Arianna Huffington, power businesswoman, author and speaker, is all about health. Her departure from her namesake site in 2016 for the creation of Thrive Global further proves how dedicated she is to both mental and physical wellbeing. And though she's still commandeering the media industry from her office at Thrive, she's got a big point to make -- and it's got to do with your phone.
Tell me — why is eye health just as important as mental health, especially in a workplace?
Well, we find that when you look at a growing addiction to screens, a lot of parts of our life are affected. I've spent a lot of time focusing on what it does to our attention, our time, our relationships, our mental health -- and the data is increasingly alarming, especially around teenage girls and depression and anxiety.
But it's also very clear that it's affecting our eye health like dry eye. That's why we launched this partnership and the site "Screen Responsibly" so people can get tips on how they can make improvements. Nobody is going to give up screens -- that's clearly not the goal.
But if you take, for example, our 20-20-20 accommodation, which is after 20 minutes on screens, take 20 seconds to look 20 feet as a way to give your eyes some rest. It's all very consistent with all of our recommendations around "little pauses. Whether it's in the morning, when you first get out of bed, or often before you get out of bed, and don't go straight to your screen. Take a minute to breathe consciously and set your intentions for the day and remember what you're grateful for.
Or at night, don't put your phone by your bed because you're much more likely to go to it in the middle of the night and look at your screen in the dark. Another simple thing people can do that we recommend is to change the light on your screen.
Well, the first thing is greater awareness of the problem. We have some data that one in three people spend more than 10 hours a day on screens and that's more than the doctor recommended number. Obviously, we're not giving medical advice -- if people have a problem they need to see their doctor -- but we want to start with awareness and then give people microsteps that people can introduce into their day.
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Arianna Huffington early in her career
Arianna Huffington early in her career
Greek-born American columnist and political commentator Arianna Huffington stops and poses for a photograph on a city street, 1975. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
Greek-American author, syndicated columnist, and businesswoman Arianna Huffington elected as the first foreign, and third female, President of the Cambridge Union, UK, 18th May 1971. (Photo by Peter Dunne/Daily Express/Getty Images)
Greek-American author and syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington, known for her news website The Huffington Post. (Photo by Michael Childers/Corbis via Getty Images)
Greek American author, syndicated columnist, and businesswoman Arianna Huffington elected as the first foreign, and third female, President of the Cambridge Union, UK, 18th May 1971. (Photo by Peter Dunne/Daily Express/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 14: Arianna Huffington and Jerry Brown attend Gala Honoring Diana Vreeland on June 14, 1984 at Mortimer's Restaurant in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Arianna Huffington and Michael Huffington at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, NY (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK - APRIL 27: Arianna Huffington poses for a photograph April 27, 1988 in New York City. (Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)
CANADA - JULY 15: Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington: Unrepentant about showing the dark side of Picasso's personality. (Photo by Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Rep. Michael Huffington, R-Calif. and wife Arianna Huffington at reception for new Members to meet Bill Clinton in the Madison building. Bill Clinton arrived about 1 and half hour late, but only a few members left before his arrival. Dec. 7, 1992 (Photo by CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)'r'n
Arianna Huffington with her daughter, Isabella Huffington, on Jan. 7, 1993. (Photo by Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)'r'n
Attorney General Janet Reno talks with Ariana Huggington at the GOP Conference on Aug 3, 1995. (Photo by Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)
Arianna Huffington during Center For Study of Popular Culture Dinner In Honor of Charlton Heston at Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, CA, United States. (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
CLAREMONT, CA - MAY 12: Arianna Huffington attends Forum on Social Responsibilities of the Arts on May 12, 1995 at Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Marianne Gingrich and Arianna Huffington. 1995 (Photo by Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)
Arianna Huffington (Photo by Shepard Sherbell/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1998: Commentator and pundit Arianna Huffington promotes her book 'Greetings From The Lincoln Bedroom' in 1998 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joan Adlen/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1401 -- Pictured: (l-r) Arianna Huffington during an interview with host Jay Leno on June 22, 1998 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Beverly Hills - 1998: Bill Maher and Ariana Huffington pose for a photo on June 2, 1998 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Joan Adlen/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MARCH 16: Arianna Huffington and daughters Christina Huffington and Isabella Huffington attend the premiere of 'EDtv' on March 16, 1999 at the Universal Ampitheater in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
William Kristol, left, and Arianna Huffington, right, share some thoughts as they attend one of the receptions prior to the White House Correspondents' Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, May 1, 1999. (Photo by Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)
