Is it time for your plan members to turn off and tune out?
July 18, 2022
For business owners, plan administrators, and sponsors
Chances are that you and your plan members spend a lot of time online.
Yes, it’s true. You’re reading this article online!
Sure, technology has made our lives easier, but it can also take a toll on our mental state.
Being able to work-from-anywhere during the pandemic (and now in our hybrid working lives) means there are more opportunities to connect, feel close to people, learn, and create. We can be productive and stay connected to our professional world. We can also stay in touch with loved ones when we aren’t able to see them as regularly.
But there are consequences, too. Technology is designed to keep us engaged and keep us logged in for as long as possible. And that’s affecting people’s mental health.
The irony is that technology has also opened a new frontier in mental health support. We now have access to telemedicine, digital therapy, virtual meditation sessions, online exercise classes, support groups, sleep-tracking apps and more.
So, maybe the answer isn’t to disconnect entirely, but to set some healthy boundaries. Here are some tips you can share with your plan members to help them turn off and tune out this summer.
- Track screen time and set time limits.
Thanks to the digital wellbeing tools that are now integrated in most smartphones, you can see how many hours a day/week you’re online. Set up time limits for the most tempting apps or websites that steal your focus.
- Set up tech-free zones and moments.
Make mealtime a tech-free zone.
- Log out from (or delete!) apps you don’t need.
Have a love/hate relationship with on-your-phone work emails? For many, this is a reality that’s hard to escape. If you can, even if only over weekends or during vacations, log out. It’s too easy to “quickly check if you’ve got mail.” The same goes for social media platforms.
- Going out? Leave your phone at home.
If you’re out with friends and family, try leaving your phone at home, or inside a bag or pocket. Having a device on the table in front of us is too tempting and even a short lull in conversation makes us reach for it without thinking.
- Sleep without your phone.
This one is tricky. Many of us now use our phones as alarm clocks or worry that someone may need us in an emergency in the middle of night. That said, sleeping without your phone by your bed is one of the best things you can do. The blue light exposure from our phones has been shown to negatively affect our quality of sleep – a key factor in positive mental health. Consider charging your phone in another room. Or get an alarm clock.
The Vitality Group Inc., in association with The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, provides the Manulife Vitality Group Benefits program. Vitality is a trademark of Vitality Group International, Inc., and is used by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its affiliates under license. Manulife, Manulife & Stylized M Design, and Stylized M Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, and are used by it, The Vitality Group Inc. and its affiliates under license. PO Box 2580, STN B Montreal QC H3B 5C6.