Technologic detox: How to correctly use technology during lockdown
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our habits and routines in a radical way. In the absence of medicine to combat the virus, our only possible measure to prevent its spread is isolation.
Even if this is our best solution it is causing episodes of stress and anxiety in many people. In addition to the alarming news that arrives daily, there is also a concern for our family and friends, fear for our own health and the uncertainty that comes with not knowing when it will all end… or what will happen in the future.
In addition, many people are alone during confinement, with just technology helping them stay in touch with the outside world.
Overexposure to disturbing news not only has a negative impact on health: it can be addictive. Our mind is very sensitive to the emotions generated by the media, whether they are positive or negative, and it can get trapped in a hard-to-break vicious circle.
We need technology to be able to understand the situation, but using it makes us feel even more restless and anguish.
So, what can we do to make technologies help and not a source of stress in times of uncertainty? The advisable thing would be to carry out a technological detox to stay connected while keeping calm. Here are five tips:
1. Reduce daily exposure of information: just enough to keep up and only from reliable and objective sources, to avoid falling into catastrophism.
2. Create routines as similar as possible to those we carry out on a daily basis. For example, getting up and going to bed at the same time, having the same schedules for work, exercise, meals, leisure, and so on. We are not going to do all the same activities that we used to, but we can seek out motivating or new activities to concentrate our attention.
3. Keep in touch with family and friends.
In these cases, technologies can help by creating virtual spaces where we can share time together like we used to. There are more and more virtual platforms that allow us to enjoy time with friends and keep in touch. Being focused on others instead of ourselves in difficult times is an excellent way to reduce anxiety and fear.
4. Conscious breathing to connect with the present. There is no point in stressing over a future that only exists in the imagination or remembering a past that no longer exists. It is here and now that we can lead our nervous system into states of calm and tranquillity, and the key is deep conscious breathing.
5. Sending positive and reassuring messages to our brain through mantras, meditation practice or prayer. We cannot pay attention to two thoughts at the same time, but we can choose what we want to pay attention to the positive message or the negative message. There are many options for performing guided meditations remotely, such as those offered via SHA channels.
In short, selective, moderate use of technology can help our well-being.