We are living in a time that feels natural to be inundated by media and technology. If we are not consumed by getting work done on our laptops, then we’ve often got our eyes on our phones or tablets, scrolling social media. Although these technologies have opened a world of possibilities, they can take a toll on our physical and mental health. Here is list of tips for how to mindfully engage with media and technology:
Take a break
Ask yourself- what aspects of technology bring you joy? What aspects add stress to your life? Consider taking a break from the aspects that add stress, even if you consider them to be essential. A break can be for an hour, a day, or longer.
One of the most beneficial things we can do for our mental health is go outside. The simple act of going outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day can boost endorphins and levels of vitamin D.
Implement practices during virtual meetings
Turn off self-view, take breaks to move your body in between video calls, avoid multitasking during meetings, and opt for an email or phone call in place of a video call to vary your routine if possible.
Give your eyes a break
Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Other ways to reduce eyestrain and headaches include keeping your screen an arm’s length away, blinking often, and adjusting your screen’s brightness to match the level of light around you. Glasses with blue light filters may also help.
Be a conscious news consumer
Mindful news consumption habits can include: reading more than just headlines, checking the credibility of the author and publication, and checking references and sources in news articles. You can also decide to only check the news at a certain time of the day to create boundaries for yourself.
Stop “doom scrolling.”
Consider taking social media and news breaks if you feel your scrolling habits are increasing your stress and anxiety levels. Focus on staying informed in a way that supports your wellness.
Unfollow accounts that don’t bring you motivation, inspiration, or joy.
Put your technology elsewhere
It can be hard to limit screen time when your phone is nearby. One way to limit screen time is to store your phone, tablet, or computer in a different room, so that your technology is out of reach. Try practicing this during a certain time window each day (e.g., putting your phone away after 8:00pm).
Now that most of us are working and schooling from home, it is easy to lose sight of boundaries. Moments that could be spent tending to our personal needs take a back seat to professional or academic needs. Set boundaries for yourself: designate certain times of the day for professional/school needs, and certain times of the day for personal needs.