With the increasingly convenient access to social media and news via our smartphones, it is easy to get caught up on the relentless amount of push notifications and online posts – A virtual drama if you will. The fast-changing updates on current happenings in the world can quickly change a person’s outlook on how the outbreak transpires such that each week can appear distinct to the next. A consumer can get lost from all of the digital whirlwinds.
An opinionated 2019 Washington Post article describes how we’re part of a digital revolution with all of the access of information at our fingertips. And yet, we can still be potentially powerless on the content initially presented to us given these “algorithms” feeding new articles based on our interests and spreading user posts like wildfire. It is a virtual cascade effect where we have a robust communication system and infrastructure influencing our minds and impacting the decisions we make moving forward.
What does this have to do with our health? Consider trying out this exercise, albeit a painful one if you dare. Check out the number of hours you spend per day on your phone by going to Settings and Screen Time. Now with that number in mind, is there something that you’ve been yearning to do today or planning to accomplish both in the short and long term? Be brutally honest with yourself. Do you think the hours spent online is holding you back from taking a step forward on a task? It will be up for you to decide, but what’s certain is that you have the power to reclaim your precious time and energy back towards devoting to a personal goal, cause, or the local community.
There are only 24 hours in a day, a good number of which should be for sleep, and the rest on your responsibilities everyday responsibilities. Knowing that you can’t see into the future, you can make time for yourself and strategize how you’ll push forward in this new decade. It’s time to make time for a walk or exercise outside. If done regularly over time, you can beat mental stress and improve and maintain heart health as well as many other benefits described by a Harvard Health Publishing article (2018).
Stress management goes a long way too. One powerful technique is visualizing an outcome. Despite the online media portraying the doom and gloom due unexpected events that has taken place in the new decade, imagine that one day we will return to normalcy, and also that we’ll emerge stronger because we have become mindful of taking care of ourselves. You can choose to be scared in these precarious times, or you can endure and ascend, bringing out your inner hero.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). Walking, your steps to health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/walking-your-steps-to-health
Von Drehle, D. (2019). Do we owe it to society – and ourselves – to tune out the news? The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/do-we-owe-it-to-society–and-ourselves–to-tune-out-the-news/2019/05/14/144c9810-70eb-11e9-9eb4-0828f5389013_story.html