Most of us are always plugged in. Our phones are the first thing we see in the morning and the last thing we look at before we go to sleep. We scroll through Instagram on the subway, work on computers in the office, text and see news alerts throughout the day, watch Netflix before bed, and the cycle repeats. 

It’s important to take a step back and ask ourselves—do we have a healthy relationship with our digital devices? As a company whose product revolves around screens and technology, we at Felix Gray place a priority on achieving digital wellness.

Here are my top takeaways for how to focus on well-being and maintain a healthy relationship with devices both in and out of the office.

It all starts with sleep

If you don’t get a good night’s rest, how can you expect to work productively the next day? You might not realize it, but Blue Light during the day impacts us in the form of Digital Eye Strain. This can include eye fatigue, blurry vision, dry eyes, and headaches. At night, Blue Light can negatively impact our sleep. 

Think about it. We evolved waking up with the sunrise and going to sleep when the sun set. It’s only more recently that we’ve broken away from this tradition. Exposure to Blue Light in the evening messes with our circadian rhythm (or “sleep wake cycle”), which then makes it  harder to fall asleep, stay asleep, and feel rested. With today’s screen-filled world it can be hard to avoid technology. It’s ideal to try and limit screen usage before bed, but this can be difficult for people to achieve given that 1/3 of Americans spend 8 hours a day in front of a screen. To limit Blue Light exposure, I always make sure to wear my Felix Gray glasses to filter Blue Light — this helps me fall asleep when I’m ready to call it a night. 

Take a break

For me, being outside in nature is vital for resetting my system. That’s why every year I go off the grid for a week. It’s what I need to avoid feeling burnt out and it helps stimulate my creativity. Giving my mind a break from constant inundation really helps me approach situations from different angles and think of ideas in new ways. 

That’s why at Felix Gray we have a fluid policy in terms of when people arrive in the morning, leave at night, and take vacations. People here work really hard and we don’t want them to feel burnt out or overwhelmed. Creating a space where people can achieve a healthy work-life-balance is key for staying happy and productive.

It’s OK to unplug

Before I started Felix Gray, I was constantly plugged in and looking at screens during long hours at work and even after leaving the office. By the end of the day I’d have blurry vision, tired eyes, and even headaches. After learning that Blue Light and glare were the two main culprits for Digital Eye Strain, my co-founder Chris and I worked hard to create a proprietary solution that effectively filtered Blue Light and eliminated glare while remaining virtually clear. You’ll always find me wearing my Felix Grays when I’m in front of screens to combat those uncomfortable symptoms. 

At the same time, I still try and make a conscious effort to unplug. With emails, news alerts, sports updates, personal messages, and social media, it can be overwhelming to always be plugged in. I try and find times throughout the day to unplug and unwind. Whether it’s leaving my phone at my desk while I pick up lunch or playing basketball with friends after work, unplugging reduces stress and allows me to be less distracted. These habits also let me focus and work more productively.