Before this pandemic, mental health specialists, and more so, the physical health experts have said that we limit our time in front of the computer screen. They said that too much usage of the computer and the internet with our gadgets could hamper your physical health. It can even damage your mental well-being. But how about the new normal now? Living the pandemic season requires that we stay online during our waking hours because, well, this is how we will move on. What do we do now?
First off, nothing has changed. It is just the perception of others that we will require more screen time if we work from home. If you have the discipline, you won’t need to stay longer than usual with your phone and lappy. This is what you can do:
Set a schedule for work from home. If you are working for four hours each day, make it a routine or a habit to work at the same time each day. Let’s say you can work from 10 am to 12 noon, and then, take a break. You may resume working in the afternoon from 2 pm until 4 pm. Discipline. When it’s work time, you should be in work mode, and not home mode. You should also lessen the distracting factors around you so that you can do your work efficiently on the time table that you have created. If you find it challenging to stay focused, seeking advice from online counseling apps like BetterHelp may benefit you.
Secondly, your gadgets like the tablet and smartphone. Before this pandemic, you use your phone during the day. By night, it should be turned off. When it is time for bed, it is relaxing and sleeping time. Do not bring it with you to the bedroom. If you do, then it will start a non-sleeping pattern for you. Believe me. Again, discipline.
Next, you have to wake up at the same time every single day, which will also lead me to say that you have to sleep at the same time every single night. Nothing has changed that much except that you cannot go out anymore to watch movies, or chill at the bar, and stroll the mall. Instead, you have to stay at home on Fridays and Saturdays. How about putting down your phone after dinner time, and then, read a book? I did not say read an e-book. My idea is that you read a book, hardcover, or paperback. This will limit your screen time, as well. To look at this, it is also discipline, in away.
Delete all your game apps. These apps will consume your time, especially at night, when you are bored. Instead of playing online games, why don’t you enrich your mind by doing e-workshops or studying various courses? A friend of mine has become an overnight sensation after she did an e-workshop on skincare and lip cosmetics. She “made” her own organic products, and people were buying online. I asked her if this increased her online presence, and she said, well yeah. She had to be online for 8 hours a day to check on orders and queries. But she posted about her schedule. Her day had a “formulation” time and social media time. At night, she put away her phone and relaxed. Discipline, as well.
You need to exercise. Some people use YouTube for guidance on what type of exercise to do like yoga, meditation, Pilates, bodyweight exercises, Zumba, dancing (check for dancing videos here), and everything else in between. If you exercise, you will feel healthy and better about yourself. Exercising releases happy hormones (endorphins), and it will make you mentally alert. Why allow yourself to be down and out at this time when you can bounce back and show COVID-19 that it can’t beat you. If you exercise daily, it is because you have discipline. There are also YouTube channels that provide materials to help you exercise your mind. Do it. At least, you are using your gadget for something worthwhile.
Read a book. Not an e-book. Check those novels or inspirational reading material instead of playing Candy Crush. You will enhance your imagination by reading a book.
There are so many things that you can do instead of tinkering your phone all day and night. You just need to discipline yourself. Can you handle that?