Amid the lockdown, our phones are buzzing more than ever before. Here’s how you can unplug...
Ever since the lockdown, Pune-based Sarika Deshmukh’s screen time has increased “ten-fold”. The IT professional’s day begins with checking news updates on her smartphone, followed by a video call/work conference call. What follows next is her alternating between working and household chores. In the middle of that, she takes calls, replies to messages and emails, scrolls through her social media feeds, and reads breaking news popping up on her phone.
“By evening, I feel like throwing my phone away. I need a break from my phone and social media,” Sarika says.
Amidst social distancing, with our whole lives being lived online, it’s hard to take a break from social media notifications, work calls and emails. Predictably, the constant virtual clutter is taking a toll on people’s minds. So how does one unplug from all the noise?
SAY NO TO SMARTPHONES IN BED
Mental health experts have expressed concerns over the rise in the number of insomnia patients, and screen time has everything to do with it.
“To relax, people are spending more time watching series or playing games on their phones at night and it is causing anxiety and insomnia. Reading/watching news on phones before going off to sleep causes disturbed sleep patterns. Keep your phone away at least two hours before you sleep. The “do not disturb” feature of the mobile phones is recommended,” says Dr Sneha Upadhayay, a clinical psychologist from Delhi.
TRY A NON-DIGITAL ACTIVITY, SUCH AS MEDITATION
Myron Curtis Braganza, PR professional from Mumbai, says that whenever he gets free time, instead of spending it on the phone, he invests it in “deep cleansing his soul”. He adds, “More minutes of meditation, more hours of reading and more hours of working out at home help me declutter my mind, and destress. More hours of writing awaken the creative side, too.”
MAINTAIN A TIMETABLE
“Seeing people, especially celebs, relaxed and making the most of this time by learning cooking, working out, painting, etc – while you’re aren’t able to – impacts your mental well-being, forcing a false sense of urgency to do that. Hence, it is essential to have a timetable in place during WFM. That, combined with discipline, ensures you have enough time to switch off and relax,” says Dr Rajeev Bhargav, clinical psychologist from Mumbai.
Rashmi Shah, a techie from Bengaluru, adds, “To keep digital distraction and stress at bay, I’m only interacting via emails for work. I log out from all social media platforms during the day and only log in post 6pm. Weekends are no smartphone days!”