There’s so much beauty to living in a digital world. We can work from just about anywhere in the world, connect with loved ones scattered across the globe, shop for millions of products with the touch of a button or tap of a screen, and do so many things that were thought to be impossible decades ago.
But every gift has a curse, and with all the good that comes from having so many screens in front of us, there are also not-so-great effects we have to mitigate, especially when it comes to health.
One of the things every responsible digital consumer has to do is take steps to protect their health in a world full of tech, gadgets and devices. Here are the ways your digital life could be impacting your health negatively, and what you can do to balance it out.
Squinting into a computer screen for hours is so normal for most of us, but it can have negative effects on our eye health, and we have to take action. People who spend all day staring at computer screens are prone to dry eyes, tiredness and a general huge strain on your optic health.
The light from the screens can also impact on the quality of your sleep. If you have a computer-heavy job or get a lot of screen time, you have to take some preventive and protective measures.
- First consult with an expert eye doctor who you can see regularly to check out your eyes and help you maintain their health.
- Consider getting blue light blocking glasses that you wear while you work so that you’re filtering some of the light.
- Take breaks throughout your work day. Instead of continuing to squint at the screen, step away from your work space, walk around and give your eyes a break. It will also give your mind and creativity time to rejuvenate so you can return with more energy.
- Make sure your computer is set up for your eye health. If you work in a room that gets a lot of natural sunlight, you might end up with a screen that has glare, which will create a huge challenge and a strain on your eyes as you try to see clearly.
Being online and on your devices all day can have a really detrimental effect on your mental and emotional health, especially with social media. Social media can make us feel like the world is a terrible place, or alternatively, it can make us feel like we’re not as successful as the people we see on our timelines.
Either way, these thoughts and beliefs aren’t healthy, and they can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety and unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Normalize taking a social media cleanse where you spend a few hours or even days off Instagram and other platforms. Apply that time to positive pursuits that reinforce your confidence and give you a purpose. Social media can be a great way to keep up with what’s happening in the world, but if it becomes excessive, we could be harming our health.
One of the most widespread complaints people who are working from home have is how much higher their levels of burnout are right now. The work-from-home structure can leave us feeling like our jobs live with us and follow us everywhere, and that can lead to burnout. How can you tell if you’re experiencing burnout?
- Even the easiest tasks feel harder and take a lot longer than before.
- You don’t look forward to starting your work day
- You feel tired, and no amount of sleep or weekends is enough to refresh you for a new day or a new week
- You are constantly in a bad mood and even snapping at the people around you
- The idea of work makes you feel anxious and scared instead of excited and engaged.
Health isn’t just about how we look and what we eat and how our bodies feel, it’s also about the things we feed ourselves – even if it’s not actual food. Tech has its merits, but it can also come with its own challenges and things we need to be aware of in our usage.
Our mental, emotional and eye health can be affected by spending hours in front of our screens, and it’s important to take the steps to prevent the negative effects. Remember, while something is good that doesn’t mean it’s 100% perfect, and it’s our job to do our best to stay on top of our own wellness.