We live in a world dominated by ubiquitous technology. Since the advent of the smartphone, our mobiles have become our constant companions. And though high-tech is rapidly encouraging the progression of so much global industry and culture, the benefits do not come without some profound pitfalls. Social media and the extensive time we spend on our screens has proven to have severe negative effects on mental health and stress levels. Extensive use of social media has been repeatedly linked to depression and anxiety. Here are 5 simple ways to reduce your screen time.
Make Meals Screen Free
Our phones have made it increasingly difficult to connect with those around us. We have become more comfortable talking online than we have engaging with someone in person. This rule will not only allow you to cut back on your time online, it will also mean time spent eating meals with your family and friends will actually be for conversation and connection. A nightly family ritual will help to build stronger connections devoid of interruptions and distractions.
Ban Charging From The Bedroom
Endless scrolling before bedtime is said to be detrimental to restful and healthy sleep cycles. Screens, including E-readers, which emit blue light, have been proven to have a negative effect on the quality of our sleep. A Harvard study found that people reading Kindles before bed took an average of ten minutes longer to fall asleep than those that read a print book. Screen time has also been proven to decrease REM sleep. REM sleep is the deep stage of sleep that helps us to solidify memories and is tied to creative thinking and problem solving. Commit to charging your phone outside of the bedroom as well as keeping your screen time to a minimum before bed. Try setting a curfew – put your phone down at least an hour before heading to bed.
Use Screen Time
Apple has actually acknowledged our phone obsession with the introduction of ‘Screen Time.’ The setting feature allows you to set time limits on your usage of your phone’s apps. It helps you to keep track of how many hours you spend on certain apps and might just highlight the dependency you’ve been denying.
Pick A Hobby
You’ll be surprised to discover just how much time is spent on your screens out of sheer boredom. Picking a hobby like knitting or gardening, will help you to reach for a knitting needle or spade instead of your phone.