In today’s digital era, screens have become an integral part of our daily lives. From smartphones...
Tips To Reduce Screen Time And Improve Mental Health
Excessive screen time affects most of us, especially younger generations. With smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and laptops as our trusty companions, it’s easy to spend hours scrolling, texting, and watching videos. While technology has opened up incredible opportunities, it has also introduced concerns related to mental health and well-being. This blog will explore why it is necessary to maintain a healthy balance between screen time and real-life. It will also provide a few tips to help reduce screen time and improve mental health.
Why screen time matters
So, what’s the big deal about screen time? Well, it turns out that excessive screen time can have a negative impact on mental health. Increased screen time has been associated with feelings of anxiety, depression, self-doubt, and loneliness. Think about it: endless scrolling might lead to comparing our lives with seemingly perfect ones across social media platforms, which can harm our self-esteem and overall happiness. It also secludes us, distancing us from face-to-face interactions and connections. Moreover, staying up late to binge-watch videos or TV shows might disrupt our sleep patterns, which can make us feel irritable, anxious, and even hamper our concentration in school or other activities. To learn more about the science, click here.
Striking a meaningful balance between screen time and real-life
Now, before you start worrying, let’s remember that technology itself isn’t the enemy. It’s all about balance! Using screens for educational purposes, staying connected with friends and family, and even indulging in some entertainment is normal and fine. The key is to strike a meaningful balance between screen time and real life! Achieving a healthy equilibrium between screen time and real-life interactions is crucial for overall well-being. Striking the right balance ensures that technology enhances rather than hinders our lives. The following “2-4-8” rule provides a basic guideline to quickly understand if you or a loved one is over indulging:
2 hours of screen time: Aim to limit recreational screen time to around 2 hours per day. This includes activities like watching TV, gaming, or browsing social media. This would not include work or school related activities.
4 hours of real-life time: Dedicate at least 4 hours daily to real-life activities away from screens, such as riding a bike, participating in team sports, or meeting friends for lunch.
8 hours of sleep time: Prioritize a solid 8 hours of sleep each night. Uninterrupted sleep is essential for mental and physical rejuvenation.
Tips to reduce screen time
Ready to take control of screen time and boost mental well-being? Here are a few tips that have helped others take back control.
Set limits: In today’s digital age, it’s easy to lose track of time when engrossed in screen-based activities. That’s where setting limits comes into play. Download an app, or see if the device has features designed to help restrict screen time.
Digital-free zones: Identify spaces where screens are usually omnipresent, such as the dining area or your bedroom. These spaces can be transformed into sanctuaries where screen distractions are minimized or completely eliminated. For example, during meals, resist the urge to check devices and instead savor the opportunity to connect with loved ones. Additionally, dedicating the hour before bedtime as a screen-free zone can aid in better sleep by reducing exposure to blue light, which interferes with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
Engage in real-life activities: Psychologists have proven that completing real-life, goal-oriented challenges increases a sense of belonging, accomplishment, fulfillment, and happiness. Learn how to make perogies, go on a scavenger hunt, ride in a hot air balloon, or build a birdhouse. Unfortunately, many people find it extremely difficult to find fun, challenging things to do by themselves, or with family and friends. No worries. Expected early Q1 2024, DoCurious is launching the very 1st digital marketplace, curated by psychologists and doctors, where people will quickly discover and book unique activities proven to make them happy.
Reap tech benefits, while safeguarding mental health
We live in a digital world, and screens are here to stay. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our mental health for endless scrolling. By being conscious of our screen time and making intentional choices, we can reap the benefits of technology while safeguarding our well-being. So go ahead, watch that TV show but be prepared to also put down that phone, step away from the screens, and embrace the real world around you. Remember, it’s not just about avoiding screens but also about replacing that time with meaningful, real-life activities proven to promote well-being.
Your mental health will thank you!