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Skincare for self-care

MANDI MAKES

Natural Living Made Simple

MANDI MAKES

SHOULD I DITCH MY PHONE AND SCREEN-TIME BEFORE GOING BED?

Self-care challenge

Are you ready to take your self-care routine to the next level? This week, we challenge you to join us in a simple yet powerful act of self-care: putting your phone on Do Not Disturb (DND) mode from 8:30 PM each evening. Ouch! That’s a hard one! I need to preface this blog post by saying that this is not a “feel guilty” moment, because this is something that would make me feel guilty if I let it. It is simply a challenge to have a go at this week and see if you might end up sleeping better, perhaps feeling more relaxed before bed or maybe it will help you to complete some other tasks at home you’ve always wanted to do. Like me and that pile of clothes I keep meaning to mend or alter

 

What's on the blog:


 

IS BLUE LIGHT REALLY A PROBLEM?

blue light

Ever wonder why experts advise against scrolling through your phone before bedtime? Well, it turns out that the light emitted from our screens, known as blue light, can wreak havoc on our sleep patterns. Research suggests that exposure to blue light in the evening can suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, making it harder for us to fall asleep and stay asleep. It is recommended to avoid screens for at least one to two hours before bedtime to allow your body to naturally wind down and prepare for sleep.

 


 

THE ENDLESS SCROLL DILEMMA


Endless scroll

Even been caught by the amount of time that has flown by when you’ve been scrolling through endless reels or posts? It's so easy to get caught in all the cute, interesting and funny things on social media and completely loose track of how much time you've been scrolling. Our brains do this because of the dopamine release we receive, which is addictive. Our brains are wired to want stimulation and that's what scrolling does for us. So don't feel bad if you get caught up in this. It is how your brain is wired.


However, this does have some negatives effects on multiple aspects of our lives and mental wellbeing. So how do we combat this?


  1. Choosing a certain time of an evening to put aside any screen for good, gets rid of that endless scroll time that so often eats into a precious sleep. I’m so guilty of this, so this challenge is definitely for me.

  2. You can also set your phone to lock certain apps at a chosen time of the evening to remind you that it's time to wind down before bed.

  3. Use the 'do not disturb' feature on your phone to prevent being alerted to notifications. This feature will still allow phone calls to come through from people in your favourites list so you won't miss any emergencies!

 

 

Eye strain

DO SCREENS REALLY AFFECT MY EYESIGHT?


Staring at screens before bed can also lead to eye strain and discomfort. Our eyes simply weren't designed to be bombarded with artificial light for hours on end. Whilst, generally eye strain from screen-time doesn't cause permanent damage, it can cause some discomfort and it is best to avoid getting to that point if possible. Discomfort could include burning, irritation, dryness, and fatigue of the eye. Most of these symptoms are caused by not blinking enough. We should usually blink about 20 times per minute, however, when we are looking at a screen, this often reduces by about one third.


So, yes, screens can affect our overall eye health. Taking frequent breaks and looking in to the distance to refocus our eyes on another point and to remind ourselves to blink can be a big help when you are working on a screen all day.

 

 

SCREENS, EMOTIONS AND SLEEP


Phone use

Lastly, what we scroll through can cause an emotional response. These emotional responses can result in heightened hormone levels that can prevent the body from relaxing and getting to sleep within a reasonable amount of time. This is the case for both positive and negative feelings. They can result in that frustrating staring at the ceiling for hours evening that no-one wants! As well as the emotional response, screens reduce our melatonin production that is necessary for a good night's sleep.

 

Research also tells us that the act of endless scrolling increases feelings of loneliness and depression. This is because it reduces our perceived need for more personal interactions with people. We just message them instead of phoning or visiting face-to-face.


 

THE MENTAL WELLBEING BENEFITS OF SWITCHING OFF


Now that you've made it through all the negative stuff, let's talk about all the good stuff that happens as a result of taking a break from our screens. It's all too easy to get caught up in the endless cycle of notifications, emails and social media updates. So here's all the good stuff:

 

wellbeing
  1. By taking the time to unplug and unwind in the evening, you're giving yourself the opportunity to decompress and recharge. Instead of scrolling through the admittedly entertaining and sometimes educational things on social media, why not engage in some relaxing self-care activities? Whether it's taking a warm bath, practicing mindfulness meditation, or simply curling up with a good book, there are plenty of screen-free ways to nourish your mind and soothe your soul.

  2. Hello better sleep! Kicking the screen-time before bed allows our bodies to release that wonderful melatonin to help the body and mind relax and prepare for sleep.

  3. Reduced stress and anxiety - some of things we see online can be stress inducing, but not only that, reducing screen-time before bed allows the mind especially to relax more than it would staring at a screen. The stimulating effects of screens don't allow our brain the time to calm down, even if you are doing other tasks around the home instead, they don't have the same stimulating effect as a screen.

  4. Improved focus and concentration: research tells us that when we reduce our screen-time, productivity and our ability to concentrate on a task for a sustained period of time is greatly improved.

  5. Enhanced creativity and imagination: when we turn the screens off we are generally then forced to find other ways to fill our time. It's then, that we allow our brains to be creative, to think and to process. It allows time to get into hobbies and other tasks we otherwise wouldn't do.

 


 

THE FINAL WORD


So, are you ready to take on our weekly self-care challenge? Starting tonight, commit to putting your phone on Do Not Disturb mode from 8:30 PM onwards. Use this time to focus on yourself, unwind from the day, and prepare your mind and body for a restful night's sleep.

 

Remember, self-care isn't selfish—it's essential. By prioritizing your own wellbeing and giving yourself the gift of screen-free evenings, you're not only taking better care of your skin, but you're also nurturing your mental health and overall happiness.

 

Join us in this challenge and let's embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-love together. Here's to unplugging, unwinding, and embracing the beauty of simplicity. You've got this! ✨

 

Stay tuned for more self-care tips and challenges. Until next time, take care and be kind to yourself.

 


 


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Hi, I'm Mandi. A former primary teacher, Lifestyle Medicine graduate and current Diploma in Natural Skincare student with a passion for natural living.

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