Lockdown has been difficult for all, and many of us have sought comfort and entertainment online during these strange times. While we aren’t in the office, going out and seeing friends, our phones, laptops and tablets have become our companions instead.
However, too much screen time can still have a negative impact on both our physical and mental health. If you’re finding you can’t go more than a few minutes without looking at one screen or another, you may be suffering from tech stress.
What is tech stress?
Impulses, habits, frustrations and temper tantrums caused by technology are a form of tech stress. Are you constantly scrolling through apps and social media on your phone? Does a low battery send you into a panic? Are you sent into a rage every time you’re left waiting for your laptop to start up?
If technology is causing you stress then your physical and mental health could be suffering because of it.
Whether it’s by working from home or just using it as a means to stay connected or entertained, our increased dependency on technology in our day-to-day lives is likely to result in tech stress at some point.
1. Hide your phone for a while
If you’re anything like me, your phone is always in your hand no matter where you go or what you do. So in order to give your brain a little tech relief, leave your phone at home, upstairs, in your bag, or somewhere that you can’t constantly reach for it.
This will force you to engage more fully in what you’re doing, whether that’s getting outside for some exercise, having conversations over dinner or just reading in peace and quiet.
2. Set ‘No Tech’ times
Set yourself some boundaries that force you to keep some distance from your devices. For example, set a rule that you won’t check social media until lunchtime, or avoid making personal calls or texts during work hours.
In addition to doing wonders for your productivity, it will give you some much-needed time away from the more addicting social media platforms.
3. Call instead of texting, emailing or video chatting
Video chat has been a blessing during lockdown and it’s helped keep many of us sane, but at the end of the day it’s just more time spent on a screen. Some studies have also suggested that video calls drain our energy more than meeting in person, due to how much harder your brain has to work to pick up the usual social cues in a face-to-face conversation.
So next time you need to speak with someone, either for work or for fun, try giving them a call on the phone instead. It may feel a little old fashioned, but it will give your eyes a much needed break from the screen and even allows you some added freedom. You can take a walk while you chat to get some fresh air at the same time.