April is National Stress Month. I usually don’t focus on National days or months. Yet, this one hits close to home. We all know about parenting stress, dating stress, and middle school stress. However, there is a new stressor out there that is impacting us all more every year. It’s called Cultural Stress: the stress of modern living. Keep reading for Cultural stress tips!
In our current cultural climate, we’re so accustomed to long hours, sitting in traffic and being connected on our devices instead of connecting face-to-face. According to expert researcher and Murad skincare founder, Dr. Howard Murad, Cultural Stress is affecting our health and happiness in profound ways. According to a recent Murad survey on Cultural Stress, the thought of being WITHOUT our devices is enough to stress us out!
About 64% of Millennials and 60% of parents agree they don’t fully enjoy themselves in situations when their device isn’t with them.
Approximately 30% of Americans can’t go longer than 30 minutes without checking their device. Any longer and they start to feel anxious and stressed. The percentage is even higher among Millennials (43%) and parents (42%).
Almost 68% of Americans, including 80% of Millennials, believe it would be worse to go without a cell phone or tablet for a month than coffee.
Cultural Stress Tips
Dr. Murad, who recently started the EyesUp campaign to end digital dependency, the solution to Cultural Stress is simple: human connection. He has these tips to combat Cultural Stress.
- Adjust your commute – Instead of being glued to your screen, make an effort to make at least one friendly eye contact or compliment a stranger during your morning and afternoon commute or errand run.
- Connect in the workplace and at home – Rather than sending emails, talk to the person next you instead. Instead of texting your spouse or emailing family, call them! Or wait till they get home to discuss what you wanted to talk about.
- Get out for your takeout – Skip ordering food and go out to get your food instead. Same with skipping the drive-thru line and walking into the establishment.
- No Netflix & chill – Go out and catch a movie with friends or stay in and have a game night with loved ones.
- Bring a friend – Use the weekend to share your passions with friends whether it’s your favorite hiking spot, a new workout class or something you’ve always wanted to try.
- Sunday FunDay – Live in the moment and share how amazing your meal was with those around you rather than your followers
- Pen & paper day – Dedicate one day a week to only using a notebook and pen to take notes at work. Give your phone and laptop a rest – out of sight, out of mind
- Boycott Amazon – Remember the days you had to go out to the store to buy something? Get out for some fresh air and pick up your groceries or head to the mall.
- Real life Alexa – Instead of relying on Alexa or Siri, think of who might know the answer to your question before counting on technology. Even if they don’t, it’s always nice to catch up!
Remember, one step at a time. Don’t try to do all of these at once. Pick one or two and try it for a couple of weeks. Then add more goals. Pretty soon, your stress will be less. Plus, life just might be more fun!