Destress – A Happier, Healthier You
This week, Kate Benjamin from our team, caught up with Health & Wellness Coach, Bec Weeden, from IN2U Health & Wellness, here are Bec’s tips for reducing stress and creating a healthier, happier you:
More often than not it’s hard to get someone’s attention. Jump on a train or bus and everyone is looking down at their smart phones, it’s standard practice, accepted and often goes unnoticed.
Time and time again we hear the concept of being addicted to technology, smothered by social media and living online lives. But what is this doing to our health?
Is the ability to go online and Dr Google, access health practitioners at our fingertips and find ways to de-stress and get support for depression and anxiety revolutionizing overall health and wellness or…
Is the fact that we are replacing human connection and mother-nature for online chat rooms, artificial intelligence and quick fix solutions to our heath problems enabling us to disconnect from those elements that keep us healthy and happy?
It’s a great debate and one that can be argued well either way. Increasingly we are seeing an influx of over-worked, highly stressed and un-happy people turning to wellness travel escapes for a digital detox. A way for them to be forced from their online addictions and back into the real world.
As a health, nutrition, lifestyle and yoga coach, I see how much of an impact just 7 days of reconnecting to our bodies, emotions and nature can have on peoples overall energy, posture, engagement and happiness.
It is overwhelming to see the instant benefits people can get from spending such a short time off social media and their online world and learning how to reconnect and tune in to listen to the signals their bodies are sending them.
Technology isn’t going away and nor is its presence in our world today evil, but it is having a negative effect on our overall health and happiness. Below are ten ways you can learn to live with technology and create a balance to maintain a healthy, happy and connected body, mind and soul:
Limit online time
Limit your online hours by using an app to see how many hours you are actually spending on your phone like moment – screen time. If you’re an office worker determine how many hours per day you sit at your computer add on the amount of hours you are on your phone and you would be very shocked at the accurate number of hours you’re sitting in front of a screen per day. Make sure you’re taking frequent breaks at work by taking time out in a meeting room or break out area and go old school and work with paper and pen for an hour while you brainstorm your new ideas. Leave your laptop and phone at your desk whilst in a meeting or leave your phone behind while at lunch. Trust me the world wont end in that hour that you’re away from technology.
Install an app that manages your computers light output
A great way to set an auto reminder to get off your laptop or PC is a light saving app such as f.lux it manages the light your screen omits to match your daylight meaning as the sun goes down your computer screen fades out and reminds you its bed time. Screen light can have an impact on your sleep patterns which directly impacts your overall health.
“ Exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of various electronic media, can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children and adolescents.” AMA 2012
Replace watching TV and movies with nature
Just the simple act of going for a walk each evening when you get home with a family member or friend instead of turning on the tv can offset the build up in our bodies of electro magnetic energy, in particular walking barefoot in nature (grass or sand) is a great way to get grounded and neutralize the subtle energy output from the earth. We form a habit to flick on the tv so hide the remote from yourself for 21 days and start a new habit.
Read a book
We spend hours searching for something to watch on Netflix, after spending all day on our computers. Our eyes are paying the price for constantly looking at screens and bright lights. I love to read and I find reading a book so much easier than on screen. So switch off your latest series and pick up a book again I think we ALL agree a good book far out weighs the movie or series version anyway. It’s also therapeutic and often sends you to sleep allowing you to naturally unwind from your day.
Integrate more movement
Get moving! Doesn’t matter what it is any movement is good so choose something you love to do I often tell my retreat guests to brainstorm all the activities they did as a kid and absolutely loved, now work out when and why you gave each of these up. Then decide three new things you can commit to trying out again this month, movement is easy when you find something you love! Doesn’t matter what is just move and do more of it.
Be more social
Stop replacing online chat and social media for real conversation. You may feel like you’re connected but are you? Our social media lives are the highlights, the best of the best. Having an online relationship is a little like buying a new dress online. You can see it, it looks good but you cant actually touch it or try it on. Friendships are a little the same online, they are full of highlights, high level conversations but they aren’t the same as connecting in real life, sharing energy, emotion and intimacy. Get back to seeing your friends and family more often. Make time, its important for your health and happiness.
Limit social media apps
There are hundreds of social media apps. Just like you wouldn’t have seven cars and have to choose each day which one to drive and keep the maintenance, insurance and registration up on all seven, why do we feel the need to have every social media app available. Limit yourself to just three. Go through your phone now and choose your top three and delete the rest, this will help you manage your time more effectively on social media
Leave your phone at home
WWHHHHAAAAAATTTTT? Yes that’s right, the world wont end, your mother won’t leave the country, your boyfriend wont run away, your wife wont set the house on fire. NOTHING will happen if you leave your phone at home occasionally. Especially when going to catch up with friends in a social environment, set the place, day and time and just commit to going without your phone (let your friends know you wont have your phone on you so to make sure they are there). Having a forced few hours away from technology is a great way to give yourself a break and actually be completely present with your friends and family.
Go off the grid
A retreat is a great way to spend some time off the grid. No internet, no phone, no laptop, no tablet, no Netflix but definitely chill….relax and unwind with no distractions. Completely immerse yourself and commit to learning more about your body, your health and your wellness. If you cant afford a 3 or 7 day retreat then book a remote cabin where you cant get any signal on your phone and wifi is inaccessible. Go camping, get out in nature and reconnect to yourself, to the earth, to the things you enjoy doing when you’re not in front of a screen.
Just being aware of the time you are online and your engagement with those around you whilst you are online can start to make a huge difference to how much time you allocate to it each day. Awareness brings more responsibility and you will notice you will naturally start to replace old bad habits with new ones by just being conscious of how you are spending your time.
Remember with technology brings us an abundance of resources and positive influences in living a healthier, happier life. It’s just how well we balance our online time with good connections to friends, family and most of all to ourselves. Lets all aim to reconnect.
Health, Nutrition, Lifestyle and Yoga coach