This past summer, I made an agreement with myself to significantly limit my screen time. I chose to deactivate all social media accounts, and vowed not to look at my phone immediately before bed and upon waking. By September, I noticed that my eyes were brighter, I had adapted a healthy sleep/wake cycle, and my mind felt refreshed. My screen time has definitely increased since then, but it is during this time of year that we need to be especially careful about how long we stare at our screens.
With unpredictable weather patterns, and temperature changes during the fall season, the nervous system and the immune system become greatly affected. On top of that, too much screen time can throw the nervous system off kilter, making us feel less grounded and more anxious. Feelings of stress can lower the immune system, making us more susceptible to colds and infections.
If you are required to spend many hours on your electronics, take a daily pause to practice these four yogic techniques.
Seated twist: Yogic twisting can support a healthy digestive tract, which can help keep sickness at bay. Seated in a chair or on the floor, bring both hands onto your right thigh. Sit up tall, breath in, then exhale and twist the upper body to the right side. Do not pull with your hands, just rest in your twist and take five slow, full breaths. With each breath you are wringing out toxins from your digestive organs. Repeat on the other side.
Side stretch: Deep breathing can assist the lungs in removing bacteria. From seated or standing position, bring both hands onto your head and interlace your fingers. Lean your upper body to the right, and feel the left side of your body open up. Take five slow, deep breaths to inflate your left lung into your entire left rib cage. With each breath you are inviting the lungs to expel mucus and bacteria. Exhale deeply. You may cough, so have tissues handy. Repeat on the other side.
Rest: Breathing efficiently causes the diaphragm to move up and down, which massages the internal organs. This helps with digestion and elimination. Remain seated and close your eyes. Explore one minute of deep, relaxing breathing. With each breath fresh oxygen and fresh blood supply are being sent to your internal organs.
Eye stretch: Cover your eyes with your hands and open your eyes into the dark beneath your palms. Very gently circle the eyeballs, blink the eyes, look up and down. Move slowly. As we do this, the muscles behind the eyes stretch, which can be very soothing after a lot of screen time.