Have you heard the saying, “We’re all in the same storm, but we’re in different boats?” People are experiencing a variety of challenges right now, trying to work, learn, and connect with others. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we wanted to share some best practices and technology-related tips to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Having a set schedule during the week can be a comfort, giving your days structure, balance, and purpose. Use a basic schedule template, Outlook, or the Microsoft To-Do app(it syncs with Outlook) to plan your day and include self-care. Here are some things to consider including in your schedule:
Mental health is a family practice. Get your kids involved in creating a shared family schedule in Outlook so they have a sense of ownership and control. Help your children find the right kind of self-care to learn best practices for a lifetime.
Not every poll needs to be about people’s emotions. To add some fun, try creating polls on music, food, TV shows, or whatever you want.
Use Family Safety app preview or website to help make sure your kids are finding balance, too. Set screen-time limits for specific apps, sites, and games, make sure they’re viewing sites appropriate for their age, and review Family Safety reports to see how much time they’re really spending on their devices.
There's something to be said about checking things off your to-do list, like cleaning out the basement or garage, finally dialing in the backyard or deck space (or your indoor plants), digitizing the family photos, or any other projects that have been on the back burner. Joy can come from accomplishing things. The Microsoft To-Do app is free and is perfect for keeping track, plus it syncs with Outlook so you can easily track to-dos for work and home.
If you're feeling isolated, get some fun Microsoft Teams video calls on your calendar like a happy hour with friends or a family call over the weekend.For more ideas, read about creative ways to connect.
If you don’t already have a hobby or pastime to pursue, now’s a great time to try something new that’s piqued your interest. Not sure what you want to try? Here are some places to start:
When things are very much up in the air, it can be comforting to write out your thoughts or even a plan for the future. Instead of letting your mind spin, open Word for the web or OneNote and type up some mitigation plans for whatever you're worrying about. Use broad strokes here—no one can predict the future, so there’s no need to describe every detail or option. Rest easier knowing that you have a plan you can refer to later, if needed.
Try to write 3 things that you are grateful for every day. These journaling templates can help you get your thoughts down:
You may find yourself steeped in new methods of working from home and having to adapt quickly to technologies. Help reduce any remote presentation and online jitters with Presenter Coach and PowerPoint. Get in the habit of taking practice runs through your slides and Presenter Coach will give you a report and suggestions for improvements on things like packing, pitch, filler words, euphemisms, and culturally sensitive terms.
It can be so tempting to check that email one more time in the evening or over the weekend, just to make sure you’ve taken care of everything and no one is left hanging until tomorrow. Instead, set up an automatic reply in Outlook to let your coworkers know you’re done for the day and will get back to them later. That way, people know what to expect, and you can relax knowing that you’ve set expectations.
Want a way to track how successful you are at unplugging? Use My Analytics Wellbeing to keep track of the days you disconnect after work. My Analytics provides several useful statistics about your work habits that can help you with well-being, focus, network, and collaboration.
With so many online meetings, happy hours, calls with friends, and binge watching, screen fatigue is a real thing. Put down the devices every day for a while. Doing this at night is a great way to wind down before bed. Here are some ideas on what to do instead:
See recommendations on how Microsoft technology can support you in daily activities. Learn more
These tips are a starting point for using tech to help bring some calm during these times. If you or a loved one is in crisis, there's help available now.
Make the most out of your extra time at home by creating or refining your skills around presentation, money management, writing, activity, or organization.
From virtual happy hours to reinvented game nights, use these ideas with Microsoft Teams to stay in touch with your friends and family while you’re at home.
Learn ways to manage screen time, set time limits for specific apps or game, content filters and more.
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