Taking a break: Ways to incorporate no-tech time into your day

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Zoom lectures and PDF readings for hours on end make me an irritable, headache-suffering complainer. After a few months stuck in my apartment, I found that the time I spend using technology creates more problems than just a grouchy mood. Excessive time spent staring at my computer screen makes my eyes hurt and strain from exertion. It interrupts my sleep, too, making it harder for me to fall asleep and increasing the chances of groggy afternoons the next day. 

These days most avenues for learning and working all take place on a computer screen, but this comes at a cost. We must ask: What toll are we taking for all the time we spend online? It is likely that, by now, you’ve experienced some of the negative effects of too much time spent on a computer, a tablet or other devices. For your well-being, it might be beneficial to reserve no-tech time to make sure you are accounting for your health. Here are some motivators to get you started on time away from tech. 

Move your body

Getting some exercise helps me relieve stress and take some time away from technology, and this may be true for you too. Find a time to head out for a run, or check out our guide to maintaining the perfect home workout routine if you’d like inspiration for exercise beyond running. It doesn’t have to be intense; even stretching, dancing or a simple yoga routine can help you mentally log off and take a much-needed break.  

Paint, draw or create something 

Channeling your inner artist is the perfect way to spend time offline. Find some paper, a canvas or a sketchbook to fill. Painting is a fun activity that can help rest your eyes as you create. And if art isn’t your thing, try journaling.

Get some fresh air 

This might not be an option for everyone, but if you can safely achieve it, get outside and breathe some fresh air! There are lots of places to walk around in Berkeley, and if you’re looking for a place to rest, check out some of Berkeley’s beautiful parks.

Read a book (for fun)

With hours of schoolwork every day, it might be hard to think about reading for fun. Try saving at least half an hour a day for reading a physical book that makes you happy. This can be anything you want but might be a self-help book, a poetry collection or a play.

Set tech boundaries

Reserving spaces and time that are absent of tech can help you develop healthy habits around screen time. Consider banning work, tech or anything other than sleep from your bed. Or, create a no-tech zone somewhere at home, and then reserve time you’ll spend there each day. 

Personally, the time I spend online seems like a lot less than it actually is. It’s easy to get wrapped up in everything technology has to offer, but it’s not good to spend every waking moment on a screen. Plan ahead and build an offline habit or two for your well-being.

Contact Sera Smith at [email protected].