It’s Time to Unplug: The Impact of Minimizing Device Use on Overall Health and Wellness

Written by Leah Simon-Clarke, L.E., founder and consultant at Voussoir, Inc.

Human biochemistry is complicated. Individuals operate best with a healthy supply of nutrients, rest, and recovery time. When considering how to encourage clients to put a healthy self care routine in place, nothing will have a greater impact than modeling good habits. Show clients what is possible by implementing practices first-hand. This can lead to a healthier business practice and environment.
One area of healthy self care that both professionals and clients can evaluate and seek to improve on is technology use. Recent data suggests that blue light emitted from devices can speed up the aging process by increasing oxidative stress. Want to reduce the appearance of tired eyes? Consider a self imposed curfew on device usage. Using devices within two to three hours of sleep can affect circadian rhythm. Leave cell phones and computers out of the bedroom during sleep cycles to be less tempted to check for notifications in the middle of the night. This can promote fuller, deeper relaxation and a more restful sleep.
With less time dedicated to checking those ever prevalent social media and news outlets, individuals can find a new level of ease and comfort that comes from balancing stress hormones and decreasing the dopamine hits that many have become accustomed to.
In an effort to be more present and alert with clients, professionals should leave their cell phones in a locker, if one is provided, or power them off and tuck them away during the workday. This will allow for a more fully connected experience for all. It is apparent to others when individuals are disconnected and not fully engaged. It is also important that one’s physical and mental connection is fully intact when providing services that relate to wellness through touch.
Sometimes, individuals may feel reluctant or nervous to cut back on device use. They may wonder what friends and family will do if they cannot get ahold of them all day everyday. The truth is, however, friends and family will get used to it. Setting boundaries is an important factor in self care. Sometimes, others will follow the example and even start implementing healthy technology practices in their own lives. And, what if there is an emergency? Have family and friends call the business landline.
Once actions are taken to reduce some of the habits that can hinder efforts to live more fully, it is remarkable to see what is possible and just what connections can be made with others.

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