Our current world revolves around technology. It reaches every corner of our lives now, with applications (apps) used for everything from ordering coffee before you even get to the coffee shop, to purchasing a home, to watching and giving treats to your dog while you’re not home. It has opened up a lot of new possibilities, improved our lifestyles and health management, made a lot of tasks easier, and it has also brought the entire world together (thank you Internet). So there is a lot to be grateful for when it comes to technology.
We carry around our tiny computers/“smart phones”, all day and all night. And while marketing strategies may be partly responsible for our attachment to social media, there is a serious need for balance.
A healthy balance is achievable and will contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
How can we achieve this balance? There isn’t one magic method, not one formula that will work for everyone. We all have slightly different needs and demands, which stem from combination of our jobs, families, and our systems/bodies. The reason why I’m preceding my suggestions this way is so that you are aware that even if these don’t all work for you, you can always take what works, discard the rest, and that is perfectly fine. You can build your own list, your own formula. And I would love to hear from you about what worked and what you added to your own list.
So here are my top 10 recommendations for a healthier balance with technology:
- Put your device(s) down at least one hour before bed. Ideally, it shouldn’t even be in the bedroom with you. If you do need an alarm to be able to wake up at the appropriate time, please consider an alarm clock instead. You get extra healthy points for using an analog alarm clock, which are very affordable and can even be found at thrift shops.
- When you do use your device, get serious about taking breaks. Look away from the screen, take a walk, do some stretches. If you can go outside and be under the sun light, even better. The amount of breaks should correlate to the amount of time you spend in front of a computer or other electronic device.
- Be mindful of the content you are exposing yourself to. While staying up to date with current world news is important to most, it’s easy for some to become obsessed with sad and tragic news, constantly looking into them, watching videos, sharing them. This can easily lead to stress and depression.
- Meditate. Three minutes minimum, and if you have only one minute to dedicate to meditation today, that is excellent and much better than zero. Meditation comes in many forms, from sitting still with eyes closed, to walking quietly, to dancing, repeating mantra, guided by music, voice…try them all! With so many options we can all find one that works best for each one of us. Don’t ever think that you just “can’t sit still” or, “can’t find the time”. Can you walk around the block without looking at your phone? There’s your meditation. When you take 3 minutes off social media scrolling and put them into meditation time, you will be a winner of improved long term health. And remember, just one minute is better than zero.
- Hydration. Drink clean, filtered water. Keep a reusable container filled with water nearby at all times and it will be the easiest thing to do.
- Stretches. This is even more important for those of us with desk jobs and any jobs that are very sedentary. One quick search online will give you lots of results for “desk stretches”. Here is one.
- Outdoor time. Our system needs sun light, outdoor air and movement. I worked in an office building located in the middle of a busy city. I made it a point to go outside during my break and walk, even if it was just around the block. Even in the coldest days I would go outside and walk. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, it can be a short walk. What is most important is that we get outside, that we move away from the devices we are so dependent on, and give our bodies a break and some needed movement. And the sunlight is so good for us. If for some reason you definitely can’t go outside, just walk away from your desk. Go up and down the stairs, or just walk around the floor.
- If you’re into productivity apps, there is one called Forest App. It has a timer, and while the timer is on, a small plant will slowly grow into a tree, as long as you don’t get off the app. If you do, the tree dies. It’s a simple little push to take a break. And there are many others. Do your research and find what works for you.
- Delegate tasks. ASK FOR HELP. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Yes, you are an amazing human and you can do it all. But multi-tasking (which is really a myth) is an unhealthy practice, and it is not an indicator of more success or better skills. I have a great example. Although I’ve been trained in web/graphic design and worked in the field for over a decade, I decided to hire a professional to design and build my website for me. I let someone else take this responsibility off my shoulders and I am so glad I did. Sure, I could have done it all myself and “saved money”. But I made the decision of letting go of control, and it was worth it. The Room Marketing did an excellent job with the website, SEO, and all the little details that would have taken many stressful hours off my days. I highly recommend their services.
- Our systems are thrown off balance due to many reasons. While the responsibility to take action to bring ourselves back into balance is our own (i.e. using a list of actions such as this one), it is also our responsibility to seek the help of friends and professionals as needed. As a Master Healer, I offer remote and in-person healing sessions that can help reduce stress, pain, sleeplessness and restore balance to your system. Please email or call for more information.
Thank you for being here.