10 Ways to Balance Your Screen Time for a Happier Mind
A few months back, what was considered a “healthy” relationship with technology looked much different than it does now. With society becoming increasingly virtual, we find ourselves spending more time on our smartphones than ever before. Of course, being lenient with yourself and the amount of time you spend staring at screens is okay, but this doesn’t mean you should abandon the effort to establish healthy tech boundaries.
Screen time has become an integral part of our daily lives, but it’s important to strike a balance between technology and mental well-being. With the constant barrage of notifications and distractions, it can be challenging to manage screen time effectively. However, by implementing some simple tips and tricks, you can take control of your screen time and improve your mental health.
1. Track Your Screen Time
Many people tend to underestimate just how much time they spend on their electronics, so keeping tabs on your screen time and what it’s being used for can be helpful. Although there isn’t a set amount of “healthy” screen time for adults, it’s generally a good idea to reduce your screen time as much as possible. Signs of too much screen time include eye strain, blurry vision, lousy posture, neck pain, and even anxiety and depression.
2. Avoid Screen Time During Meals
Implement a rule in your home that bans electronic device usage during meal times. This applies even if you live alone, so put your devices on silent mode to avoid temptation. Also, apply this rule when eating lunch at your computer. Plan your day to ensure you have uninterrupted time to enjoy your meals.
3. Track Down The Triggers That Make You Consume Social Media.
To better manage digital consumption, develop self-awareness about your usage habits. Please take note of the apps you frequently use and identify the triggers that prompt you to use them. Start by examining your emotions. For example, rather than feeling pressure to immediately respond to a chat for fear of losing popularity, take the time to reflect on the emotions driving this behavior. This reflection can be a crucial step in breaking digital addiction.
4. Pick An Alternative Hobby
Instead of binge-watching ASMR videos or following the Kardashians, try a challenging new hobby like crocheting, solving puzzles, or experimenting with new recipes. These hands-on activities can be just as engaging and offer more physical rewards compared to playing games on your phone. So invest in these pastimes to break away from social media and increase your overall well-being.
5. Avoid Screen Time Before Sleep
A key aspect of “sleep hygiene,” which is creating an environment conducive to sleep, is keeping your phone out of the bedroom. By creating a relaxing bedroom atmosphere and avoiding distractions such as work emails, social media notifications, and memes, you’ll be able to fall asleep more quickly.
6. Limit Your Notifications
Disabling notifications is a straightforward yet critical step toward improving focus. Concentrating is challenging when your phone is constantly buzzing with chats and social media notifications from apps like Snapchat, and Instagram is challenging. By turning off notifications from these or any other distracting sources during the day, you’ll be better able to focus on your tasks.
7. Remove Unnecessary Apps
Decluttering your physical environment is a powerful way to declutter your mind. This includes not just your home and workspace but also your phone and laptop. These devices are likely seen more frequently than your surroundings, and there’s likely a lot of digital clutter that can be easily deleted with a simple button press.
8. Filter Your Feed
Staying informed is important, but regularly consuming upsetting news and other mentally taxing content can harm your mental health. Consider filtering your sources to prioritize your well-being. As you navigate your social media feeds, pay attention to how the content makes you feel. If an account or person frequently publishes material that negatively affects you, unfollow or mute them. Replace negative sources with those that promote positivity and inspiration. Don’t be ashamed to create a social media space that supports your mental health.
9. Invest In Smart Technology
Although buying more technology might seem counterintuitive to reducing screen time, it can be effective. Innovative technology offers many benefits, and many models are reasonably priced. With excessive screen time becoming increasingly problematic, Apple and Google launched Screen Time and Digital Wellbeing, respectively, earlier this year in an effort to address our digital obsession.
10. Take Breaks And Set Boundaries
Incorporating regular breaks and setting boundaries for technology use can greatly improve mental health and well-being. Whether it’s taking a walk, practicing mindfulness, or simply disconnecting from technology for a set amount of time each day, taking breaks from screens and setting limits can help reduce stress and improve focus.