What do you get more of the more you stress out about it? That’s right, it’s stress — and our COVID-19 pandemic woes aren’t making things any easier. Citing examples of our troubles will only send us into a tailspin, so we figure that it would be better if we focused on what we can do to help instead. This is why we came up with a list of easy ways to relieve stress while working from home.
1. Take a break from caffeine
In high enough doses, caffeine in food and drinks such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and certain sodas elevates feelings of anxiety. While drinking five cups of caffeinated drinks a day is still considered moderate, each individual’s tolerance for the chemical varies.
If you find yourself becoming jittery, cut down on your intake, replace them with non-caffeinated substitutes (like sparkling mineral water in place of sugary sodas) or abstain from it altogether. And if you choose to continue to drink such beverages, always drink an equal amount of water to help desaturate your body.
2. Light a scented candle
Since you’re already at home, it’s now time to whip out the candles you’ve been saving. Choose the ones with essential oils that are particularly soothing, such as:
Whenever you feel your anxiety rising because of a looming deadline or another pressing concern outside of work, remember to pause, take a deep breath, ground yourself, then resume doing your task with a calmer demeanor.
You might also want to take full advantage of your candles by taking a few minutes to try one of these desk-based meditations.
3. Make submitting work early a habit
Some people admit enjoying the adrenaline rush that beating deadlines bring. However, always living on the edge brings about chronic stress. Chronic stress takes its toll on your immune system, making you more prone to illness at a time when hospitals are often at full capacity.
Counter this counterproductive habit by planning your tasks days or weeks in advance and aiming to finish everything with time to spare. This way, you give yourself ample time to relax and calmly address issues that may pop up at the last moment.
4. Take breaks often and get enough rest
Tragically, stories of healthcare frontliners dying due to sheer exhaustion are not uncommon these days. The human body is not built to work two or more consecutive shifts — this means that a good night’s rest is an important component of work.
Additionally, when work involves spending hours in front of a screen, it is advisable to shift your gaze elsewhere every hour to give your eyes a break. Many people go so far as to use the Pomodoro technique, while others find that taking 10- to 20-minute power naps works for them.
This sounds counterintuitive, but exercise actually lowers levels of cortisol and other stress hormones while elevating levels of endorphins, hormones that act as a natural painkiller and help improve mood.
Moreover, having a good sweat contributes to a state of “happy tiredness,” a feeling that promotes the restful sleep you need to take on another day of work.
Handling IT is stressful, especially if your business is not related to anything IT at all. To reduce your IT-induced stress, turn to Umbrella. To learn more, consult with our IT experts today.