Arianna Huffington and Richard Belzer during 1st Amendment On Broadway Benefit Performance at Town Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Commentator Arianna Huffington tries to quiet protestors as John McCain addresses a shadow convention at the Annenberg Center of the University of Pennsylvania. McCain was booed when he asked suppoters to back his former primary opponent, George W. Bush. The shadow convention was put on near the site of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia to highlight issues that the organizers say the major parties are ignoring. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
374917 01: Columnist Arianna Huffington, center, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, left, participate in a talk show in the skybox of Pseudo network at the Republican National Convention July 31, 2000 in Philadelphia. Pseudo.com is providing coverage from panoramic cameras situated around the convention floor and with chat sessions in their skybox. This is the first year that Internet networks have been granted skybox space at the political conventions. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Newsmakers
(Original Caption) Reverend Jesse Jackson and Arianna Huffington, one of the convenors of the Shadow Convention 2000, before Jackson gives his speech. (Photo by Matt Moyer/Sygma via Getty Images)
Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington during Hollywood Celebrity Families turn out to Celebrate Old Navy and P.S. Arts Partnership at Old Navy Store in Santa Monica, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Arianna Huffington during Los Angeles 11th Beat The Odds Awards at Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by J. P. Aussenard/WireImage)
396677 02: Syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington attends The Creative Coalition forum 'Made in America' to attract U.S. jobs and revenue November 1, 2001 in Beverly Hills, CA. The Creative Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and the entertainment community. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Bill Maher and Arianna Huffington at the premiere of 'Collateral Damage' at the Village Theater in Los Angeles, Ca. Monday, Feb. 4, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, candidate for Governor, paid a vist to Sant Sophia Cathedral where their annual Greek Festival was taking place on Sunday, 8/17/03 and participated in traditional Greek dancing. (Photo by Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
- APRIL 15: (L-R) Richard Buckley and Arianna Huffington attend Francesco Vezzoli 'The Gore Vidal Trilogy' Opening Reception Dinner at Gagosian Gallery on April 15, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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How do you show your eyes some love?
Well, I love the pauses that I described. I love walking meetings, especially as the weather is getting better and better -- and it'll immediately take you away from the screen. Here at Thrive we have device-free meetings. I have my leadership meeting today, and nobody is on their devices -- which makes the meeting more productive, effective and faster. And also it means we're not on our screens.
What about some other ways to give you and your body a break?
Well, the first thing is to recognize that when take these breaks, when we sleep and give ourselves enough time to sleep, we are more productive. So, we don't sacrifice anything. Our decisions are better, our mental climate is better. For me, it starts with me picking a time at the end of the day to turn off all my screens and gently escort them out of my bedroom. I have no screens on my nightstand or by my bed -- that's my first step.
What are some ways that Thrive is an industry leader in terms of the health and wellness in terms of its employees?
Well, it starts with expectations. At the end of the day, when people leave work, they're not expected to be on their devices or answer emails or texts. If there's a project that requires them to work late they take what we call "Thrive Days," time to recharge as soon as possible.
And then there are other things we do that aren't related to screens: We have a nap room, massages...healthy food. We prioritize certain things in our culture. The way that we reduce stress is to clearly prioritize what needs to be done. We call it "get comfortable with incompletions. Nobody who has an interesting job gets everything done by the end of the day, but as long as they do the important things and let the others fall by the wayside, it's fine.
I have to ask, what do you think about that SNL impression?
Yes, I think it's fantastic! We should bring it back, post it on social because I think it's so funny with Seth Meyers.
You’re in the media industry, but do you close yourself off from what the media is saying about you? How have you developed a thick skin.
I don't actually believe in a thick skin. I try to be more like a child. Have you noticed children get upset about something ... and it takes a minute, but then it's over? So I think adults have a hard time letting go of things. It's okay to be upset, we're human. I think the problem comes when we cling to the upset rather than moving on.
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Cataracts are cloudy eyes and are most common in older people. Many times they can be indications of tumors or diabetes.
Because many people don't think to put sunscreen near their eyes, skin cancer often forms around them. If you see a non-healing sore on your eyelid that may be causing your eyelashes to fall off, it could be time to consult a doctor.
Droopy eyes on both sides may be a sign of myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease associated with muscle weakness. Dr. Hagan explained the disease can range from mild to more serious, deadly forms.
If your retina is inflamed because of your sensitivity to light, doctors may be concerned with HIV/AIDS.
Droopy eyelids and differently dilated pupils may be an indication of Horner's syndrome, often associated with tumors or aneurysms.
Oftentimes, cancer in the body may show up in the eye as well. According to Dr. Hagan, the two most common ones include lung cancer and breast cancer.