Does this sound familiar? You're at work in your office or at home, and you feel that it's becoming harder to focus. You decide to take a break: maybe send a message to your friends to see what's happening tonight, check your socials or play a game on your phone. While this may feel relaxing to you, your eyes have to put in the same kind of effort as when working so they're not really getting any downtime. How do you make sure your eyes feel fresh and rejuvenated after your break? Here is a routine of five short and easy exercises you can do to strengthen and invigorate them.
1) Get out
The best advice for giving your eyes a break is to go outside and let your other senses do some of the sensing. Rest your eyes on some greenery while feeling the fresh air on your face, listening to the birds and smelling the flowers. Not an option to actually go out into nature? Bring the outside in! Get a luscious, green plant and place it at a distance of 6 meters from your desk. This will come in handy for the next exercise.
The American Optometric Association recommends the 20-20-20 exercise, which means every 20 minutes, you look at something that's 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. 20 feet is about 6 meters, so that plant you got for exercise 1 is the perfect spot to focus on. It's a good idea to set an alarm that gives you a subtle nudge every 20 minutes.
3) Blink of an eye
Ideally, you should blink between 15 to 20 times a minute, but research has shown that people blink less when they're very concentrated and when they are looking at the screens. This is bad news for your eyes: blinking is what keeps them clean, smooth and healthy. So close and open your eyes slowly and thoroughly a couple of times and then try to be more mindful of how often you blink. Luckily, being aware of the fact that you don't blink as much as you should is often enough to fix this issue.
4) Figure 8
After blinking, it's time to challenge the muscles of your eyes a bit more. Imagine a large figure 8 somewhere in the distance. With your eyes, follow the line of the figure a couple of times. Play around with it: make the figure bigger and smaller, trace it faster and then slower... You will notice these movements are quite different from what your eyes usually do when working on the computer so it's good for them to have this little workout.
5) Embrace the darkness
Finally, treat your eyes to a moment of complete rest: cup your hands over your eyes and block out all the light. Take three slow, deep breaths and feel how energized you and your eyes are after this.
In addition to these exercises, here's another thing you can do to combat eye strain and damage: check out eyerim's computer glasses with blue light protection. By filtering the blue light that your electronic devices emit, they will help your eyes to not get as tired to begin with. Your eyes work so hard for you, support them as much as you can!