You’re an incredibly busy woman. You work all day on your phone or your computer because, well, you have no other choice.
It’s no use when people say “get off your phone!” or “you’re spending too much time on the computer.” How are you supposed to abandon your job? As much as some of you would like to, you can’t.
In this case, you just have to acquiesce to the “new normal.” Zoom calls, reports, presentations, full days, and late nights in front of a beaming screen. That’s your life now. It’s my life, too. I’ve been working on so much online training and creating content for my blog that, at the end of the day, it feels like I took a beating.
However, one particular sensation always bothers me the most, and that’s eye strain.
After a long home office zoom session or scrolling through social media, my eyes feel heavy, as if someone’s grabbing them from behind. Some days, they’re itchy and watery, and I might even experience vision problems now and again.
If you’ve been working hard recently, I’m sure you can relate. That annoying headache you get on your temples, above your eyes, or even in the back of your eyes may be the result of the strain you’re putting into them--often without noticing.
What do you think your eyes are trying to tell you? I have the answer. If your eyes could talk, they’d be screaming:
“PLEASE, LET US REST!!! STOP SCROLLING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA BEFORE BED! THAT BLUE LIGHT, IT BURNS!!!”
Photo by Enes Evren from Getty Images
You’ve heard of the blue light that emanates from your tech gadgets, right? If not...
Blue light is responsible for short and long-term eye damage
This light comes directly from our computers and smartphones, going past the pupil and cornea and shining straight into the retina, which is located in the back of the eye. Now, it’s easier to understand why the back of your eyes hurt so much after a busy workday.
What’s more, the brightness of our phones during nighttime tricks our brains into thinking it’s still daytime. So not only will you get nagging pains, but you’ll also feel restless and get a poor night’s sleep as a souvenir.
These issues should be enough to keep people from using their phones past a certain time, ideally 30 minutes before bed. But, no.
Even after reading about the damage caused by blue light, people will repeat their nightly routine of scrolling through social media. Despite the pain, despite the itching, and despite the headaches.
Why is that?
Because smartphones are addicting. You know that better than anyone.
You could spend hours just checking social media. You’ve spent all day focusing on something else, and when the night falls, you want to check what you’ve missed! That’s called FOMO (fear of missing out), which gets you antsy with that “what did I miss?” feeling.
And then, what happens? Time whooshes by, and you don’t take a single minute to relax your eyes before sleep.
Maybe this will change your mind: your eyes are the best work tools you have! Without them, you’d get nothing done. That said, you must protect them accordingly.
Here are a few simple exercises you can do to reduce or prevent eye strain at the end of the day.
Quick and effective ways to rest your eyes before sleep
Before bedtime, check how your eyes are feeling. Try to be mindful of your face area.
Are the muscles around your eyes stiff? Heavy? Do you have a headache around your eye area (eyebrows, sinuses, behind the eyes)?
If the answer to any of those questions is “yes”, you should enjoy the pitch blackness of your room for at least 30 minutes before bed. I’m aware that some of you enjoy watching videos to help you sleep, like ASMR, for instance. My advice is to train yourself to fall asleep without looking at your phone. Instead, try doing sleep-inducing breathing exercises, like the one I teach in my program.
Other quick tips that you might find helpful are:
Keep your phone, tablet, or any device away from the bed. This reduces the urge of grabbing them to check social media.
Take a relaxing, hot bath before bed. This is a habit of Japanese people for a reason: it’s a purifying process that soothes the nerves and makes falling asleep easier.
Use the warmth of your hands. Place both hands on both eyes, and feel their warmth as you take full, deep breaths, melting their muscle tension away with every breath.
Use the 20-20-20 technique. To avoid straining your eyes while you work, here’s what you’ll do. Every 20 minutes, focus your eyes on an object that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will help you give your eyes some rest if you can’t interrupt a working session.
You’ll notice that allowing your eye muscles to relax and move unrestrained during sleep feels refreshing. And the more you rest them, the more you’ll be able to enjoy a night of deep, peaceful sleep.
Although our eye health is something we tend to forget about, always remember that your precious eyes support all of your activities during the day ;).
A special invitation: how would you like to uncover your body’s hidden energetic potential?
How would you like to activate both your mind and body with my special breathing technique (I call it “breathing like a tree”) and regain that energy you think you’re never getting back? Hint: you will get it back.
If you’re interested, I’d like to find out how I can best support you, especially during these challenging times when maintaining your health is so crucial.
Let’s talk! You can book a 20-minute Energy Discovery Call with me, in which you’ll share your challenges, and I’ll teach you how to let your energy flow unhindered within you. You’ll feel much better at work, at home, and show up as a more energized, healthier you.
Or, if you’d prefer, take this short self-assessment quiz I created to help you understand your personal Energetic Vitality Score.