How to Handle Holiday Tech Stress
Monday, November 20, 2023
Ah, the holiday season—a time for joy, festivities, and, let’s be honest, a bit of chaos! In the spirit of creating a tech-positive experience that connects us rather than divides, here are some mindful strategies to keep your digital holiday merry and bright, both at work and at home:
Taming the Email Onslaught with Inbox When Ready:
The inbox—a vortex of holiday sale emails, party invites, and last-minute work requests. Embrace tools like Google's Inbox When Ready extension to regain control. Schedule specific times to check your emails, allowing for focus and minimizing digital overwhelm. The free version even puts a digital signature alerting everyone else to your digital wellness practice...genius! This is also the time to start unsubscribing to all the clutter that fills your inbox (and let's face it, our tweens and teens are still learning about being added to mailing lists, so this is something great for them to do too!!
Streamlining Tabs with OneTab for a Clearer Mind:
Holiday planning, gift shopping, and work tasks can lead to a jungle of open tabs. Even grouping open tabs can still look like clutter and be very distracting, which then leads to lost time! Enter OneTab, your savior in the tab chaos. Condense all of those tabs, clear mental clutter, and enhance focus amidst the festivities. It's an extension that will honestly save your mental space for other more important things. This is for sure one thing to share with others in the office, or even your tweens and teens!
The 20-20-20 Rule: Digital Detox for Your Eyes:
Amidst online gift hunts, pesky holiday app games and virtual work gatherings around the world, remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, shift your gaze to something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. And let me add another 20...stand up and walk 20 steps just to energize your whole body. Can I take it one step further? Add in some mindful breathing, just to get those lungs working. It's a simple yet effective way to reduce eye strain and maintain your focus.
Tiny Habits for a Big Impact:
Kick off the season with small, mindful habits. Leave your phone tucked away during work breaks (seriously, do you need it to go to the bathroom or to grab a cup of coffee?), resist the urge to check it first thing in the morning, and instead, practice gratitude first thing, thinking of three things daily. These tiny shifts can lead to profound changes in your well-being, especially during the holidays. Listen to more of my thoughts on tiny habit in this 30 minute chat.
Setting Gentle Boundaries:
Your well-being matters, even during the busiest season. Communicate your digital health boundaries to colleagues, family and friends. Encourage a collective effort to prioritize mental health by avoiding after-hours emails and keeping messages concise (nothing worse than overly wordy communication where the font is so small, you can barely read it, or so long that you've forgotten what you read in the first paragraph!).
Companies, Unite for Digital Wellness:
Employers, this one’s for you. Consider implementing email and communication boundaries during the holidays (better yet, all year long). Save non-emergencies for business hours (this means NO after hours emails/messaging just because your mind is racing with thoughts and ideas), be mindful of message length (see above), and foster a culture that values employee well-being. Show them you care by really looking at your company's communication styles, and create a charter that focuses on digital wellbeing.
Tech-Rich Family Experiences:
Holiday Movie Night:
Gather the family for a tech-rich movie night. Stream classic holiday films (see my calendars for adults and kids on Instagram!) or explore new releases on your favorite platforms. Share laughs, popcorn, and create lasting memories.
Virtual Cooking Adventures:
Dive into holiday recipes together. Explore cooking tutorials on YouTube or follow festive blogs. Whether it's baking cookies or crafting a holiday feast, use technology to enhance your culinary experiences.
Embrace the digital age by creating holiday e-cards. Get creative with design tools or platforms that offer customizable templates. Share your love and festive spirit with friends and family near and far.
As we navigate the holiday digital landscape, let’s infuse it with intention, balance, and meaningful connections. Embrace these tech-positive strategies to ensure a season that's not just festive but also mindful and digitally well. After all, the most wonderful time of the year should include a sprinkle of digital joy too!
Have a tween or teen? Sign them up for my course, now on Udemy!