This article is written in partnership with Pure Synergy—they’re dedicated to making all-natural nutrition easier, and we’re honored to work with them. ~ ed.
Today marks my second year of working at Elephant Journal.
I know this because my laptop and phone told me so (not because I have an amazing memory). On my phone, the reminder popped up as an image: it was me in a snow-blanketed Boulder, right outside the local hotspot and landmark-worthy coffee shop, Trident.
I’d just met Waylon, Elephant’s founder, and was smiling a toothy, genuine smile—not the “Instagram pretty” kind of smile one might usually go for. Simply put, I was thrilled.
That picture represents the day I was hired and the beginning of my “entirely remote” work journey (a big deal). It felt like it was a too-good-to-be-true opportunity. I can wear my nightgown while writing and editing and getting paid?! Score!
As I looked down at the memory and absorbed the sweetness of it, I was acutely aware of the fact that I was also absorbing blue light from my screen—something I knew nada about when the picture was taken and am all too familiar with now.
You see, I was hired about a month before COVID-19 slapped the world across the face and made Zoom and WFH the phenomenon that it is today. So, when I say I was ecstatic and it was a big deal, there’s no exaggerating happening over here. But, since it wasn’t exactly “common” (yet), I had zero clue about the possible negatives of working remotely. Yep, I learned some lessons the hard way.
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For example: if you work from home, it’s exciting to be able to work from bed in your pajamas, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best decision in the long run—emotionally. And from a physical standpoint, if you don’t carve out time to walk and exercise, it just won’t happen. (Bye, bye, muscle tone.) Oh, and say hello to eye strain and migraines.
And with new research showing that we spend, on average, half of our lives in front of a screen (1), the time for stocking up on information and health-boosting nutrients is now—we really can’t skip a beet. (See what I did there?)
* Pro-tip from our health-focused friends at Pure Synergy: remember the 20-20-20 rule—rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Let’s talk about this big bully named blue light:
According to experts, “Blue light from electronics is linked to problems like blurry vision, eyestrain, dry eye, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Some people have sleep issues… Digital eyestrain, or computer vision syndrome, affects about 50% of computer users.” (2)
I think most of us are at least somewhat aware of these eye-turning effects, but did you know that “blue light can increase the amount of DNA damage, cell and tissue death and injury, skin barrier damage, and photoaging”? (3) Read that again, my friends: cell and tissue death.
So, you’re saying that I’m not only ruining my eyesight…I’m fast-forwarding the effects of skin aging? Unfortunately, yes.
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This is where Pure Synergy can offer a healing hand: from vitamins made with organic fruits and vegetables to superfood powders that we can add to our smoothie, they know how to upgrade our health.
Knowing my work from home woes, they were kind enough to send me their guardian angel supplement for eye health, the Eye Protector, which is made in their wind-powered, certified organic facility.
One of the many potent ingredients in their Eye Protector is the beauty secret and OG antioxidant powerhouse I wish I’d known about many years ago: Astaxanthin. While you might be saying “Asta-what?” this incredible member of the carotenoid family is a supplement that you should really get to know.
Astaxanthin ranges from 100 times to more than 1,000 times stronger than many other antioxidants. Let’s let our new friend show off for a minute:
>> Promotes healthy skin tone, texture, elasticity, and moisture levels. It also supports healthy skin during UV light exposure. (Added bonus: pair your Astaxanthin supplement with a blue-light-blocking physical sunscreen—it’s UV protection for your skin from the inside out.)
>> Protects our eyes and our vision in numerous ways: strain and fatigue caused by computer screen use.
>> Supports mental clarity, memory & overall brain health—especially during the aging process.
Please insert 45 bottles into my hand right now.
I’m so freakin’ grateful these supplements exist—especially when, according to research commissioned by Vision Direct, “The average U.S. adult will spend the equivalent of 44 years of their life staring at screens. That equates to an astonishing 382,652 hours and 48 minutes over the average adult lifetime.” (1)
Combine that with other factors many of us face—nutrient deficiencies, the natural aging process, blood sugar issues, medication side effects, stress, genetics—and my gratitude level for being able to try this “white knight of eyesight” shoots through the roof.
Here’s one Eye Protector-user’s experience:
“My Mom had macular degeneration in one eye and had to get shots in her eye, it totally freaked me out as I simply cannot imagine sitting still while someone sticks a needle in your eye. Yikes!
It was after watching this procedure I decided this is not for me and I’m going to do everything I can to avoid this. So far so good, I have extremely healthy eyes today at 58 years young, while my peers are succumbing to all sorts of eye problems. This supplement along with a healthy organic diet has kept me out of the eye doctor’s office.
This is yet another supplement I will not do without, as you only get one set of eyes. Treat them well and they will last a lifetime. You cannot put a price tag on eyesight, it’s precious.” ~ Nancy T.
Protecting our Peepers:
Even if you aren’t staring at a screen 40+ hours a week for work like me, you’re still scrolling and swiping on social media. You’re watching TV (or YouTube) until you fall asleep. No judgment here, but let’s be honest….we’re glued (indiscriminately) to screens more often than we’d like to admit.
And while I’m in the same sinking boat of eye and skin health as you are, it doesn’t mean we can’t get a little smarter—and healthier:
>> Feast your eyes…on some knowledge—there are over a dozen botanical healers that are especially beneficial for supporting eye health.
- Goji berries
- Sea buckthorn
- Marigold flower
- Pine bark
- Grape seeds
- Gardenia fruit
Also, most computers and apps also have a dark mode or a feature to reduce the amount of brightness and blue light to reduce eye strain.
>> Stock up on Eye-Nourishing Nutrients—free lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin (our new BFF), lycopene, and crocins are all-powerful carotenoid antioxidants that actively nourish and defend our eyes. Psst…the Eye Protector® has all of these among its 17 potent extracts and concentrates.
>> Hydrate—It’s incredible how the simple act of drinking enough water is key to keeping most of our body’s systems functioning at peak performance. This goes for our eyes too. Dehydration hampers our body from producing enough tears which can lead to dry eye and other vision problems.
>> Invest in Protection—cutting down on screen time is always helpful, but even short amounts of time can sucker-punch our well-being. And, honestly, some of us just can’t cut ourselves off from our devices due to job necessity (even if we want to). Blue light glasses can provide a barrier between blue light and our eyes, lessen eye strain and headaches, and help us sleep better. (4)
Even when we think we’re doing our absolute best to care for our health, it just seems like there’s always a new, hidden villain in town. Case in point: our body takes a significant amount of abuse day in and day out without us even realizing it. And working from home only seems to exacerbate the issue.
While we can’t entirely avoid the ravages of time and our environment, we can do something very real by nourishing our bodies from the inside out.