Staring at screens is undoubtedly a big part of everyone’s day to day, especially now. I for one have felt the effects of the elongated screen time in many parts of my body- my neck, my head, and of course, most noticeably in my eyes. I reached out to some of my talented colleagues to get their input on how to offer my eyes some relief.
Place Your Hands Over Your Eyes
Jessa Zinn, Yinova’s Structural Integrationist, recommends rubbing your (clean) hands together until they’re warm and then gently placing them over your eyes, as if you were trying to cup them. The warmth from your palms will radiate and bring an instantaneous calming sensation to your eyes. I’ve found it helpful to add this to my meditation practice as well.
Here’s the Tea
Yinova practitioner, Dr. Daryl Thuroff, gave me some advice on how to use certain tea bags to help take some irritation away.
Chrysanthemum and Chamomile are both known to cool the liver, which is the organ associated with the eyes from a Chinese medicine perspective. In order to use them to relieve strained eyes, place the tea bags in a cup of hot water (steep for 5-7 minutes so that you can have a strong enough tea to enjoy afterward) and then let the bags cool. Once they’re cool enough, get in a comfortable position and place the tea bags on your eyes. (If you would rather not have tea bags resting on your face, you could also wet a washcloth with the tea.)
- If your eyes are feeling particularly dry, it would be best to keep either the tea bags or the washcloth on the warmer side.
- If your eyes are feeling itchy, getting the items cold before applying to the eyes would be ideal.
In addition to this, I found a tea recipe using rose petals that helps relieve your eyes after a long day of staring at a screen.
What you’ll need:
- 2 whole cloves (preferably toasted)
- 1 tsp of chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tsp dried rose petals
- a dash of salt
Combine all ingredients in a tea strainer of your choice, and let steep in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, and drink up!
Give Yourself an Eye Massage
Yinova practitioner Alli Kimmel offered a helpful eye massage for when you start to experience puffiness and dark circles.
- Use your ring finger, as well as having specific Chinese medicine properties, the ring finger is the weakest finger and is the most appropriate to use on the delicate skin of the eyes.
- Start on the inner edge of your eyebrow bone, then move to the center of the eyebrow, and then to the outer edge (applying light pressure in a circular motion).
- Then move to under the eye and press gently on the inner corner of the eyes, then move to the middle of the eye on the cheekbone, and then the outer edge of the eye- applying the same light pressure in a circular motion.
Do this 3 times in a row and then sit with your eyes closed- you should feel a slight tingle around your eyes. This means the circulation is increased and will help to eliminate the puffiness and dark circles.
This has been my favorite thing to incorporate this exercise into my self-care routine. Sitting with a face mask on in a fluffy robe and giving yourself an eye massage feels incredibly luxurious, to say the least!
The 20/20/20 Rule
Yinova practitioner Dr. Elizabeth So recommended I try a simple exercise called the 20/20/20 rule. This is a helpful exercise to do in order to prevent strained eyes. It goes: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
When your eyes focus on the same thing at the same distance for too long they start to feel tight and strained. I’ve found it helpful to set a gentle reminder on my phone every 20 minutes.
She also recommends giving your neck attention. If you’ve noticed an increase in neck stiffness with the increase of screen time, it’s because your eye muscles and your neck muscles are connected. When one gets too strained, the other feels it too. The best exercise for this is to close your eyes and roll your head in a circle.
Cheers to relieved eyes!