Unfortunately, I can say with confidence that my eyesight has worsened over the past year and I’m certain it is the quarantine effect. I’ve been noticing my eyes will get tired and my vision will blur very early on if I’m not vigilant on eye care and technology use. Sometimes I’ll even experience a burning sensation after staring at a screen too long. I’m glad to have taken action to properly nurture my eyes early on in my symptoms, and want to share some things I’ve learned that may help anyone experiencing these same things.
Screens Have Replaced Remotely Everything
While totally comprehending that it is for the greater good, a lot of us are tired from having been locked down and quarantined at home from the pandemic. And our eyes feel the same way. Almost all of the regular tasks and activities I used to take for granted have become virtual events. One of the biggest shifts in my life has been working from home. Besides having to do all of my work on the computer, I no longer have my commute or a designated hour to sit in a cafeteria or go out to lunch to give my eyes a break and enjoy actually being away. After-work events, like happy hours and spending time with friends have now turned into FaceTime and Zoom calls — all of which have to take place behind a screen as well. And since virtual methods of communicating are the only way to stay connected to our loved ones while quarantining, we are stuck right back in the same rat race of using devices and blue-lit screens. But along with these shifts in everyday functions, I’ve also adopted some new self-care methods specifically focused around my eye health.
Invest In a Pair of Blue Light Glasses
One of the best things I purchased as an avid screen user is a pair of blue light glasses. They come in all different frames and prescription levels, and are so easy to find. My favorite pair are from Amazon but I’ve also seen them at places like Walmart, Target, and of course most eyewear stores. The great thing about these glasses is that they decrease your eye’s exposure to the blue light of your computer and phone screen, and they can be worn by those who need glasses for improved sight or those who don’t need glasses at all. I immediately noticed the alleviation in my eyes when making the switch from regular reading glasses to blue light ones.
Artificial Tears Or Moisturizing Eye Drops Provide Instant Relief
Standard eye drops are a great instant relief when my eyes are feeling dried out from screen time, and also just as a healthy routine to prevent my eyes from reaching the point of dryness. Just as eye drops can be used to relieve irritation from allergies, it serves the same purpose for me when my eyes are dehydrated from the light of my devices. I mostly use these as needed, so highly recommend keeping these handy in your medicine cabinet.
Podcasts and Audiobooks Are Just As Good As An Ol’ Paperback
Although my reading preference still resides in a standard paperback or hardcover book, I’ve gained a recent appreciation for audiobooks and podcasts. While physical books give me a break from the screen, I found that audiobooks allowed my eyes a break entirely. I often will turn on an audio book or podcast, and stare at the ceiling or close my eyes. They’re even great as a replacement for music when you’re walking, exercising, or driving. Furthermore, I’ve been able to soak up so much knowledge and experience new stories with the help of audiobooks and podcasts I enjoy.
Meditation Has Proven To Heal More Than My Spirit
Beginning my meditation journey has undoubtedly enhanced my overall health. Not only does it promote a clear mental and emotional space, but also leaves my entire body feeling invigorated. Now that I spend all of my time at home, I’ve decided to take advantage of the fact that I have more time to meditate. It has also been one of the best ways to take a break, without having to leave the house or engage in much activity. And meditation is so great because you don’t need your eyes. I perform 100% of my meditations with my eyes closed and truly just let them rest. I can honestly say that I was intimidated when I started because I was so sure there was one right way to do it, which I’ve realized to be very untrue.
For those beginning, I recommend finding a comfortable space to sit or lay and gently un-occupy your mind. Guided meditations are an awesome way to practice as well. Naomi, our Editor-In-Chief of GROWN, has some amazing quick guided meditations on her Instagram page @afriendlyblackhottie. I also recommend Alina Alive on Youtube for guided meditation videos.
With a little self-awareness, I was able to make a few small changes that led to a big difference in my eye health. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Your whole self. In addition to the tips above, there are tons of ideas like adult coloring books, at-home Sip & Paints, and so many more creative activities you can do to enjoy life at home without screen time.
Asya is an accounting and finance professional who loves fiction novels, travel, writing, nature, and being a plant mom.