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A Success Story

My lifestyle has changed positively since the beginning of Covid-19, thanks to digital detox challenge!

At the peak of pandemic situation, the Belgium government imposed strict lockdown restrictions like closing bars and restaurants, curfew after mid-night, ban on gathering in public places etc. and according to the company policy, I was asked to continue my work from home. During this period, I experienced a lot of negative feelings including disappointment, boredom, sadness and loneliness. My life was completely online; virtual collaborations, talking with my friends and family over the internet, doing online exercise, playing online games, and joining to different online groups. I should say that I was addicted to my screens and it was very annoying. I used to check my phone as the first thing when I woke up every morning and it was next to me almost the entire day. I felt incomplete when I did not check my emails or accounts every hour. If you look at the chart below you can see that my phone was always with me and of course it was a distraction throughout the day.

Figure 1. How I spent my time in lockdown

One day I received an email from my company (Melexis, Belgium) about a digital detox challenge. Which is a challenge to limit the use of smart phone for four weeks. As it sounded interesting, I decided to follow it for fun. It was definitely difficult for a person like me to stop my addiction of using smart phone, nevertheless I took this opportunity to change myself for good, so that I could live my life doing activities in the real world and not in the virtual one. The challenge being a group activity with my other colleagues who faced the same problem, gave me motivation to take it seriously. Fortunately, after the one-month challenge, the Covid situation in Belgium also became better and we returned to a more normal life. I used this opportunity and started going to the office as soon as possible as it was allowed. Since then, I have also been trying to keep myself distracted by involving myself with various interesting and fun activities.

Now I do not spend much time being alone; I meet my friends occasionally in cafes and also do other activities like shopping, hiking and travelling together. As a group we are passionate to explore new places, cultures and nature around us. The pie chart below, shows the current lifestyle I lead.

Figure 2. How I spend my time these days

Every weekend, I pack my home onto my back and go on for an adventure. Below you can see a nice picture from Dinant, a nice city in Belgium. Probably it can encourage you to visit this beautiful city.

Figure 3. Stunning view from Dinant city

Finally, I hope the Coronavirus disappears completely as soon as possible, even otherwise I would not worry too much, as I have learnt to have a healthy life style even in such difficult situations.


About the Author: Akram Ramezani

Akram Ramezani is an Early Stage Researcher in the EU MSCA-ETN PETER project. She is working on the ESR14 position “Risked-Based EMI-Aware Design of an Automotive Integrated Circuit”. She earned a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (Iran, 2017). After graduation she has acquired practical experience in both the electronic and EMC field. Her goal in this project is to improve the design-for-EMC approach to include ageing and environmental stress factors and to increase the intrinsic EMC robustness of the chip by considering a “risk-based” approach.