Hey Friends! How’s it goin?
This week I was planning to share another oatmeal recipe with you but something happened that I wanted to talk about instead.
For the last month or so I’ve been literally glued to a laptop or smartphone. If I’m not writing a blog post, I’m reading others on bloglovin’, sharing stuff on Facebook, having chats on Twitter, liking photos on Instagram and so on. On top of that, I’ve got a 9-5 desk job that has me working in front of a computer for most of the day. I also love to read and I do most of my reading on my laptop. So that’s yet another chunk of my time spent staring at a back lit screen.
This weekend, all that strain on my eyes finally caught up with me.
On Sunday I didn’t do my regular grocery shop and meal prep because I could barely get out of bed. Not because I was tired, but because my eyelids felt like sandpaper.
It honestly hurt to blink for most of that day.
When I realized that my eyes were basically shutting down on me because of overuse, I decided to take a step back and take stock.
As a healthy living fanatic, I spend a lot of time focusing on nutrition, fitness and mental health. I’m always so careful about taking rest days from the gym to give my body a break and taking mental health days when my busy life gets to be too much.
But there are other ways that my body can fail too. What about oral health, eye health, skin care etc.?
Those are HUGE parts of living a healthy life and I’ve just been going along in blissful ignorance of them here in ExSloth-land.
So today I’m going to rectify that, starting with the eyes.
6 Tips for Preventing and Protecting against Tired Eyes
1. Get Checked
When I lived with my parents I got my eyes checked about once a year. Now that I’m on my own, I go about every other year but I’m long overdue for a check up. There are things that I struggle to see even with my glasses on so I know it’s time.
Talk with your optometrist about how often you should get check ups and make sure to keep your appointments. It’s better to head off any problems ASAP instead of suffering along with whatever undiagnosed eye issues you may have.
2. Take breaks
I can and have stared at a computer screen for 4+ hours at a time if I’m working against a deadline or reading a really interesting book. But I know that’s bad for my eyes.
I remember when I was younger, my mother would turn off the television or take away my books every couple of hours and make me look out at the mountains. It gave my eyes a break from focusing on such short range things and gave me some greenery to look at which is always nice 🙂
So, if you find yourself spending lots of time in front of a computer, TV screen or anything up close, take frequent breaks to look at things at least 20 feet away to give your eyes a rest.
3. Use your prescriptions
I have a couple friends who’ve been prescribed glasses but never wear them. First of all, glasses are not cheap – at least mine aren’t. So I have no idea why you’d buy a pair and then not use them.
Secondly, you’re just asking for your eyes to get worse. Your doctor prescribed said glasses because you needed them. Continuing to squint just because you don’t like how your glasses look or how your contacts feel is probably not the best idea.
Man up, put them on and take care of your eyes!
4. Get protection from the sun
I don’t wear shades very often because I can’t see without my glasses and I don’t use contacts (yet). But every pair of glasses I’ve gotten after my first has had transitions.
Just like you protect your skin and lips from the sun with sunscreen and lip balm, you should protect your eyes. Squinting against the sun all the time is a sure fire way to continuously have tired eyes (and get wrinkles if you’re worried about those!)
5. Stay hydrated
Not drinking enough water affects your body in so many ways.
When you’re dehydrated, your cells retain water which causes bloating, swelling, inflammation and puffiness. And the eyes are not immune. Help your eyes stay clear by drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water.
And if avoiding tired eyes isn’t reason enough, check out some more benefits of drinking water.
6. Get enough sleep
This one is probably a no-brainer. If you’re up all night, your eyes are gonna reflect that. So don’t do it.
Eye drops and other remedies can only go so far to combat the effects of those late nights. Your best bet is to keep them few and far between.
If I get any less than 6 hours of sleep I feel it in my eyes the next day. Coffee might help keep me awake but nothing really helps my eyes after a night of minimal sleep.
Do yourself a favour and get enough sleep. Your not-so-tired eyes will thank you. I promise.
Bonus: 3 Simple Home Remedies for Tired Eyes
There are always gonna be those times when you over do it and your eyes suffer. Instead of moaning and groaning and suffering in non-silence like I did this weekend, give your eyes the rest they need with an added boost.
1. Cucumber slices
I’m new to the whole eating cucumber thing – the texture used to be too weird for me – but I’ve always put them on my eyes whenever they needed a break.
Cucumbers have a really high water content which helps hydrate the skin. Since they’re stored in the fridge the cool temperature also decreases the flow of blood to the space around your eyes. Both of these help cucumbers reduce puffiness around the eyes.
Cucumbers also contain antioxidants that are thought to help reduce irritation caused by tired eyes.
Not too bad for that vegetable with the weird texture 😉
2. Tea Bags
This one is new to me. I actually only discovered it with this latest eye irritation but it worked.
Here’s the process:
- Drop two caffeinated tea bags into a cup of hot water and let them steep for a few minutes
- Remove the bags and squeeze out the excess water
- Place on a plate and refrigerate until cool
- Optional: Drink the tea just because 😉
Now you can use the cool compresses to reduce puffiness around the eyes. The caffeine helps tighten the skin under your eyes while tannins in the tea help reduce inflammation.
Caffeine is also said to act as a natural sunscreen which is always good.
3. Whole Milk Compress
Soak a washcloth in ice cold whole milk and place over eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.
I’ve never used this one, but I sort of want to. The protein, amino acids, lactic acids and vitamins A and D in milk are said to help soothe the skin around the eyes and reduce irritation and puffiness.
I don’t drink whole milk and I don’t see this working with the almond kind but if you try it or have tried it before, please let me know what you think of it!
What about you?
What do you forget to rest and overwork the most?
Have you ever tried a whole milk compress for tired eyes?
How do you deal with being overworked (in any way)?
Share in the comments below!
Subscribe for weekly health tips