The digital world has taken over even more since we went into lockdown. Now, many of us work exclusively through screens and we also connect with loved ones, relax and play through them too. How can you manage your wellbeing in the digital world right now? We have some easy tips to help you stay sane and well:
The most obvious solution to digitally-induced stress is simply to log off. We have been suggesting it as a solution since the beginning, it’s in our name! Instead of focusing on work, or the pressure to keep up, why not enjoy some analogue activities instead? You could do a jigsaw, read a new book, get into cross stitch. The world is your oyster (we hear lots of people are baking bread).
#2 Reach out
One of the many benefits of technology right now is that we can keep in contact with friends and family around the world. We need connection more than we know. 58% of adults in the UK use social media to communicate with family daily but 67% say they would prefer to meet those people in person. Now we are trapped we only have the option of former, so if you have been holed up alone for ten weeks then the odd friends’ Zoom call can be a good thing. You could also use this time to get back in touch with people who drifted out of your life when things became too hectic, or those older family members who you don’t speak to enough. Even though it’s through a screen, human connection could make all the difference to someone vulnerable.
#3 Go outside
When screens are getting too much and you just need a break, the easiest and best way to unwind is to go outside. Nature was designed to keep us calm so the best way to manage your digital wellbeing is to go out in it. We are now allowed, in the UK, to spend as much time exercising outside as we like so take advantage. You don’t have to run or cycle but a nice walk, even just around the block in a green space, will make all the difference.
#4 Make time online meaningful
Social media has been awash in the last few weeks with posts about the Black Lives Matter movement. If we want to effect real change and truly stand as anti-racist allies then we need to show up. We can all use our platforms as small as they may be to confront ourselves and others with the realities black people face and to take steps to stand against it. Social media has become a place of education, community building and activism on a global scale in a way we have not seen since the #MeToo movement. So join it, make your time online mean something and your digital wellbeing will only increase.
#5 Keep safe
We’ve written recently about the growing phenomenon of Zoom bombing. Hacking and online crime of all kinds is unfortunately on the rise right now. We’re spending more time on screens and so are cyber criminals. Refresh your memory with all the cybersafety tips we’ve shared in the past and be more vigilant than usual. Your guard may be down because you are more stressed and anxious than usual and not paying attention, don’t become a victim.
#6 Enforce boundaries
Our work and home lives are ever more intertwined as we continue to live and work at home through the lockdown. Many of us don’t have home offices so are working out of our bedrooms, and are living with others who are working at home too. Tech can bleed across the home:office boundaries easily and play havoc with our work-life balance. Put some simple boundaries in place yourself, either around spaces or time where you disconnect from work, to keep your life neatly delineated.
#7 Prioritise sleep
Sleep and screens are a bad mix. The temptation may be greater than usual to let screens invade your bedroom and for you to indulge in late night social media scrolling, or anxious middle-of-the-night pandemic news checking. Lack of sleep is the one thing that will seriously impact your wellbeing and your mental health. Don’t use screens at a time when you should be sleeping. Put them firmly outside your door – or at the very least on the opposite side of your room to your bed – to reinforce that.
We’re producing updated resources specifically during the pandemic period so visit our article archive for a whole load of other helpful articles on how preserve your digital wellbeing in lockdown.