A little sick of being on the computer

There’s a feeling of gumminess running up the middle of my torso, just in front of my spine. I recognize it as a signal that I’ve been sitting too long. Also, my ears are ringing & the top of my head is buzzing. My eyes feel a little dry, and my lower back is sore.

I spent my whole work day in front of the computer, which is unfortunately the norm when you work remotely. Then I got interested in an ongoing project my brother & I are working on and did stuff on the computer for that for most of the evening (I did eat dinner, thankfully). Now it’s come time to write my post for the day, and I’m way past a reasonable number of on-screen hours.

Photo credit: Andy Farrington
According to the title, this goldfinch is dazed, which I can relate to right now.

When it’s too cold to go outside (although it’s good to remember that it rarely truly is), it’s easy to gravitate towards the computer even during free time where you wouldn’t have to be on it. You can always find something mentally stimulating or at least temporarily attention-grabbing, which is what you start to crave when the days start to feel monotonous.

There’s a strange dichotomy here. When I feel good, doing real things in the world is both mentally stimulating and physically nourishing, and there’s a virtuous cycle where I want to do more. But then for whatever reason, the mental weather changes, and I start to withdraw from real things and prefer distraction, which makes me feel worse and withdraw further.

When I struggled with the decline part of this cycle, I used to agonize & beat myself up over it. But the agonizing is part of what makes me feel worse, so I think it’s actually counter-productive. Now, I try to focus on breaking the cycle when I feel ready to do so, and when I’m up, I try to avoid things that would trigger a decline. I know it’s just something I need to deal with for now, and every time I go through it I hopefully deal a little better.

Do you spend too much time on screens in the winter? Do you have up and down cycles of any sort? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​ctrl-c.club.