For most of us, a large part of our day is consumed by staring at a screen – whether it be your phone, laptop, or TV. Though the world has lifted travel restrictions, the majority of us are still virtually connected. Lowered screen time is a thing of the past. In a previous blog, we had described the negative effects of doom scrolling on mental health. Negative effects of screen time aren’t just restricted to doom scrolling, however. Many studies claim that an increased screen time leads to higher cases of dissatisfaction and depression.

In fact, on an average, people pick up their phone more than 70 times a day – which is quite a lot. The actual time spent on the phone can vary, but the habit of glancing at your phone can be tough to break.

In today’s blog, TABIIB takes a look at a few strategies you can use to lower your screen time and get your mental health back on track.

How To Lower Screen Time

1. Avoid screens during meal times

It can be tempting to pick up your phone during meal times and catch up on news or social media. However, that’s a slippery slope. By banning screen time, chances are you’ll focus on your food and enjoy it more. Additionally, you will also give your eyes a break from screens.

2.  Build a schedule

Structuring your day can be an incredibly helpful trick in managing your screen time. Aiming for screen time at specific points in the day and setting limits on it can help you build a digital free habit.

3. Do digital detoxes

Spending a lot of time online is a given. But you can aim to do a digital detox once or twice a week. Each detox session essentially involves completely stepping away from gadgets and devices. Bullet journaling and meditation are also great ways of taking a break from technology.

4. Create digital-free zones

Technology use and work from home times have drastically increased our screen time. As a result, we may have started using screens in settings we may not normally use them in. For example, you’ll probably have a lot of TV dinners or have lunch in front of your laptop. Designate areas and times in your home where technological devices are not allowed.

5. Avoid checking work communication

Don’t check your work emails at home. Work from home has blurred the lines between personal and professional life but constantly checking your screens is not good for your mental health. In fact, it can increase stress levels.

6. Limit screen exposure before bed

When it comes to a half-hour before bedtime, put the electronics away. While technology might be comforting and give you company in bed, it can result in harmful effects on your sleep. Stimulation from screen time can throw off your natural sleep rhythm and give you irregular sleep. Technology before bed also throws off the melatonin levels – which is important for regenerative cellular activity. This is reason enough to lower screen time.

7. Stay active

Getting up and moving can reduce your screen time and optimize your mental health. Take regular breaks to go for a walk or meditate. You can also get a hobby which requires you to create or make something – such as baking, cooking, art, etc. The act of making something from scratch boosts creativity and cognitive health. Exercise is also good for your mental health, since it boosts serotonin and dopamine production.

The Bottom Line

Increased screen time can lead to physical problems such as eye strain, back pain, and neck pain. If you’re dealing with pain which is affecting your ability to work and concentrate, consult a doctor on TABIIB, today. 

I am a writer, covering the sprawling expanse of healthcare, among many other things that I love writing on. I write on healthcare because I want to do my part in informing people about the health industry, When I am not blogging about research and medicine, I enjoy reading, playing squash and backpacking around the world.

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