Digital downtime is the new way to unwind…
Feeling fatigued, burnt out or having problems sleeping? The key to good health has always been ‘everything in moderation’. Studies show that regular digital downtime will help lower blood pressure, improve our sleep patterns and promote mental wellbeing.
According to data gathered by the makers of the smartphone app Locket, we check our phones more than 110 times a day and according to an Oxford Internet Survey people spend an average of 1000 hours on the web a year. Excessive screen time is thought to affect our brain and our vision and can lead to muscle and joint issues such as RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Our smartphones can also be a pain in the neck – literally! Chiro’s have coined the phrase ’Text Neck’ that describes neck problems and pain caused by people overusing hand held devices. When our head is dropped forward, our shoulders are rolled forward and our chest is collapsed inward resulting in long-term body pain issues. Not to mention our addiction to tech promotes a sedentary lifestyle.
Unplugging can also boost creativity. Research carried out at the University of Utah and Kansas revealed that people scored 50% better on a creativity test after being out in nature for four days with no access to electronic devices. We need digital downtime to self-reflect and just be ourselves. Even a one or two-hour spa treatment (at Karma Spa of course) away from the phone can be a positive way to recharge.
Stop the tweet and reconnect. Set aside digital-free time on a daily basis (especially when you are with friends and family) – you’ll feel revived in brain and body!
Drowning in Data? Here’re 4 ways to disengage and replenish…
- Take a Breath
When sitting at the computer or scrolling, you may notice that your breathing is shallow. If so, we recommend you take regular pauses to practice deep breathing. Simply inhale slowly through the nose, filling your lungs with air, then slowly exhale. Try and take five deep full breaths at a time at least once or twice a day.
- Take a Walk
It’s crucial to be mindful of our posture now otherwise we may suffer from back, neck and spinal problems in later years. Every twenty minutes, stand up and roll your shoulders and neck or go for a short walk to improve circulation and blood flow. Raise your smartphone to your eye level (standing or sitting) to keep your body aligned.
- Eat Your Greens
Nutritionists are recommending we counterbalance the overload of digital toxins by eating a plant-based diet that is mostly pesticide-free. Foods high in chlorophyll such as kale, spinach and broccoli are recommended to help flush out heavy metals from the body. Seaweed such as kelp and nori are thought to protect the body against electromagnetic radiation (as is miso soup)!
- Power Down Early
Sleep disorder can be triggered by too much screen time as the blue light stimulates our brain so leave your ‘tweeting ‘til the morning. Experts suggest to power down 1-2 hours before sleep and make sure you place all digital devices outside your bedroom. Even better, turn off the wifi at night.