When you have an anxiety disorder, there are a lot of big steps you can take to work through it, including professional help and steady self care. But smaller things are important, too. For example, your daily work habits can also go a long way toward helping you cope with anxiety — or they can go a long way toward making you feel worse.
Breaking the Wheel has a list of personal recommendations for improving stress and anxiety while working. You’ll find many of these on productivity lists, too, as creating a better work environment for your mental health can also be a great way to get things done.
Here’s one of Breaking the Wheel’s tips:
PUT YOUR PHONE ON “DO NOT DISTURB” BEFORE YOU GO TO SLEEP
Few things can be as jarring as getting a text or email in the middle of the night. And few things can be as tempting as just reaching out, unlocking your phone and reading the message. And then responding. And then thinking about the message for the next 40 minutes. And anticipating the reply. And before you know it, you’ve just jacked up your whole night of sleep.
Putting your phone on vibrate isn’t enough. The buzz can still disrupt your sleep cycle, even if you don’t fully wake-up. Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” instead. Unless you work in emergency services or are dealing with a medical problem in the family, there are few things can’t wait until the morning.
I setup my iPhone to automatically switch to DND mode from 10:00pm to 7:00am every night (Settings > Do Not Disturb > Scheduled). While in DND mode, anyone on my favorites list can get right through with a phone call. Anyone else can get through if they call twice within three minutes. Basically, if it’s an actual emergency, you can get a hold of me. Otherwise, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
This was one of the best decisions I have made in recent years. That may sound ridiculous, but ask anyone with kids – anything that improves sleep is a god damned game changer. I used to be a chronic late night email/text/Facebook update reader. Couldn’t resist. Now, it’s outta sight, outta mind.
For me, carving out a little peaceful time between waking up and checking my phone has also been a huge help. If you’re used to waking up to a pile of semi-urgent emails, Slack messages and texts, morning probably kicks off with more of an adrenaline surge than you really need.