Most of us are relying on our digital devices and virtual communication more than ever – just how it is these days. Yet it can still be an opportune time to shift our mindset and make a few healthy changes where we can and when we can.
Did you know that the World Health Organization published a study in The Lancet warning that childhood inactivity is a global epidemic harming their brain health and social skills? And this was in 2019, before a pandemic intensified usage of digital screens. Studying online, working remotely and virtual communication has disconnected us from each other – and nature.
Do you worry about increased isolation, anxiety, depression, insomnia, inactivity, tech overload or lack of screen-free activities?
This newest edition comes at a pivotal time; it's increasingly urgent to use electronics more wisely and balance out all this tech with outdoor time in nature. The good news: children don't need to be outdoors all day. Even twenty minutes of unstructured play boosts their physical, mental and social wellbeing.
With quotes and contributions from experts around the globe and updated material, this is the essential toolkit for parents, grandparents and educators who want to show children the value of nature and restore a calmer pace to their own lives.
Mindful Tech is thinking differently about all things wired and wireless, developing healthier tech habits and using devices in a more mindful way. Knowing a bit of neuroscience is helpful – how too much tech can harm our brains and behaviour, especially children and youth.
Best practices for all things wired and wireless.
Ergonomics and easy stretching to reduce pain of aching eyes, sore back, "tech neck, wrists and thumbs" and other repetition strain injuries.
Mindfulness practices to develop healthier tech and social media habits; enjoy less stress or insomnia, better sleep, and a calm and focused mind.
Ways to encourage respect, kindness and empathy in children and youth.
How to unplug more often and give kids a love of the natural world and screen-free activities: art, music, reading print books, caring for animals, gardening, or forest bathing – by an open window, or at a city park.
The Mindful Tech Plans™ offer all you need to know to tailor healthier tech habits for your family, school or workplace. They are based the following:
1. The Power of Natures is unplugging, and connecting with the natural world. Harnessing the earth’s elemental energy isn’t just a feel-good activity. It’s a powerful tool in dealing with tech overload and boosting mental and physical health. There’s sound science supporting the back-to-nature benefits as an effective remedy for anxiety, depression, stress and fatigue.
2. The Power of Mindfulness is a vital skill. You’ll see why it’s not easy to put those devices down, and what to do. Why mindfulness? Being more mindful, seeing how tech cravings are never satisfied, helps break the cycle. The wild and speedy mind, used to staring at screens, cannot free itself.
3. The Power of Kindness and Being Truly Connected is reconnecting with our inherent compassionate nature. We develop more emotional bravery and become more willing to interact heart-to-heart with others, rather than escaping behind our digital screens.
The Family Tech Plan – how to set digital media limits, develop safer-tech habits and enjoy creative, screen-free activities – unstructured outdoor play and reconnecting with nature.
The School Tech Plan sets out best practices including computer ergonomics, and outdoor activity guidelines.
“Mindfulness practice helps us understand how our daily habits affect our
So when we think about how much time we devote to our various
electronic devices each day, we must ask ourselves: are we using
Or are we using it mindlessly?
We need to have an awakening and when I talk to Google and the other
companies, I tell them to use their intelligence and goodwill to help us
create the kind of instruments to come back to ourselves, heal ourselves.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
NOTE: Applications for these trademarks (TM) are in process with the Canadian Trademark Office: The Mindful Tech Plan;
The School Tech Plan; The Family Tech Plan.
Kerry Crofton, 2020