26 Jan 5 Ways To Fit Mini Digital Detoxes Into Your Day
In a pandemic it’s a challenge fitting in long periods of time away from screens. But there are still very many good reasons why we should be taking some breaks. Here’s one reason why, and some ideas on how to spread mini digital detoxes throughout your day.
For some time, we have been aware that screens and blue light can cause what’s been dubbed ‘digital eyestrain‘. As screen time has soared over lockdown, so have concerns for the long-term impacts of this on our eyesight. Now, there are heightening fears that eyesight may be deteriorating due to excessive time spent looking at screens.
Eyesight deterioration is something that can be prevented if the source is spotted early and protective measures are implemented. If too much screen time is hurting it, we need to ensure we are only looking at screens when absolutely necessary. By incorporating some mini digital detoxes into our day, we can give our tired eyes the break they need.
1. Don’t go on your phone immediately after you wake up
This is the easiest way to prolong the time spent away from tech. Give yourself the chance to wake up, and your eyes the opportunity to adjust, properly, before looking at a screen.
You probably know for yourself that going on your phone immediately after you wake up is not healthy; it often causes eyestrain and headaches as our eyes try to adjust rapidly. For tired eyes, the sudden blue light and tirade of information is an assault on the senses. Keep your phone away from you while you sleep, outside or the furthest side of the room to your bed, to stop you reflexively reaching for it first thing.
2. Use the 20-20-20 technique
Micros breaks are especially important if your work involves you staring at a screen all day. Set yourself tiny breaks throughout the working day and spend these doing something that allows your eyes to relax. For example, move about or go for a short walk. Do not spend your breaks away from your work screen browsing social media on your phone!
Eyesight charity Fight For Sight recommends the 20-20-20 technique: for every 20 minutes you spend staring at a screen, look away for 20 seconds, focussing your eyes on something 20 ft away. This technique is also mentioned in our founder Tanya Goodin‘s book ‘Stop Staring at Screens‘.
3. Use a screen time blocker
You may struggle to stay off your tech in your designated times. That’s ok – it can be difficult.
Luckily, many phones now have a built in screen time tracker which allows you to set yourself limits. These can be useful if you easily get engrossed by your phone. Use this in combination with any one of a myriad of other apps which can block specific websites and apps and help you stick to your digital detox breaks off screen.
4. Keep food and tech apart
Meal times are a perfect way to seamlessly incorporate digital detoxes into your day. Use them as an opportunity to put away your screens and let your eyes relax. This is especially important at dinner time, as your eyes will be most weary by then and you should be starting to wind down for the evening.
5. Schedule an analogue hour
Think of some hobbies and activities you enjoy doing that don’t involve screens; sport, reading, puzzling, cooking etc. Then schedule an ‘analogue hour’ for yourself each day. (Make a point of calling it your analogue hour to reinforce what you’re doing to everyone around you). Not only will this help you achieve a healthy work-life balance, it will also make you spend time away from your tech on a mini digital detox without you even thinking about it.