As we settle into the winter, it’s time we switched off, joined a book club and cut down on the Merlot. Here are THREE SIMPLE CHANGES you can make this week to BENEFIT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH …
1. Variety is the spice of life, someone said, but things have gone too far. Technology’s demanding nature means we’re rarely out of contact with our social network or the office, or able to avoid a hundred daily beeping and blinking notifications. Are we really multi-tasking or are we just addicted to the internet, asks SHELLEY CARSON, a Harvard professor of psychology. Do we really need to check our email 25 times a day, google an actor while watching a film, or take up the offer of a game of text tennis at bedtime? Switching off (literally) is key to productivity, says TOM HARFORD, writing in the Financial Times on effective multi-tasking. Making anxiety-reducing good old-fashioned lists, project by project, for home and office (and reviewing and revising them daily), muting non-vital notifications on your smartphone, and making connecting and disconnecting from the internet “a deliberate act”, at certain times during the day, to allow you refocus on offline tasks, are all techniques to help you master your multi-task mountain. Or you could check into the Villa Stéphanie, a spa hotel in Baden-Baden which advertises as the “ultimate luxury” a silver switch beside the bed which activates a wireless blocker, disabling the internet.
2. Go Sober For October may be on the agenda for some (have you joined the Macmillan Cancer initiative?) but that doesn’t mean there’s any less to look forward to: think clearer skin, a few pounds shed and more focus the morning after. October is the time to notch up those plays and exhibitions you’ve been meaning to see. Visit the Coach House, Dublin Castle to review the A’ Design Awards Exhibition, honouring the best designers, architects, and design studios worldwide.
3. Have you noticed that book clubs are in decline? Some of them were more Pinot Grigio than PROUST perhaps and just another chance to show off? If asked for a suggestion for this month, you might nominate City on Fire by GART RISK HALLBERG (Jonathan Cape). It has drawn comparisons to books by DON DE LILLO, TOM WOLFE and PATTI SMITH and was given the oddly modern compliment of being like “a HBO box set”. Equally enjoyable, though less highbrow, is The Dress by KATE KERRIGAN (Head of Zeus), a love story revolving around a 1950s gown.
This article appeared in our October issue, for more features like this, don’t miss our November issue, out Thursday November 5.
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