Do you feel like you’re constantly pushing yourself to achieve excellence and superior quality, and in the process, you’re losing grip over your mind, your relationships, and your sanity? Are you overwhelmed because of the lack of a healthy work-life balance, causing you to become increasingly stressed and anxious?
Are you going to wait for total burnout before you take effective measures to reduce stress and cultivate harmony between your work responsibilities and your personal life? The programming culture places immense significance on capabilities and excellence, which can make it increasingly hard for a programmer to admit to others or even themselves that they’re finding stress management challenges.
Stress is baked within the physical and neural circuits of a programmer, and it is crucial to take measures to help you de-stress and relax.
Maria Godwin, Lead Editor at BestReviews.co.uk “You have to prioritize. First, decide which tasks are necessary and which ones can be completed at a later date. Then make a list and approximate the time each item requires. Don’t forget to take greater ownership of your schedule by prioritizing responsibilities others may have planned for you”
Here are some tips that will prove helping in reducing stress levels:
It is vital for programmers to work towards cultivating a healthy and harmonious work-life balance so you can enjoy your personal life and social engagements after winding up your work hours. A digital shutdown is crucial so you can enjoy going out with your partner or friends after ending your work commitments for the day.
A digital shutdown refers to tuning away from the screen and enjoying your free time doing whatever it is that you enjoy doing. For some, it could be a bubble bath with a tall glass of wine, and for others, it could be a nice, cozy dinner with friends and family.
Robin Brown, CEO of Vivipins says “It is crucial to establish a routine that allows you to reduce your screen time and turn away from all devices after the day’s work is done”
There are numerous relaxation techniques to help you de-stress at work. A few simple breathing exercises are all you need to calm your nerves and eliminate nausea, irritability, and palpitations to help you feel relaxed and focused. As you practice breathing exercises, try to focus your attention on your breathing patterns, inhaling, and exhaling in a way that allows you to feel relaxed and lighter.
Consider investing in a few stress balls or fidget spinners as they are highly effective at releasing those awful knots of tension that make you want to cry. You can also carve out five minutes to shut down and meditate or just close your eyes and relax your mind and body.
Having a cup of green tea also works wonders at de-stressing the body while working on stressful and chaotic programming projects.
Stewart Dunlop, CEO of PPCGenius says “Being a founder of a Digital Marketing Agency, I deal with different PPC and Marketing projects and I strongly believe that the task is done when it’s done. You can still give some rough estimations if everybody knows that they are not fixed in stone. They need to be called rough estimations too, for everybody to really understand it, not deadlines”
Meditation & Yoga
Programmers are strongly recommended to add meditation and yoga to their daily or weekly routines to make their lifestyle less vulnerable to stress and anxiety. Meditation and yoga help build strong defenses against stress and anxiety by facilitating the development of a dynamic defense mechanism. These two ancient practices focus on altering your response to stress and anxiety and cultivating a relaxed mindset that is more effective at combusting stress and negative energies.
Joe Ferdinando, Founder of Hot Head Tech says “One of the mistakes I’ve seen my employees and coworkers make is trying to get through the hardships of programming on their own. Coding is hard and isolated as is, so you shouldn’t hesitate to call out to colleagues for help. It will keep you from internalizing challenges and getting discouraged by minor setbacks.”
As a beginner, yoga and meditation can seem overwhelming but the trick is to throw away the rulebook and identify practices that truly work for you. You can explore beginner yoga routines and identify moves that help you feel relaxed. Downward facing dog, cobra, and camel poses are highly effective at relieving tension from the muscles across the body, allowing feelings of relaxation to wash over you.
Here’s a stress combustion strategy that you can enjoy while working at home or at your office desk: light up some scented candles and allow the aroma to penetrate deep into your body and mind every time you inhale. You can also set up an aroma diffuser and use essential oils to de-stress your mind and bust off all the anxiety gnawing at your brain.
Lavender oil is highly effective at busting stress, while bergamot oil, rosemary, German chamomile, jasmine, and clary sage also help promote relaxation and mental clarity. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to a bathtub of hot water to promote relaxation and peace.
Improved Decision Making
Lucas Robinson, CMO of Crediful says “As a programmer, the most effective way to reduce stress is by improving decision making. You’ve probably known of decision fatigue, or worse — paralysis by analysis. Many people fight with overthinking and depression, which adds to stress and effects in eventual burnout that hinders efficient decision making and again drives back to overthinking. This is correct particularly with programmers, who have to sustain close attention to every little detail and make important choices at every stage of the development process.”
Lucas further added that “Sometimes you have to tell yourself to just do it. Are you going around in circles trying to develop a game plan or choose whether a certain solution is worth executing? Work on a demo! Spend a short period of time making your vision a reality, so at least you have something concrete to consider. The worst thing that can happen is the reality wasn’t what you envisioned. At that point, you’re obliged to have at least a few takeaways from the demo building process, which can help you acquire a new vision into a better reality.”
Laughter & Joy
You know what they say, laughter is the best medicine, and the most effective tricks to de-stress your body and feel truly relaxed. Programmers have highly stressful jobs, which can make their lives immensely chaotic and devoid of joy. This is why, it is crucial to seek out moments and actively engage with your family, friends, and social circle.
Be sure to make plans with your friends, and carve out romantic moments with your partner. Invite your family and friends over for dinner, and go out to attend events. Attend stand-up comedy events at your local pubs and bars, and be sure to have elaborate plans for all festivities.
It is crucial to allow yourself opportunities to unwind after a long and exhausting day. Drown your stress in a bathtub of hot water and Epsom salts, and go out for pampering sessions at the beauty salon or a massage parlor.