5 stress-busting ways to use tech

There are ways that tech can help us through the toughest times…

21 Apr 2020

This is a stressful time for a lot of us. Uncertainty about our health, our jobs, or what our future will look like can weigh pretty heavily on our minds. There are ways that tech can help though, and we’ve put five of our best suggestions here.

Use tech to talk it out

A problem shared is a problem halved. Chatting with a friend or loved one about what’s worrying you can make things seem much less scary. You can also get a new perspective on a situation.

While nothing can quite replace face-to-face contact, video calls can help. When we can see someone’s body language, it’s much easier to empathise and connect. That’s where a Portal can help. This handy gadget from Facebook makes it easy to video call your friends and family and works even if they don’t have one themselves.

Get mindful with a meditation app

Ever get that feeling like your mind is racing? In the short term, meditation can help clear that mental clutter and give a bit of relief. In the long term, regular meditation is shown to reduce our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

There are loads of great apps out there, but one of the best is Headspace. They’re offering free access to meditation courses on things like navigating change or coping with anxiety while the pandemic continues.

So, after your breakfast tomorrow, maybe take ten minutes to do a quick meditation and see how it changes your outlook on your day.

Make time for a quick foot massage

This is a no-brainer. Most of us can agree massages feel great. But did you know that they actually help our mind as well as our body? Massages release feel-good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins in our body, making us automatically feel a lot less stressed. Although, understandably, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to get a masseuse to visit you these days…

This Homedics Dual Shiatsu Foot Massager is a good substitute for the real thing. Shiatsu is an ancient Japanese style of massage that presses on certain pressure points to relieve tension. And this massager’s completely automated so you can just sit back, relax, and forget about the day’s worries.

Turn down the anxiety with aromatherapy

Getting some essential oils involved in your life can be a great stress-buster. While we’re cooped up at home, it’s nice to introduce natural scents from the great outdoors into our home. And creating a beautiful environment is relaxing in itself. A diffuser, like this one from Ellia, makes it easy to fill your room with gorgeous smells and is easy on the eye.

If you’re looking for somewhere to start, Lavender essential oil is proven to lower blood pressure and heart rate – easing that heart-pounding feeling that can make anxiety worse. Rose is supposed to soothe emotions and Ylang Ylang improve your mood.

Use your phone to give some gratitude

Gratitude lists might sound like the last thing you want to do when you’re busy, but they can really help adjust your perspective. Before you go to bed each night, write a quick list of all the things you’re grateful for today. It can be really simple things - like a comfy bed.

Even better, start doing it with a close friend and text each other your lists the following morning. This will keep you on the look out for things that make you happy each day, rather than focusing on the negatives. And it will remind you every morning that someone is thinking of you.

Remember though- if you feel like you’re really struggling, there’s no shame in taking a look at the NHS or Mind resources for a little bit of extra help.

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