Friday, December 3, 2010

Save Your Eyeballs!

So, lately I've been designing like a mad-woman, trying to stay on several deadlines for the myriad of end-of-the-year projects. This heavy workload is great for business, but bad on my eyes! I've been experiencing terrible eye strain, followed by headaches and more headaches. It's not like I can just take off a few days to recover, so I started researching other ways to help relieve the eye strain. Here's two of them:

1. Take a Time Out (literally)
Another graphic designer recently introduced me to Dejal Time Out, a program specifically designed to gently remind (or force) you to take time outs throughout the day. Time Out has two kinds of breaks: a "Normal" break, typically for 10 minutes every hour, so you can move about and relax, plus a "Micro" break: a very brief 15-second every 10 minutes, so you can remember not to tense up too much for long periods. You can disable either kind of break if desired, and the breaks are automatically paused when you go away from your computer, and can be reset when you come back.

Now, I'll admit it, the 10 minute breaks are too long for me to take right now, so i just skip over them. But the micro breaks (while sometimes annoying when they arrive right when I'm in the middle of something) are actually really helpful. Just taking those few seconds to shut my eyes, take a few deep breaths and then continue on has decreased my eye strain problems immensely! By the way, did I mention this program is FREE! Go, download it now, your eyeballs will thank you!

2. Have a Cup of Tea (no, really!)
The second eye strain tip came from a life coach I recently had the pleasure of meeting and it involves, well, having a cup of tea. A chamomile tea compress will help reduce eye swelling, and it will also help you relax while you have tea bags on your eyelids or drink chamomile tea to your health. Get the full directions here!

Do you have other suggestions for combating eye strain? I'd love to hear them!

PS-Special thanks to Jessica Menk for introducing me to Time Out and to Jeanette Eleff for the Chamomile tea compress article!