of our friends and family doing fun things. Sometimes in order to truly be happy, you need to detach from all of the extra stimulation and focus on yourself.
- Delete social media apps from your phone for 3-15 days
- Keep the Facebook messenger app so you don’t miss messages from friends and family
- Find an outlet that substitutes social media
- Set dedicated time in your schedule for social media instead of checking it out when you’re bored
- Compartmentalize your social media accounts. EX: For instance, branded photos on your public Instagram, promoting your business, photography, or blog with a bit of personal shares. Facebook for the highlights of your life meant for family and friends. Twitter for sharing interesting articles or anything you’ve written. With personal branding in mind, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re sharing because it can have ramifications later.
Many “detoxes” that are highly popular are fads, but taking these principles into account in your diet can help you Detox from stress, clear toxins from your body. It is important to research any nutritional detox or cleansing methods you are experimenting with… Additionally, look up ingredients you’ve never heard of in products you are trying. Lots of salespeople will try to sell you a product that you personally cannot take due to caffeine intolerance, the supplement or product interacting with any medications or other supplements you are taking, and your bio-individuality. The best way to detox is to improve your diet. Be careful.
- Drink a gallon of water a day
- Try a juice cleanse
- Reduce your sugar intake
- Reduce your wheat and dairy intake
- Increase your protein intake
- Drink herbal tea daily
- Remember your multi-vitamins and don’t exceed several supplements a day
I hope these ideas got you thinking and were helpful to you as you manage stress. (P.S. A lot of these things I am practicing right now, so just sharing what’s been working. It can be super-hard to manage how you’re feeling and relax all of the time, but you are the only one who can control how you are feeling while you manage stress.)
“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’
– Eckhart Tolle