Digital health during the coronavirus pandemic
As the world fights the coronavirus, COVID-19, we’re being inundated with a constant feed of news and digital notifications. Here’s some coping strategies.
It’s not only our physical health that we need to take care of during a pandemic, but our mental health as well. For ourselves, family and friends. While you yourself may have good coping strategies, it’s likely you know someone who doesn’t. Keeping your mind healthy and as stress free as possible also helps your immune system. For when we get stressed our immune system can weaken.
Digital Health Strategies for Coronavirus Pandemic
Mute Notifications on your smartphone
On your smartphone, you can mute the notifications you get. Both iPhones and Android phones automatically turn notifications on by default. So go into your settings on the phone and look for notifications. Check off the ones you don’t want and maybe most importantly, look for news apps you have, turn them off. You can check the apps later.
Stop checking social media before bed
This is very, very important. Not only are the blue screens of our smartphones, tablets and laptops bad for sleep, checking your social media feeds before bed can increase your anxiety. If you have to, do a last check about an hour before you go to bed. Leave your phone or other device outside the bedroom to charge. Read a relaxing book before switching your light out.
Following on from above, find a good stack of books or magazines that are of a more relaxing nature. Especially fiction, whether it’s romance novels, sci-fi or fantasy or just a darn good story, read! Natural light and print materials are easier on the eyes. A good mental escape before bed can make all the difference!
Don’t check the news on waking
OK, so chances are you wake up to some music or some kind of app on your smartphone. But before you reach right for the phone, take a minute to become awake. Be mindful and look out the window. Great the day. Try to wait until after breakfast before you check your phone.
Monitor others engagement
In other words, keep an eye out for your friends and family on social media. Watch for what they’re saying and how. If they’re expressing a lot of anxiety or symptoms of depression through their posts, reach out to them. Offer care and a listening ear. You may not be able to solve their problems, but you can be a support.
Be careful of the digital rabbit hole
We’ve all been there at some point on Wikipedia or YouTube. You find a topic and read an article or watch a video. Next thing you know, it’s an hour later and you’ve gone down the digital rabbit hole. This can be very real if you’re digging into news and articles about the pandemic. Be aware as best you can. Spending too much time going down these types of rabbit holes can amp your stress and anxiety.
Avoid online arguments
Everyone it seems these days on social media has an opinion and is right. Sometimes it can be tempting to jump into the fray. Don’t. Take a deep breath. Get into the moment. Realize you’re better and bigger than that. Step away and go watch some TV or Netflix or read.
These are some basic coping strategies for our digital world. Do what you need to do for you and your family’s health. Just be sure to take a walk, keep up your exercise and a healthy diet.
More Knowledge: Check out this insightful article on the stress and immunity connection.
Author: Giles Crouch is a digital anthropologist and COO at Optimyz’ brand parent HUM@Nmedia. He writes prolifically on the intersection of humans and technology and occasionally contributes to Optimyz and Silver magazines.