We should all be aiming to come out of this as happier, healthier and well-rested people. 

A few weeks ago, when we were all faced with the idea of not leaving our houses for three weeks, we had a million doubts about whether we’d get through this in one piece. Now, everyone’s practically a pro at finding ways to occupy their time after 21 days. 

One thing is quite certain; we’re more dependent on technology now than we’ve ever been. We’re accessing information at unprecedented rates, especially on social media. With Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok, not to mention Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime, we’re quite the opposite of bored.

The great thing about using these mediums is that, though we’re not allowed to travel and everyone is in quarantine, somehow it feels like we’re more connected than ever. Watching people share their lives from different parts of the world is cathartic and builds a collective feeling of community, of hope and support.

But too much of even a good thing can be bad for you. 

There are multiple studies that have linked heavy smartphone use to stress, anxiety and, in some cases, depression. You can notice the effects of this most in areas like focus, sleep and productivity. 

A recent survey conducted by a mattress company suggests that Indians are more sleep-deprived during the lockdown than we were before it, despite being more time-rich. With many people working from home and lacking the structure of a traditional workday to curb their screen time (literally the amount of time spent looking at screens), it’s no surprise that we’re not getting enough sleep. 

You could argue that people are incredibly productive right now. Well, yes and no. Though no doubt many people are churning out quality work right now, they may be doing so despite a lack of focus. 

Knowing when to turn away from screens may be just as important as using it. Start by becoming aware of your behaviour with your phone and laptop. When do you look at it, how often do you look at it and for how long? Start tracking your phone usage (there are multiple apps you can use for this) to see what you’re looking at and for how long. 

Alter your environment, maybe by making certain areas of the house or times of the day phone-free zones. You’ll notice a drastic change by doing something this simple and it has the added advantage of freeing up your energies for new interests. 

The best way to maintain some balance during the lockdown is by going old-school. Take up cooking or read a book; it doesn’t really matter as long as it keeps you engaged and reduces pent up stress.

We should all be aiming to come out of this lockdown, happier, healthier and well-rested people. Do what it takes to be good to yourself, even if it means putting away your phone sometimes!