As you might know from reading my other articles, holistic health encompasses maaaany different facets of wellness. One of these that is easy to overlook (and that I’m starting to talk about a lot more) is the concept of digital wellness. Achieving this state is fast growing in importance thanks to the rise of technology and the prominent role it plays in our personal and professional lives. We can’t talk about getting there without highlighting a few of the key areas to focus on to make it sustainable first. These include social media, video call etiquette as well as setting boundaries around completely switching off.
Defining the Role Social Media Plays in Your Life
When it comes to social media, there are a lot of platforms to choose from. Digital wellness requires a considered approach to which ones you use, and the purpose they serve in your life. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you should be “picking your poison”. If Facebook is good for checking birthdays, use it for that. If Instagram is great for short affirmations in the morning, great. Manage your screen time on a daily basis, spot the apps that are taking up too much time, and remember that you don’t have to post or scroll endlessly whenever you feel bored. Go for a walk instead.
Good Etiquette for Video Calls, Online Meetings and Events
COVID has changed so much about modern life. We now know all about working and connecting with loved ones remotely. A state of digital wellness requires having good etiquette when it comes to video calls, conferences, meetings and online birthdays. Start by arriving on time and muting yourself when you’re not speaking. Dress appropriately for the occasion so you feel good too. Set boundaries on the time you’ll spend at a personal function (kids parties can go on forever). Message the host beforehand to ask if they need anything specific from you to make things go smoothly. Good etiquette alleviates stress and creates a more balanced relationship with this technology too.
When to Switch to ‘Aeroplane Mode’
Prioritising digital wellness means being clear about when you’re going to be switching off completely. I’m not only talking about doing so when you’re on a weekend away or on holiday with loved ones. You should also be thinking about times when you’re offline with intention in order to recharge your batteries. Some people like to do this from 8pm to 8am every day. Communicate this with the people you care about, so they don’t worry, and plan to do some self care activities during this time.
Digital Wellness and Mental Health
The link between digital wellness and good mental health is getting more and more defined as we immerse ourselves in new technologies as a way of life. It’s even possible to gauge your own mental health by measuring the amount of time you spend scrolling, or by the content you post. Share personal information selectively with an audience that includes people you haven’t spoken to in twenty years. The same goes for complete strangers. Prioritise sharing good news with family directly and doing so first. This encourages connection and signals to the people you love that you care greatly about them. Digital wellness is a growing field of holistic health. I’m looking forward to learning and sharing more as it becomes more normalised in wellness practises around the world.