I follow the CSIRO on social media for the Wombat Wednesdays, pictures of fungi and the cool science facts.
One of their posts recently talked about why old books smell so good. FYI – because over time the cellulose and lignin in their pages break down to form airborne compounds like toluene, vanillin and furfural, which smell sweet, vanilla-like and almond-like respectively (Mmmmm).
Their quick informative post made me realise how long it’s been since I’ve actually picked up a hard copy book to read. It was one of those moments when I realised that I’ve been spending way too long on social media (ironically enough, given that it was a social media post that reminded me!). But I don’t just spend my time endlessly scrolling on my phone, I spend a great deal of time at work staring at my computer screen, updating client’s notes, responding to emails, and all the other fun stuff that you need to do when you run your own business that they glossed over at college. I’ve also been reading e-Books and listening to seminars either on the iPad or the computer.
It was a bit of a slap in the face when I broke it down like that. And I’ll admit – I felt a little embarrassed about the amount of screen time I have. I mean, I am a Naturopath – I know better!
So I’ve decided to try a mild “Blue Screen Detox”
What did it entail?
- Leaving my laptop at work, so I didn’t listen to webinars, or work stuff at home. This also had the added benefit of building solid boundaries!
- I downloaded a free app on my phone called My Phone Time to objectively track my progress. I also set a daily goal of the amount of time I spend on my phone as well, and reminders pop up on my screen to let me know when I’ve reached my limit.
- I’ve also unpacked the last few boxes that have been sitting in our garage for a bit over a year and stocked up my bookshelves AND got stuck into one of my favourite fantasy series again. I’m a sucker for David Eddings – his stuff is just really easy to read.
This was all done a few days ago and I’ve halved the time spent on my phone, maximised my time spent at work because I need to get stuff done so I don’t take it home with me – including scheduling posts on social media. AND I’m now onto the second book of Edding’s Elenium Series.
I’ve got to say, the changes I’ve noticed are great!
I’m more engaged with my hubby and furbabies, I’ve actually been achieving more stuff around the house because I haven’t been putting work first and I’ve noticed that I’m sleeping a lot better!
I’m not really surprised at any of these changes – especially the last one.
Did you know that your phone can actually affect your hormones?
Well – I’m referring to one hormone in particular: melatonin.
Melatonin is responsible for relaxing your body and getting you to fall asleep – it’s the oppposite of cortisol, which stimulates your body and brain and keeps you alert.
It’s controlled by the amount of light that enters your eyes – blue light (like what’s emitted by your phone screens) essentially burn straight through to your retinas, making your brain think that it’s around midday, even if it’s 10 pm. This prevents the release of melatonin, so you may find yourself struggling to settle and fall asleep once you climb into bed.
If you’re struggling to turn off from work when you get home, or having problems going to sleep, maybe you should reflect and look at how you can do your own ‘blue screen detox’.