Five Ways to Use Technology to Decrease Your Stress

It’s a stressful time of year with holidays and the end of the semester. Technology can add to that stress, or it can be used to minimize the stress. Technology Services offers some simple, easy-to-implement ideas to use technology to help get you through finals and holiday stress.

Increase Connectedness

    • While social media can help us feel connected, it can also cause us to feel more isolated or lonely. 22% of adult respondents to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey from 2018 reported feeling lonely, a lack of companionship, left out, or isolated from others (Regis College – Does Social Media Create Isolation). Watching Instagram reels and TikToks of people doing fun things or spending time with friends and family not only distracts us from our priorities, but it can also create a false sense of connectedness. 

      Go old school and genuinely connect with people who matter, who are real in your life. Text your friends to grab a coffee or go ice skating. Call someone (we know, it’s archaic, but effective). Talk to your family and friends. A study at the University of Texas at Austin shows that a phone call with someone who cares about you increases your sense of connectedness. 

      Starting December 8, you can also call Dial-a-Carol to hear your university peers sing a Christmas Carol of your choice.

Decrease Distractions

    • When it’s time to get in the zone it’s best to decrease your distractions to help you focus on the task at hand. Consider activating Do Not Disturb on your devices to prevent notifications from interrupting your focused time. 

      A change in scenery may also prove beneficial. Studying at home may be convenient but adjusting your surroundings can help increase your focus and productivity. The University Library hosts the Study Spaces throughout the University Library web page with a directory of locations you may consider. 

Use Strong, Reliable, Secure Wi-Fi 

    • Technology Services provides access to IllinoisNet, the university Wi-Fi service, to faculty, staff and students. llinoisNet is secure, and it’s easy to connect across campus in 408 university buildings and common spaces.

      If your home Wi-Fi goes down, you’ll spend time working to get it back online. If IllinoisNet goes down, which is very rare, there’s a team of networking professionals there to support it. You keep working, we’ll fix the problem! 

Use Software that Auto-saves to the Cloud

    • No one wants to work on a project and lose the work due to a computer or program crash. Every year the Tech Services Help Desk receives calls from students asking for help because they’ve lost an assignment due to a technical issue. Use university-provided software that automatically saves your work to the cloud at set intervals. Your work is always accessible from another device. 

      Some of the applications/tools to help secure your work include: 

      • Office 365 products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) – Used through a web browser or Microsoft Teams 
      • U of I Box Notes – Text-based documents that are written in Box’s native platform 
      • Adobe Creative Cloud – If you are working with Adobe products, ensure that your Adobe Cloud account is setup to save automatically. 
      • Google Workspace – Google Docs and Sheets are automatically saved as your work to prevent data loss.

Use the Power of the Illinois App

    • The Illinois App provides tools to help you navigate the university quickly and simply. You can access bus information, show your iCard for rides, and get turn-by-turn directions from one academic building to another. Save yourself time and frustration and use the app to help you navigate. 

      The Illinois App also has resources for campus reminders, creating or finding study groups, and accessing wellness resources. Read more in the Four Ways the Illinois App can Help During Finals Week article.