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How to Create Wellness in a Wired World

In a surprise tech twist, forward-living expert Carley Knobloch demonstrates how certain apps and accessories can actually help us unplug.

Between overflowing inboxes, never-ending news feeds and self-generating to-do lists, the standard pace of daily life seems to officially rank somewhere between "breakneck" and "whiplash." The issue: Too many demands originate outside ourselves. When we're done returning all those volleys, we may empty inboxes - but did we do anything meaningful? Did we attend to the people and things truly dear to us? Did we care for ourselves?

As a tech expert whose typical day entails numerous hours nose-deep in laptops and smartphones, I rely on strict boundaries and sharp tools to prevent being swept away by alerts, notifications and trending topics. For me, it's not about denouncing technology. It's about curating high- and low-tech solutions that help me stay calm and focused. 

Here are a few of our greatest hits:

Air Purifier

Most of us think about air quality when we're outdoors, but did you know that indoor air quality is often much worse? Air purifiers, like the Blueair 411, pictured above, capture the majority of airborne pollutants, including VOCs, which can cause nausea, fatigue and airborne viruses. Top-of-the-line purifiers will zap smelly pet odors and lingering cooking fumes, too.

Unplugged0001 Resize

Pixel Glasses

Should I scroll through my phone before bed? No. Do I sometimes do it anyway? Of course! Pixel glasses are coated with a yellow tint that minimizes the eye's exposure to sleep-disrupting blue light. Their anti-reflective coating cuts down on eye strain.

Pixel Glasses

Meditation App

After several successful DIY attempts at meditation, it was an app - Headspace - that finally brought it home for me. Bite-size lessons on breathing and mental focus are delivered via a narrator's warm voice, launching me straight into serenity.

Headspace App

Task Managing App

I'm as guilty as the next mom of multi-tasking, whether I'm calling the school principal on the way to a meeting or closing deals in the carpool line. Having one task manager is my secret weapon for getting things done. I use Todoist, which slots my tasks into categories like "Work," "Family" and "School" and lets me quickly add tasks on the go. I set deadlines for myself - and get alerts when I inevitably miss one.

Grocery App

Ordering my groceries online has changed my life. I used to go to two or three different grocery stores every week, and that didn't include the annoying return-trips for the items I forgot. Being able to schedule grocery delivery from a meeting, an airplane or in bed has given me back entire days to my weeks.

Bluetooth Coffee Adapter

Another thing that makes meditation doable: knowing my coffee pot is filling as I am breathing deep. Bluetooth enabled coffee makers, such as the Connected Coffee from Behmor, brew personalized coffee with their app.

Behmor Crop

News Apps

The news is scary enough without having to absorb 24 hours of it via looping footage. Reading or listening to news at least removes sensationalism from the equation, thus lowering my stress levels. "New York Times" and NPR are two of my favorites; I plug into their podcast while running on the treadmill and running errands in the car.

Nyt App Resize

LED Bulbs

Proper lighting can mean the difference between crushing it at work or having a sloth day. Mercury-free LED bulbs are better for our eye health and are customizable to the task at hand: bright and white for productive work sessions; warm and red to wind down before bed. Their above-average cost is offset by their lifespan (guaranteed 10 years)."

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