Top tips from a leading UK psychotherapist on improving your digital health
Figures for the North West reveal an astonishing reaction to remote working - with a quarter working longer days than pre-COVID times and finding it difficult to find time for themselves to wind down or destress.
The move from the office to a work from home basis has not been without its problems.
From failing WiFi signal, to interrupted zoom calls, to the dog barking in the background, the adjustment has been fraught with pesky difficulties.
For the most part, we’ve managed to navigate them without any serious consequences. But what’s worrying experts is the role home working has played in our nation’s ‘digital health’: how we use technological devices and what patterns of use we follow.
New research from Microsoft Windows has revealed that lockdown has contributed to declining digital health in 2020.
Figures for the North West reveal an astonishing reaction to remote working – with a quarter working longer days than pre-COVID times and finding it difficult to find time for themselves to wind down or destress.
Again, one in four of those surveyed reported that they continued to check their devices throughout the night with 8.2% not taking any breaks from their screens during the working day.
Over half of the North West admitted to spending more time online than last year, with one in five British men confessing to greeting colleagues and friends online before their partner in the morning.
With lack of defined lunch and coffee breaks, and the absence of social interactions for a quick office catch up, a decline in digital health seems almost inevitable. But with unclear plans on returning to the office, remote working is something we will have to become accustomed to.
Leading UK psychotherapist Zoe Ashton, author of Your Mental Health First Aid Kit said: “Just like the crucial role of diet, exercise, sleep and relationships to our overall health, digital health is the fifth pillar we have to consider in our journey to improve our overall mental and physical wellbeing.
“Our world has changed more in the past 12-months than it has in the past five years and for many of us, our new reality has left us feeling overwhelmed and off balance.”
Microsoft Windows has partnered with Zoe to help people assess and address their digital health, offering some top tips to help people improve their digital well-being:
Make technology work for you
Just like a balanced diet, your digital use also needs to be varied. Score yourself daily from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) on how energised, productive, connected and relaxed you feel. If you are at the low end of the scale, use your technology in ways that create energy and make you focused. This may be silencing notifications, and regaining balance. Treat your digital health as a sliding scale and use your technology to help you achieve harmony.
Set yourself digital boundaries
Place limits on how late you respond to work emails, or the amount of time you spend on social media per day. Separate your work life from your home life. This can be done by creating two different desktops for work and personal use.
Notice your patterns
Do you have lunch in front of your laptop or wake-up reaching for your phone? What digital patterns do you notice throughout the day? How do they make you feel and what would you like to change? Begin to note down these unhelpful behaviours and consider how you might be able to change them. Think about reaching for a warming tea first thing, rather than your phone. Create reminders to scrap these bad habits.
Move your body
Consider your physical and digital wellbeing as one and the same. Move your body regularly allowing it to refresh, as you would your browser. You could take advantage of some of the online classes Microsoft 365 have to offer.
Unlock your imagination
Mindfulness is a simple practice of choosing where your energy is directed. If you are scoring on the high end of the aforementioned scale, use your energy and channel it into something creative. This might be digital doodling. Use the night light settings on your phone to do an evening sketch, transitioning you from an invigorated work mode into a relaxed state of mind.
With over 20% of Brits unsure what good digital health boundaries look or feel like, this checklist should assist in identifying and acting on bad digital health patterns.
“We need to take a deeper look at our overall relationship with tech so that we can feel fulfilled by it consistently – truly making it work for us,” Zoe added.
Visit Zoe’sInstagramchannel here to access the Digital Health Diary and Checklist.
Tyson Fury calls Usyk and Joshua ‘s***houses’ and doubts AJ fight will happen
Tyson Fury is at it again on social media, blasting both Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk after the latter suggested he was “afraid” of him.
While Fury is beginning preparations for his fight against AJ due to be held this December, Usyk attempted to rattle the Gypsy King’s cage in the meantime.
Speaking in an interview on his YouTube channel, the Ukrainian said, “Despite his toughness and how he is generally described, he is afraid. Yes, of me.” It didn’t take long for Tyson to respond in kind:
As you can see, the Wythenshawe-born heavyweight spends nearly a full minute shouting expletives, calling Usyk a “little s***house and a ‘little s***bag” before warning, “I’ll put my fist right through the side of you, you little sausage.”
Rubbishing the suggestion he is scared and dishing out some trash talk of his own, Fury then goes on to call out another “s***house”, as he puts it, labelling Joshua a “big bodybuilder” rather than a boxer and suggesting that he has been delaying signing the contract.
Despite Warren stating that terms would be agreed sometime soon, the long-awaited all-British bout could still be in doubt as we’ve already seen one potential fight disintegrate in the 11th hour.
AJ is coming off back-to-back defeats against Usyk, who he’d no doubt hoped to beat on his way to finally facing Fury. Nevertheless, the WBC champion believes he does want it at all, remarking: “You little sausage, you do not wanna fight, your manager’s a sausage.
The rant continues in a similar vein, with Fury adding: “I’ve never seen anything like yous, both a pack of s***houses.
“However, I will be fighting 3 December if this sausage does not sign the contract, which I don’t think he [will] because I don’t think he’s got the b****cks to, because he’s a s***bag.
It remains to be seen what kind of response Joshua will give and if the fight will finally be locked in. All we know is that it’ll be a big disappointment for fight fans if the match-up falls apart again.
Featured Image – Tyson Fury (via Twitter)
American tourist baffled by Manchester in hilarious TikTok vlog
An American tourist’s chaotic trip to Manchester has gone viral after he documented the whole thing in a TikTok vlog.
Adeib El Masri, a successful LA-based photographer and TikToker with more than a million followers, said that our city was like ‘a different world’.
He has previously been documenting his experiences of visiting London, including several vlogs about the British weather.
Over the course of two days spent up north, Adeib appeared baffled by the concepts of queueing, fairgrounds, and people being nice to each other.
His pair of heart-warming videos have amassed more than half-a-million views at the time of writing.
In the first instalment, Adeib films himself at Manchester Piccadilly, saying: “I’m in Manchester. It looks kind of the same except all the buses are free apparently.”
From his taxi, he adds: “Everyone is so much nicer here, I can already tell.”
He then takes a trip to ‘Trafford Mall’, where his visit to the cruise ship-inspired food court The Orient prompts him to say: “This mall has the most Vegas vibes ever. Like ever.”
On his second TikTok vlog, he praises Manchester for being ‘so pretty’ while walking through Chinatown, and says we have our ‘own Big Ben’ in the Kimpton Clocktower.
Adeib and his friends tried to go for afternoon tea at an undisclosed location, but were turned away for not booking 24 hours in advance (‘very pretentious’, he says) and end up visiting a local Costa instead.
He then documents his trip to a fairground, where everything about the experience seems to delight and confuse him.
He says: “So guess who’s at a carnival! So it’s not a carnival, it’s a parking lot.
“There’s a child running the stands. I’m very confused.
“Moral of the story, check where the funfair is, it could be a parking lot that isn’t a real funfair.”
Fairground disappointment aside, he does concede: “You know what, Manny is a 10 out of 10, d’you know what I mean.”
He later says, on a visit to Dog Bowl: “To save the day I decided to go bowling. Bowling is not available. It’s fine,” before heading to Nando’s.
Once safely back in London, he updated his followers with this: “Manchester was like a different world. Everyone is much nicer, like genuinely out-of-their-way nice, which is bizarre.
“Literally nothing went right in Manchester. I was there for like a day and a half, I almost got deported. Let’s just not get into it.