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COVID has tested even the best of us when it comes to finding time to let the mind wander. Once a class or lecture is over, the only other safe option is to glue our eyes back to our screens and distract ourselves with another digital escape. However, for the sake of mental wellness and maintaining optimal physiology, it’s important that we take breaks from our devices. Too much time on the computer and sitting down can lead to negative long term effects, so we must pay attention to this and strive to do better. 

It is scientifically proven that taking short, frequent breaks from the computer strengthens productivity and overall well-being. Every hour, people should be taking three 30-second breaks and one 3-minute break in order to avoid negative health effects such as tired eyes, discomfort, short-sightedness and headaches. Without necessary breaks, students are put at a higher risk of these effects that will only worsen if they switch from hours of online schooling to hours of online leisure. 

Not only do taking breaks between classes and leisure time online prevent negative health effects, but they also help the mind. It is proven that some of the benefits from taking breaks include an increase in processing and retaining information. This is especially important for students who opt to relax online after working because without breaks, transitioning from work to play in the same environment could negate any information that was learned prior to starting relaxation. Not only this, breaks can also help you be more creative, cultivate healthier habits and be more productive. All of these benefits come along with doing such simple tasks, that people must begin taking this seriously and implement it into their daily routines. 

It could be argued that having time for the mind to wander is more difficult in today’s digital world, but it is still possible. Having the discipline to prolong these short computer breaks to a few hours in between work and relaxation will give the mind an opportunity to explore other ways to keep you entertained. Whether it be reading a book, finger knitting a blanket or cooking a new pasta dish, the mind will come up with many more beneficial new ideas to help get students through the day and out of the digital slump. And even if one believes that the best way for them to relax is online, there is still no hurt in trying. There are even books available online and blue light glasses available to purchase in order for you to keep streaming content to your heart’s content. 

What matters the most is keeping your head held high and your mental health at your optimal state during this ongoing pandemic. Taking small breaks and realizing how important it is to let your mind take a breather and focus on something real will keep everyone sharp and ready once things return to normal.

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