Sunday, August 10, 2014
DRIVING LESSONS: Shift e-habits to reap big benefits
CHL12:27 a.m. EDT August 10, 2014
Every once in awhile, I feel the urge to write something for your fridge door. What’s so fridge-worthy about today’s column? I want you and I — and the people we love — to protect ourselves.
Consider this your cheat sheet for how to thrive in the digital age.
See, it’s not our imagination: we’re more tired, more exhausted by day, less able to sleep deeply, less able to concentrate, focus and remember.
It’s not our minds playing tricks on us: our kids are more restless, less responsive, less interested in learning, reading, creating and exploring the world around them.
It’s not our perception of things: we are all kind of feeling out of it, less in sync with our loved ones, less attentive and aware of all the goodness in our lives.
It’s not our less-than-rosy colored glasses, none of us is overflowing with joy these days.
What is the malaise of the day?
Why the low-grade nausea and perpetual fatigue?
Are we all suffering from frog-in-boiling-water syndrome?
I want to suggest some revitalizing tips to living with more of what we need and what by shifting just a few small habits to reap big benefits for us and our families.
Let’s call this the “Protect Ourcellves Project.”
POP for short.
OK, my friends, listen up.
That rectangular thing in your hand — maybe you’re reading this in your palm right now — it’s beautiful, no? It’s convenient! It’s handy! It helps you connect to the world in a half-second. It keeps your kids in touch. It organizes you and reminds you.
It even wakes you up in the morning.
What could be the problem with any of that?
And here’s what you must know:
1. Keep your cell phone away from your body as much as possible.
2. Use ear-buds or headphones as much as possible to avoid holding the phone to your head for hours a day.
3. Boys, keep the cell out of your front pant pocket.
4. Girls, do not carry your cell in your bra, shirt chest pocket, or pant pocket.
5. At night, if you can, do not use your device for 1½ to 2 hours before you go to sleep. If you have to check something, go ahead, but reduce the usage in the window before sleep. Light from your screen impedes melatonin production which you need to sleep.
Less sleep, less energy. Less focus. Less joy.
6. To ensure a full, deep, uninterrupted night sleep, do not sleep with the cell phone on next to your bed and never under your pillow (fire hazard). If you must keep it near you, put it on AIRPLANE MODE. The cell pinging and receiving messages all night interferes with brain patterns and makes deep sleep impossible. Lack of deep sleep is a health hazard.
7. Joy needs our attention. To feel good in our skin, we must practice what’s good for us. Balance your attention to your device with your attention to what’s around you. Exercise. Eat good food. Practice yoga, meditation. Play music. Create. Dream. Connect with others face-to-face instead of Facetime. Reflect on who you are and how you want to live and feel and show up in the world.
Read Lu Hanessian’s blog at courierpost
online.com/drive. Lu is the author of “Let the Baby Drive’’ (St. Martin’s Press, 2004) and Picnic on a Cloud (2011), former NBC anchor and host of “Make Room for Baby’’ on Discovery Health Channel, a parent educator, consultant, speaker, founder of www.parent2parent
u.com and WYSH Wear Your Spirit for Humanity.
For More Information
To learn more about our cells and ourselves, read “iBrain” by Dr. Gary Small, “Alone Together” by Sherry Turkle, and “Disconnect” by Dr. Devra Davis.