You pay attention to your mental and physical wellness, but when was the last time you considered digital health? As it turns out, this is a critical component of our overall wellness that becomes increasingly important as the world becomes more reliant on technology.
Today, we're going to tell you all about digital wellness. We'll start by explaining exactly what it means, why you would want to improve it, and several strategies for doing so.
Let's kick off!
Digital wellness is a term used to describe the state of our mental and physical health concerning our digital habits and devices. It's about being aware of how we use technology and ensuring we're using it in a way that is healthy for us physically, mentally, and emotionally.
There are a lot of different factors that go into digital wellness, but some of the critical things to think about are:
These are just a few examples, but digital wellness is about anything that has to do with our digital lives and how it affects our overall well-being.
There are a few reasons why digital wellness is important.
First, as we become increasingly reliant on technology, it's important to make sure we're using it in a way that's positive for us. Too much online time can lead to sleep deprivation, social isolation, and even depression. Additionally, the way we use our digital devices can have a significant impact on our physical health. For example, too much screen time can lead to eye strain and neck pain. (More on that in a moment)
It's also important to be aware of digital wellness because it can impact our relationships. We might miss critical social interactions if we're constantly on our phones or computers. We might also find it harder to connect with others if we only communicate through digital channels.
These are just some of the reasons digital wellness matters so much—next, let's begin discussing how you can improve it.
Improving your digital wellness begins with being mindful of how you use technology, how it makes you feel, and where you might want to establish boundaries.
But there are also several other actionable tips you can begin implementing today to improve your relationship with digital habits and devices.
Make sure to schedule time each day for activities that don't involve looking at a screen. This can be as simple as going for a walk, reading a book, or cooking dinner.
This is a great start! Sure, you could go for a walk while you're looking at your phone. But why not try intentionally leaving your devices turned off and in your back pocket from time to time to encourage looking at the world around you instead of at your screen?
Many parents implement time limits for their children on their devices, but kids aren't the only ones who benefit from this.
It can be helpful to set limits on your screen time, whether limiting yourself to a certain number of hours per day or only using digital devices for certain activities.
You can also perform a time audit of your digital habits. That way, you can see which habits are taking up most of your time to get a better idea of where it makes sense to cut back.
When you're using digital devices, be aware of your posture and try to sit up straight. This helps you avoid neck and back pain.
Improving your posture isn't just an important component of digital wellness! In fact, there are all kinds of benefits to being mindful of your posture, including the dreaded "tech neck," which results from constantly looking down at your devices. Read this article for more advice.
Every 20 minutes or so, take a break from looking at your screen. Get up, stretch, or close your eyes and take deep breaths. This helps you stay focused and prevent eye strain.
Eye strain is a significant factor of digital wellness—it's caused by staring at screens for long periods. The blue light from digital devices can cause headaches, neck pain, and dry eyes. To help reduce eye strain, try the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something about 20 feet away.
You can also try some of these other tips:
Another critical step is to be aware of your triggers—the things that cause you to reach for your phone or other digital devices. Once you know your triggers, you can try to avoid them or find different ways to deal with them.
For example, do you often see a notification pop up that causes you to reach for your phone, even if it isn't an important notification? It might be time to rethink your push notifications and consider what needs your immediate attention.
One of the most vital aspects of digital wellness is finding a balance that works for you. Everyone has different needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Experiment with different strategies and find the ones that work best for you. And don't forget to give yourself some grace—it's okay if you slip up sometimes; we all do!
Digital wellness is important for everyone, but it can be especially crucial if you work in a job that requires you to be on digital devices all day long or if you feel like your relationship with technology might be unhealthy. By following the tips above, you can start making changes that will lead to a more positive relationship with technology. And remember, even small changes can add up to a big difference!
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Once a month, stay-in-the-know kind of relationship.