Taking a Break from Technology Can Help People Relax
More and more Americans are reporting elevated levels of stress, a condition that has been shown to cause memory issues. One potential culprit, some experts say, is our ever-present exposure to anxiety-inducing events flashing across our screens.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “What is Stress?”1
Everyday stress can distract a person from concentrating on tasks at hand or impact sleep, which can cause people to feel less than sharp. Some researchers point to the ubiquitous use of social media and mobile technology as one possible case for the recent rise in stress levels.
How can pharmacists help their customers who report feeling a little stressed? One potential solution lies in taking a break, or “vacation,” from technology. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers advice for coping with stress.
Pharmacists can offer some tried-and-true tips to limit online media consumption. These include:
Become More Aware of the Present Moment: Texts, notifications, and emails interrupt our day nearly constantly. This can fragment our moment-to-moment experience. Taking a tech vacation offers you the chance to become more aware of the present moment. Take in that sunset, enjoy the sights on your drive to the store, or just enjoy special moments with loved ones.
Unplug from Social Media: There’s a lot of pressure when we’re plugged into social media. Everyone compares their lifestyles to someone else’s, and that can lead to stress. Taking a bit of time away from technology can relieve that feeling.
Leave Your Phones Outside of the Bedroom: Looking at screens impacts sleep, and the blue light of a screen can make it harder to fall asleep at night. It’s also easy to quickly check a text or email, and before you know it, you’ve spent half an hour on your phone instead of sleeping. Taking a vacation from technology can help you enjoy better sleep and remind you of why it’s important to put those screens away well before bedtime.
Connect with People in the Real World: How many times do you look at your phone while spending time with family or friends? A technology vacation lets you put aside tech and just connect with the people you love, improving relationships and feelings of connection.
Focus on One Project at a Time: Technology, while it offers many benefits, also serves as a distraction and can lead to “task-switching.” It’s tough to ignore technology. Simply taking a break from your smartphone can increase your productivity, allowing you to focus more effectively and stay on top of tasks instead of constantly feeling scattered.