Top 9 Tips for Staying Virtually Healthy!

9 tips for staying healthy in our virtual world!

Photo+from+Wall-E

Photo from Wall-E

Have you been feeling like the people on the Axiom ship in the movie Wall-E? Sitting in front of a screen all day on Zooms and doing homework? Here at 9 tips for common problems, we’re all experiencing being at home!

Sleep

  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 8-10 hours of sleep for people ages 13-18. The quantity and quality of our sleep is a crucial part of resting and affects cognitive function, mood, academic performance, and overall health! 
  • Solution: Although it is difficult to get the recommended 8-10 hours, set a consistent routine bedtime and getting up time! Make your sleeping area comfortable and relaxing by removing electronics, large meals, and caffeine in the evening. Exercising during the day helps you fall asleep faster, so go on a walk! 

Eyestrain

  • Staring at Zoom screens and homework all day is bound to cause eye strain! The Mayo clinic says eye strain is caused by prolonged screen time, extreme fatigue, and lack of sleep. Continuing to work with eye strain can cause headaches and make the symptoms of eye strain even worse!
  • Solution: Use the 20-20-20 rule! For every 20 minutes you spend in front of a screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Look at something far away for less than 30 seconds! 20 seconds is the amount of time it takes eyes to fully relax and reset.

Sedentary Sitting

  • Sitting in a chair for the majority of the day has the potential to damage organs, weaken muscles, decrease brain function, worsen posture, worsen circulation, and weaken leg muscles. These affected body parts are in use when up and active, but are damaged when someone is sedentary for most of the day.
  • Solution: Replace your chair with standing up or an exercise ball. These help you be more conscious of how you are sitting and balancing your body. Stretching for less than 10 minutes every day helps relax muscles, increase circulation, and improve mood. Try desk exercises from Google! They can be done at your desk with little to no equipment.

Boredom

  • Sitting in 3-4 classes a day is no fun, especially when your class is on a computer screen! 
  • Solution: It is still important to pay attention in class, so consider amusing yourself with fidget toys and small activities such as doodling. Take advantage of the 10 minutes between classes to stretch and get fresh air.

Stress

  • In a world pandemic where everything is changing, stress is around every corner. It is normal to feel stressed, but know your limits!
  • Solution: If the stress is overwhelming you or someone you know, say something! There are great resources in our school community and even at home! Consider talking to a trusted friend, a trusted adult, and the counselors at school. At home, practice silent and mindful activities like journaling, coloring, yoga, and meditation.

Human interaction

  • It is a complicated business to hang out with friends and have social interactions. Teenagers more than ever need these interactions to stay healthy!
  • Solution: Find ways to safely see your friends and family! Have a Zoom meeting with friends and playing online games! Also, join clubs at school! Clubs are an opportunity to meet new friends! Check out The Watchdog’s article, “Socially Distanced Fun: Things You Can Do During a Pandemic” for more ideas!

Eating habits

  • With an uncertain schedule, the nutrition we consume and how often is commonly overlooked. Teenagers growing bodies need nutrition and lots of it!
  • Solution: Have breakfast every day! Even if it means getting up a little earlier, breakfast is the right way to start the day. Make sure to eat the correct servings of fruits and vegetables. They provide so much nutrition and energy! Remember to stay hydrated! Of course, have a sweet treat at the end of the day. It is a great reward for a long day of school and working hard!

Mood

  • The other factors mentioned previously greatly impact our moods. 
  • Solution: Whenever a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast is not on the table, try alleviating your mood by watching comedies or funny videos. Do something for yourself that makes you happy.

Time management

  • Staring at a screen all day makes time either slow down or go by really fast! And at the end of the day, the homework piles up!
  • Solution: Make to-do lists, write due dates down, and pace yourself. To-do lists and due dates are a great way to track and keep records of assignments that need to be completed. Pace yourself by taking breaks and prioritizing some homework over others. For some, doing the “easier” homework and leaving the “harder” work is better, and others vice versa. Find what works best for you and be consistent!