It may not seem possible to even think about digital detox during the global coronavirus pandemic. All of us are going to be spending a lot more time on screens than we may really want to over the next few weeks and months. We will particularly want to make good use of all the technology available to keep in touch and feel connected to our loved-ones.
But now, more than ever, we NEED to make careful choices on how we use screens to ensure we protect our mental and physical health at this difficult time. We call it ‘screen hygiene‘ and we’ll be posting resources to help you make healthy choices for your screen-time; whether it’s because you’re now working from home, learning remotely or supervising children’s online education, or trying to find alternative ways to feel connected to those you love.
All the research and statistics that we’ve been collecting over the past few years tells you that excess screen-time can be a problem for us in every aspect of our lives. But screens and digital tools are also incredibly helpful tools, if used properly, which can help us connect and be more productive and efficient.
We love all the ways in which technology can help us. And now more than ever we are grateful for all the many ways in which it is helping us feeling connected, even though we may be physically distanced from family, friends and work colleagues. Each of us are different in the challenges which face us now, but focusing on being even more mindful in our screen use is what will now help; “Is this screen use helping me, or is it harming me?” is a good question to keep asking yourself.
For individual consulting on maintaining healthy screen habits when working at home, or support for remote learning, take a look here.
*Set clear boundaries around ‘work’ and ‘home’ times and places.
*Work in a different place to where you sleep, if possible.
*Hide your smartphone while you work on your laptop.
*Take a 15 minute screen break for every hour spent on screens.
*Eat your lunch away from screens.
*Use audio and voice calls as an alternative to video conferencing from time to time.
*Block social media while you work.
*Switch off smartphone notifications for blocks of focused work time.
*Blink regularly to avoid dry eye and digital eye strain.
*Take breaks outdoors at regular times if possible.
*Stand up and move around during lesson breaks. Run up and down the stairs if possible.
*Set-up your school desk away from your sleeping space.
*Use Do Not Disturb mode on your phone while studying.
*Use the Screentime app limits on younger children’s phones to block social media during the ‘school’ day.
*Develop your own rituals to mark the end of the school day.
*Don’t place your phone down on surfaces outside your home.
*Clean your phone regularly with diluted soap and water.
*Don’t use alcohol-based wipes on your phone.
*Don’t take your phone into the bathroom with you.
*Avoid letting anyone else touch your phone.
“I found the first day difficult but it subsided quickly. By the end of the break I didn’t want my phone back!”
“My expectations were very high but this exceeded them all. I feel like I have completely rebooted my life!”
“I loved it. After this, I’m going to get a landline and turn my mobile off for some weekends. I’m also going to take social media off my phone.”