Whether you are used to working from home or if more time at home is a new experience for you, many of us are finding that we are spending more time staring at our screens than ever before. In fact, a 2019 study showed that the average adult spends 3 ½ hours per day on their phone.1 And now with Stay at Home and Shelter in Place orders, screen time is increasing even more, according to Nielsen data. If you reel in shock when you check your weekly screen report or have been wearing a hole in your couch from too much “Netflix and Chill”, consider taking some proactive steps to make the most of your day.
Protect Your Eyes – For the time that you are using a digital device, there are ways to protect your eyes from damaging blue light, which is emitted from digital devices such as computer screens, cell phones, and TVs. Blue light is damaging to the eyes because unlike other UV rays that are blocked by the cornea and the lens, virtually all visible blue light passes through and goes straight to the light-sensitive retina, causing damage.
Taking a break every 15-20 minutes from staring at your screen, healthy lifestyle habits, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and consuming antioxidant supplements such as astaxanthin can help keep your eyes protected from blue light. Studies have shown that astaxanthin can help the eyes in many ways, including reducing eye strain, helping with increasing higher accommodation amplitude (the adjustment in the lens of the eye that allows it to focus)2, allowing eyes to recover more quickly from eye fatigue2, and reducing eye soreness, dryness, tiredness, and blurred vision3,4,5.
Astaxanthin, along with macular antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, support eye health after long periods of digital screen time and improvise visual performance after excessive blue light exposure. We recommend the supplement EyeAstin, a well-rounded eye health formula, designed to support healthy vision and protect eye health after excessive blue light exposure.*
Get Outside – If you’re spending more time or working from home, you don’t need to sit inside all day. Morning sunlight on your skin and eyes has many benefits to the body. Time in nature has been shown to reduce stress, so take a break from indoor activities with a daily walk, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. If you have a dog at home to join you – they’ll love it, too!
Other ways to get outside more is to take work calls on a walk outside, weather permitting (though a walk in the rain can be very mind clearing!). Or, try and move your chair/workspace to your porch or even your yard for an hour a day. A change in scenery may give you a different perspective and get your creative juices flowing. If getting outside isn’t possible, even moving to work by a different window in your house can help.
Up Your Skin Care Game – More time at home means more time to focus on skin care. If you wear makeup every day, give your skin a reset by letting it breathe makeup free for a few days. All those containers of half used face masks? Bring them back into your routine by trying a different one a few times a week. Even better, you can make your own homemade face mask with Hawaiian Spirulina:
- 2 tsp Hawaiian Spirulina powder
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp water
Directions: Mix ingredients together and apply an even layer to your face. Leave on for 30 minutes. Remove with wet, warm wash cloth and follow with your favorite moisturizer.
Work on Your Fitness – You don’t need to go to a gym to get a great workout in. Home workouts can be effective and easy to do with minimal to no equipment but some basics include a mat, free hand weights, or using your own body weight. There are many online programs to choose from for all activity levels and preferences and many of them free on Youtube. The great outdoors is also a free gym for walking, running, riding your bike, or swimming.
Again, the time during phone calls can be made more effective to get a little movement in, whether it’s a walk outside or holding a squat to work your legs. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise three or four times a week.
Plant a Garden – Life is busy and it’s easy to find excuses that we don’t have time or space to grow our own food. But growing your own food doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or be a complicated project. While a plot of land for garden beds can provide space for sprawling veggies like pumpkins and squash, many vegetables and fruits can be grown in pots on your porch, balcony, and even on a windowsill. Tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce do well in small pots as well as will herbs. If you need more space for your garden, do you have a lawn of green grass? Try and work your vegetable garden into your landscaping and maybe give up a part of your green lawn for a veggie bed. If you feel you need more space to grow your garden, many towns and cities have community gardens.
A garden doesn’t have to look like what we traditionally think it should be. Even planting flowers plays an important roll in our ecosystem by providing food for bees and butterflies.
Get Creative - Time spent at home doesn’t need to be focused entirely around catching up on your favorite TV show – though there’s nothing wrong with a binge marathon or two. What projects or skills have you always wanted to learn or brush up on? Some ideas that come to mind are learning another language, meditating, reading, creating art, or a deep clean and clearing of clutter from your house and other home projects. Whatever you’ve always said you would do if you had more time, now may be your golden opportunity to make the most of it and invest in yourself.
The bottom line – Slowing down and spending more time at home doesn’t mean that the days need to fade into each other and go to waste. A few positive habits and lifestyle changes can help you improve your lifelong term and in the shorter term, minimize loneliness and burnout.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1. Molla, Rani. “Tech companies tried to help us spend less time on our phones. It didn’t work.” Vox, 6 Jan. 2020, https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/1/6/21048116/tech-companies-time-well-spent-mobile-phone-usage-data. Accessed 2 Apr. 2020.
2. Nagaki, Y., et al. (2002). “Effects of astaxanthin on accommodation, critical flicker fusion, and pattern visual evoked potential in visual display terminal workers.” Journal of Traditional Medicines. 19(5):170-173.
3. Takahashi, J., Kajita. (2005). “Effects of astaxanthin on accommodative recovery.” Journal of Clinical Therapeutics & Medicines. 21(4):431-436.
4 .Shiratori, K., et al. (2005). “The effects of astaxanthin on accommodation and asthenopia – efficacy identification study in healthy volunteers.” Clinical Medicine. 21(6):637-650.
5. Nagaki, Y., et al. (2006). “The supplementation effect of astaxanthin on accommodation and asthenopia.” Journal of Clinical Therapeutics & Medicines. 22(1):41-54.