Combatting Techostress

January 9, 2008 6:17:08 PM PST
Is technology overwhelming you? Relying more and more on voice mail, e-mail, mobile phones, Web sites, and faxes leaves us over-stimulated, fatigued, and stressed-out about always being "plugged in". Because technology lets us do so much, we are easily tempted to take on too much and end up feeling that things are never finished and there is no downtime any more. Symptoms of technostress include memory loss, impatience, diminished concentration, and difficulty in relaxing or falling asleep. Stress can also cause physical aliments such as headaches, back pain, and stomach disorders. If these sound familiar, try the following stress management strategies:

  • Give yourself more time for everything. Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to drive to an appointment, allow an extra day to complete a project, and learn to say "no" to low priority items.
  • Set regular time-out periods. For one or two hours, don't plug into anything. Take regular breaks. Get up, walk around, stretch, do breathing exercises, or meditate.
  • Lift your eyes from the computer at least every 30 minutes. Slow down. Limit multitasking and consciously try to stop rushing. Resist taking on the fast pace of others.
  • Exercise more. This may be the most important strategy. Exercise reduces stress and combats the many health problems associated with sedentary lifestyle.

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