Zoom Makes My Head Hurt!

Screen time has been known to be one of the most unhealthy daily tasks of our generation. We’re always told by the elderly to get off our phones or our laptops and actually be present in the real world --but if you’re anything like me, you probably disregard that suggestion right away. But because of remote-instruction, our screen time has become excessive; with a single class running no less than an hour and the ridiculous amount of homework, I’m finding myself on my laptop almost all day long. 

Lately, I’ve been experiencing headaches because of how much time I’m spending looking at the screen; thus, I’ve been trying to not only reduce screen time, but also finding ways to not have the screen affect me so harshly. Here’s what works for me:

Lower Your Brightness

As small a step this is, it can have a big impact. Lower your brightness on both your phone and laptop, because that way the screen isn’t too strong on your eyes. It’s usually because of how harsh the light is that one may get a headache from the screen. 

Don’t Go Online First Thing in the Morning

This may be hard because most of us wake up right before class starts, but try and implement getting up at least 15 to 20 minutes before your first class and just take a breather. Have some water or some tea, and definitely wash your face. You don’t want your already exhausted eyes to be staring at a screen for over an hour! 

Do Your Readings Offline

Despite this generation’s impeccable capability to read off a screen, it’s probably better to try and stop that practice. I’ve found that I actually retain information better when I’m reading off a physical copy with a highlighter in my hand. If you have your books at hand, it’s definitely a better idea to use them rather than read off the PDFs. Else, if you have a printer at home, you should try and print out your readings when possible. This gives you a break from your screen and can be surprisingly refreshing; I’m not a huge reader, but I’ve been able to finish my book readings within a day because I feel like I’m doing something good for myself. 

Schedule Hours for Screen Time

This part is more tricky given that our lives are on the screen now. However, allotting a certain number of hours of screen time might help. Tell yourself you’re going to spend no more than 5 combined hours (or whatever works for you), and then try and stick to it. Use those hours to actually get work done rather than browsing the internet, and then allow yourself the rest of the time to be present with yourself offline. Also, if you’re doing certain things like brainstorming for an essay or practicing math, you should do it in your notebook rather than online --it helps!

Take Breaks

Breaks are the most important! If you’re giving yourself certain hours to get work done, make sure to account for breaks too. You should immerse those hours throughout the day instead of trying to get all your work done in one sitting. We all want to get our work done and over with, but it’ll definitely be beneficial to your health to take breaks from the screen. 

Lastly, make sure to stay hydrated. Online school isn’t a piece of cake because it requires more mental energy. You’re doing great, keep in mind that summer is just around the corner. You’ve made it!