I mentioned that one of my goals for October was to reduce the amount of time I spend looking at a screen, be it Netflix, blogging or even just plain old social media. I think I can speak for a lot of us when I say that it’s far too easy to become attached to our technology these days – and that it’s not always a good thing. Taking a break is incredibly important not only for you to enjoy other aspects of your life that you could be neglecting, but also because excessive screen time can have serious side effects on your health. It’s quite well known that those of us that experience too much time staring at a screen become less able to appreciate the people around us because the way in which our brain works is restructured. Not only that, but there’s high risks of eyesight problems, back and neck aches and even high blood pressure.
So, without bringing the mood down too much, I thought I’d share the ways in which I’m reducing my screen time throughout this month – with the hope of them becoming habits that I’m able to continue in the months to come! This post was requested by several of you, so as promised, here it is:
1. Identify your weaknesses.
This could be social media, television, video gaming…whatever it is that takes up most of your screen time in a day. I spend a significant amount of my day checking different accounts, so I’ve identified this and put a cap on the number of times I can check them each day. Twice a day for five minutes is more than enough for me – but it’s going to take me a while to get used to it!
2. Keep your mornings zen.
Focus on yourself, and appreciate your morning routine without your phone. This is one of the hardest things for me to do as it’s the first thing I reach for each morning (yes, ok, it’s to turn my alarm off) but then to check Instagram and shortly after that, Twitter. I’m definitely going to be trying to stop this, instead putting my phone on airplane mode and listening to some music as I get ready for the day instead.
3. Find a new hobby.
One that you absolutely love but it doesn’t involve anything with a screen. It could be as simple as reading, exercise, cooking or visiting a local coffee shop. Anything that makes you feel relaxed without the need for anything tech.
4. Make use of pen and paper.
Don’t get me wrong – if you love the convenience of a calendar on your phone that’s absolutely fine. But there’s something I love about writing things down and keeping organised the old fashioned way. If it works for you too, then that’s an easy way to reduce the amount of time spent looking at a screen as well.
5. Enjoy the company of other people.
And no, I don’t mean characters in a TV show. I mean friends and family, even your pets. Especially whilst eating – it’s so easy to fall into a habit of TV dinners. Use meal times as an excuse to catch up with those around you, or even just by yourself to savour and enjoy your meal.
6. Keep your bedroom as a no-tech zone.
This one is probably one of the hardest, particularly if you’re used to watching TV or browsing your phone/tablet before bed. No technology before bed is crucial to a good nights sleep and a sure fire way to get it is to keep the bedroom free of any technological gadgets.
What are your favourite ways to reduce screen time?