Look outside yourself.

According to the market research group Nielsen, American adults now spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media. 11 hours!  That leaves just 3 hours for meals,  2 hours for naps, and 8 hours for a decent night’s sleep.

The best way to combat and reverse this trend?  Put down the iPhone, lap top and tablet and go for a stroll outside! Not only will it help your visual system relax, it’s good for the rest of your body too.

As for missing your screen time, there’s an amazing show worthy of an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and whatever award they give to blog sites right outside your door.  Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, a rural area, or on a flotilla somewhere off the coast of Newfoundland, the best entertainment is that which nature has provided.  (And by nature, we mean anything other than being connected to a  gadget at the expense of missing out on life itself.)

As if getting some fresh air and sunshine wasn’t reward enough, we’re happy to report the time outdoors will also reduce your risk of becoming nearsighted. A recent article published in the “Optometry Times” proves the more time individuals spend looking at their electronic devices, the harder their focusing system works, causing accommodative spasms and stress on their visual system. As a result, people are suffering from head aches, dry eye, and becoming myopic at earlier ages.

So head for the great outdoors! And while you’re out there, here’s a wonderful uplifting song that can instantly raise your serotonin levels to a brimming cupful should you sing it out loud in the company of strangers:

Zip a dee doo dah, Zip a dee ay,

My, on my, what a wonderful day!

Plenty of sunshine, headin’ my way,

Zip a dee doo dah, Zip a dee ay,

Mister bluebird on my shoulder,

It’s the truth, it’s natural

Everything is satisfactull,

Zip a dee doo dah, Zip a dee ay,

Wonderful feeling, Wonderful day!*

Granted, this ditty comes from the Disney film “Song of the South”, a movie that has been labeled “racist” and “backwards leaning” by those offended by its depiction of Uncle Remus as a slave on the plantation.  Disney defends “Song of the South” by saying Uncle Remus could leave the plantation freely, any time he wanted. The same as any of us can leave our jobs in the corporate slave trade, if we are willing to forgo a weekly check and not mind the stigma of having “time on our hands” instead of constantly checking our iPhones for important missives from corporate communications. So here’s hoping you have a bluebird on your shoulder, instead of a Galaxy Note 9 in your pocket.