I Tried 5 Popular Stress-Reducing Strategies So You Don’t Have To
Because we’re all looking for a little relief these days.
If you’re one of the many who began living the work-from-home life a few months ago, you may not need me to fill you in about how work slowly becomes life. Few people enjoy a commute, but we can all agree that it historically served as a good, concrete indicator of when to start and, importantly, stop work. And without it—or even an office to go to—those edges of the workday have gotten even fuzzier, creating nonstop work. Over the past few months, I’ve struggled not to work through the weekends, made even more challenging by the flurry of work emails on Saturday mornings. (Is nothing sacred?) Now, I spend my nights thinking about the emails I should’ve sent or all the things I could be doing better than I am. And I don’t even have kids!
But there’s an upside to all this: It makes me the ideal guinea pig for my own little self-intervention. After all, I own at least three books from the self-help section, and I’m well aware of all the stress-reduction techniques available via Google. So I decided to test out the best strategies to see what worked for me—and maybe they’ll work for you, too.
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Turn Off Phone Notifications
I have some pretty Luddite-adjacent views of my phone. Mostly: I hate it. It’s like having a needy, high-pitched boss in my pocket at all times. And while I try to keep it in my bag or at the other end of my studio apartment, it’s far easier just to turn off all my notifications, which may be good for me in a few ways. A study found that those who turned off their phone notifications felt less stressed and more productive over the course of the day. Though a few felt more anxious about missing important information, those who had a positive experience kept it up even after the study ended.
Now, I have to unlock my phone to see whether I have an incoming Slack DM or text. Finally free of electronic interruptions, I’m never going back; no anxiety-inducing news means no anxiety. Just don’t make me your emergency contact.