In this electronic age, virtually everyone is plugged in. The fact that we can instantaneously communicate is convenient, but our constant need to be connected isn’t doing our health any favors. Emailing while eating lunch? You know who you are!
How many of us complain of tired, burning eyes after a few hours on the computer? The American Optometric Association has diagnosed eye strain due to prolonged exposure to a screen as Computer Vision Syndrome. This condition became so common that they had to make eyeglasses specifically for computer use.
There is no substitute for fresh air and exercise! Being a slave to your devices can keep you stagnant instead of getting out there. Putting the phone down and getting some air is the best healthy habit you can get into. Going for a walk can help improve mental clarity by increasing blood flow to the brain and also boost heart health. The emails, and messages will be there when you return, so take this time for yourself.
Shut off electronics before bed. Watching late night television or surfing the internet before going to sleep can cause insomnia. These activities stimulate the brain rather than helping it wind down. The National Sleep Foundation has shown that the light emitted from electronic devices confuses the mind into thinking it needs to be awake instead of preparing for sleep. Try another nighttime ritual such as reading a book, or drinking herbal tea to promote calmness.
Give yourself break each day to silence your cell phone, and power down the computer. Making this a daily routine can help reduce anxiety and our reliance on electronic entertainment. Finding alternative activities such as working in the garden or trying a new recipe can do wonders for your mental AND physical health!