6 Healthy Stress Relief Tips for Remote Work
by Thom Brown
Stress is one of the greatest threats in the modern world. Extreme stress affects 33% of people, while 70-80% of workers experience stress that impacts their physical or mental health. But living with these levels of stress is not sustainable, leading many to turn to unhealthy coping methods.
Most commonly, people will turn to alcohol or cigarettes. The health risks of this kind of behavior mimic that of stress: weight gain, sleep problems, and a decline in heart health. As a result, they don’t solve the problem. They may offer temporary relief but ultimately leave you in the same place or worse.
So what can you do? You want to continue being a productive and successful remote worker but you also want to manage your stress in a way that is healthy. There are many options available that allow you to do just this. Here are six of the most effective healthy stress relievers.
Take Short Walks
Walking is one of the easiest and most effective ways to beat stress. It does this by increasing blood flow, which positively impacts the central nervous response system – the system that controls stress levels. The act of walking invokes feelings of calm.
Most remote workers spend the vast majority of their days sitting at a desk. This limits your blood circulation, meaning that you have no mechanism to bring your stress levels back down as they rise. Simply getting up and walking – even if it’s for 30 seconds – can help balance out your cortisol levels.
Schedule in Regular Breaks
When you’re working on an important task, it’s tempting to power through and keep going until it’s done. However, this will cause you to slowly creep towards burnout, without even realizing it. Therefore, you need to force yourself to take breaks by scheduling them in.
One popular method is called the Pomodoro technique: taking a five-minute break every 25 minutes and a 15-minute break every hour. These breaks allow you to lower your stress so you can return to work with increased energy and focus. This enables you to keep working for longer while ending the day with healthy stress levels.
Turn Off Your Phone
Every time the brain is stimulated, it becomes slightly more stressed. When you experience overstimulation, you risk suffering from burnout. Therefore, it’s important to practice a more minimalist daily lifestyle. Cut out any distractions and only focus only what is necessary. Limit the amount of input your brain is having to process.
The best way to do this is to stop multitasking. The best way to do that is to turn off your phone since this is the biggest cause of distraction. Pick a single task to focus on and endeavor to not check your phone notifications, social media, emails, or anything else until it’s done. Repeat for each task until you’ve completed them all.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is known to be one of the best ways to stay on top of your mental health. Whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or stress, mindfulness can work wonders. However, it can also be a little daunting. It’s important to note that any amount of mindfulness – even just a few seconds a day – is beneficial.
It’s easier than you think, as well. Simply close your eyes, focus on your breath, and pay close attention to the sensations running through your body. Notice any areas of tension or discomfort. Try not to think but rather simply enjoy the experience of the present moment. If you can do this during your short breaks, then your stress levels are guaranteed to fall.
Consume High-Protein Snacks
Beyond alcohol and cigarettes, one of the most common ways that people deal with stress is by turning to junk food. Anything with high levels of sugar and fat, as well as low levels of nutrients, causes stress to the body. Your body has to work harder to digest it, causing a buildup of gas and increased acid reflux. This means that your stress-relief strategy will only be adding more stress.
Instead, try to snack on nutrient-dense foods and anything that’s high in protein. Eating healthy as a remote worker gives your body the vitamins it needs to keep you feeling calm and focused. Protein is particularly good at stabilizing your blood sugar so that you don’t experience a spike in anxiety. It also produces tryptophan which is a mood-enhancer.
Use Ergonomic Furniture
If your posture is slumped, then you’re increasing stress on your muscles. Your body will tighten up and cause you more unnecessary problems. Conversely, an upright, healthy posture leaves you with more energy and helps you avoid aches and pains that cause more stress.
The effect of good posture goes beyond the physical, though. Research suggests that a good posture improves self-esteem and confidence. It even boosts serotonin levels to put you in a good mood. Try it now: straighten your back, put your shoulders back, and see if you feel more confident. To help you maintain healthy posture habits, try using ergonomic furniture, like the ones offered on Anyplace Select.
Stress is a natural consequence of working hard. However, it will ultimately lead to burnout, negatively impacting your career, physical health, and mental wellbeing. That’s why you need to be able to relieve your stress and keep it at a healthy balance. There are many healthy and unhealthy ways to do this. Use the six healthy stress relief tips above to ensure you stay productive, healthy, and happy as you build your remote work business.
Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.
Born in Oxford, UK, Thom has been a digital nomad since graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2016. He’s a freelance writer and founder of Thom Brown Travel. Thom specializes in minimalist, ethical, and meaningful travel writing.