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  • Writer's pictureFrancesco Holistic

Digital Overwhelm Tips: Your Guide to Modern Wellness

Are you feeling more irritable than usual? Struggling to relax, or like your attention is being pulled in a million directions? That could be a sign of digital overwhelm.

What is ‘digital overwhelm’? 

Also known as digital overload, it is caused by the overconsumption of digital media leading to difficulty processing information. You know the feeling… you’ve watched too many episodes of your favourite show in a row after a long day at work, and now your eyes feel blurry, your head hurts, and you just feel ‘off’. 

With the increase in working remotely and daily screen usage in our lives, it’s not surprising that digital overwhelm is on the rise. So what can you do? 

Let’s explore some digital overwhelm tips in this blog for modern wellness.

A young woman looks stressed while a bunch of hands surround her with phones, tablets and news.

Hi there, my name is Francesco! I’m a registered Massage Therapist and Acupuncturist, and I’m here to help you guide you on your wellness journey. Read more of my modern wellness blogs here.

Digital Overwhelm and Anxiety

There is a constant stream of information that we are exposed to in our modern world. The modern world moves at a fast pace and we may feel the need to stay caught up through news outlets, social media, messaging, streaming services, and other digital platforms vying for our attention.

This overwhelming amount of information through digital spaces can cause anxiety and chronic overwhelm… impacting our physical and mental health, productivity, and happiness.

Digital overwhelm can occur through media multitasking, spending too much time on digital devices, and consuming too much information.

An African American man uses his TV remote while watching a show on his television.

Symptoms of Digital Overwhelm

  • Mental Fatigue: impacting your memory, decision making, and creativity

  • Lowered Productivity: fragmented attention spans, difficulty concentrating, lowered focus levels

  • Affected Mood: increased irritability, mood swings, hopelessness, feelings of anxiety or depression, excessive worry, trouble relaxing, fear, increased stress levels

  • Physical Symptoms: headaches, problems with sleep, lack of physical activity, lethargic behaviour, strained eyes, back and neck pain from periods of sitting down for a long time

A young Arabic man squeezes his fingers to his temples, looking stressed at his office desk.

Digital Overwhelm Tips

So, how can you decrease the digital strain on your life? 

1. Prioritize Off-Screen Activities

Easier said than done, but prioritize getting off your devices in your spare time! Take a walk, get outdoors, play with your pets, cook a new recipe while listening to some background music… it’s important to connect with those around you and with nature

Not only do digital devices tend to keep you indoors and sedentary, but they often keep us disconnected from our real-life relationships. 

2. Turn Off Push Notifications

Minimizing the constant stream of distractions and information can greatly reduce the effects of digital overwhelm. One way of doing this is turning off those pesky push notifications! 

These alerts can interrupt your workflow and fracture your attention span, leading to feeling pulled in multiple directions. The overload of notifications demanding attention on your phone home screen can also feel overwhelming, so I  recommend turning off any unnecessary notifications. 

3. Invest in Self-Care

You’re feeling stressed, anxious, and more irritable… you’re experiencing more headaches, sleepless nights, and increased neck and back pain… it’s time for some self-care. You need to prioritize your emotional, mental, AND physical health to remedy these side effects of digital overwhelm.

Deep tissue massages are a great way to do so! They are proven to decrease anxiety, lower stress, improve sleep quality, decrease headaches, and reduce muscle pain. Relaxing therapeutic massages are also a great way to unwind and disconnect in an off-screen space.

A male massage therapist performs a deep tissue massage with hot stones on a patient's back.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of massage therapy, click here

4. Unplug and Disconnect

Let’s continue with our digital overwhelm tips, and learn to disconnect from our digital devices. It’s OK to set boundaries around your digital usage.

Here are some of my recommendations:

  • Use your phone’s do-not-disturb or sleep functions to mute notifications in the evenings as you wind down

  • Make use of a screen time app to reduce distractions and limit your time on social media, like Opal

  • Set ‘phone-free’ zones, like not having your digital devices on during meal times or at the dining table, or not using your device for the first 30 minutes of your day

  • If you notice yourself feeling more irritable or unhappy, switch up your activity and take a break from the media you’re consuming

5. Replace and Recharge

Let’s be real, digital devices and media consumption help fill a void. Whether it be distraction, entertainment, work, or just something to do when lonely… we can’t get rid of it fully. But we can replace some of it!

What is something that recharges and replenishes you? Is it a sport? Is it a face mask and a book? A relaxing spa treatment or a day on the green? Try replacing some of your digital downtime with a new hobby, self-care treatment, or something that fills your cup.

I still enjoy my favourite shows and playing video games, but I balance it out by spending time with my dogs or enjoying my hobbies. It’s time to prioritize things you enjoy doing and not just fill the time with doomscrolling!

A young woman in a pair of yellow pants and yellow sneakers reads a book.

Are You Struggling with Digital Overwhelm?

I see you, and you’re not alone. While much of this advice can sound simple, I know that it often isn’t easy in day-to-day life. 

That’s where I come in! I’m a registered Massage Therapist and Acupuncturist based in West Edmonton, Alberta. I have helped many patients decrease their negative symptoms and increase positive lifestyle changes through massage and acupuncture treatments. Consider exploring a deep tissue or relaxation massage session to help decrease digital overwhelm!

Contact me to learn more about how my services can help your mental, emotional, and physical health here

Do you still have questions about how massage can help you? Read through my Frequently Asked Questions here.


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