As the world moves to being an increasingly digital, online one, we find our selves spending more time than ever in front of a screen. From virtual meetings to online projects, computers are part and parcel of our every day lives.
Beyond simply using it as a tool for work, many of us turn to computers as a way to socialize with friends as well. We send each other messages and emails and schedule virtual hangouts. While this allows us to spend time with people we cannot meet in person, it can also lead to digital fatigue.
The simple fact is, there’s nothing that can completely replace the feeling of actual human contact. If you’re like me, the effects of this aren’t just physical–sore eyes, more headaches than normal, etc.–but mental as well. It can leave me feeling exhausted every time I switch on a computer or start an online meeting with friends or colleagues.
That said, the digital isn’t going away any time soon, and we need to find a way to manage this fatigue. Here are some of my favorite ways to combat this insidious issue!
- Keep an Eye on Your Screen Time
While work-related screen time may be non-negotiable, try and limit the time you spend in front of a device during the other hours of your day. Instead of watching Netflix, for example, try reading a book. Additionally, make sure you aren’t checking your phone too often or playing games on a gaming console for too long.
2. Take Stretch Breaks
Try and take stretch breaks, ideally at least once every 20 minutes. Sitting in one place for a long period of time can lead to physical discomfort. This, in turn, can cause us to feel irritable and down and can affect our ability to regulate our moods.
3. Stay Off Social Media
The amount of information distributed via social media can be a challenge. It is easy to feel paranoid or lost when you’re consistently consuming up setting information. Additionally, social media posts can make you feel upset and make you compare yourself to friends. By spending less time on such websites, you reduce the chance of developing a bad mood. While some people may need to use social media websites as part of their job, it’s a good idea to limit the time spent on your personal accounts at the very least.
4. Make Sure You Sleep
A good night’s sleep is an essential part of warding off the effects of digital fatigue. It allows you to feel rested, so you don’t have to worry about regular fatigue exacerbating the effect that too much time spent in front of a screen can have on you. In order to ensure that you get the most out of your night’s rest, make sure to have a wind-down routine that does not involve the use of any type of screen right before you hit your bed. While these suggestions may seem simple, they can be a challenge to start to follow if you’ve been spending too much time online. However, as I can attest, they really do work–try it out, and you’ll find yourself in a much healthier relationship with your gadgets before you know it.