We are currently living in a time where our eyes are glued to some form of screen or another a worrisome amount of hours a day. I kid you not, think about it, if it’s not a computer screen then it’s a cellphone, a television, or iPad! The amount of screen time we are exposing ourselves to is ridiculous. I realized one day, while sitting in front of the television watching a movie and scrolling on social media at the same time, that I had a problem. I felt like I had an addiction. This was when I decided to make a point of disconnecting from tech for a certain amount of time every day.
Let me tell you something – it is a lot harder than it seems! Only when I made a point of noticing when I was looking at a screen (not including work, of course) did I realize the amount of times my hand went to grab my phone. Here is what I did in order to give my eyes and mind a break from the constant screen time and ‘connectedness’ on social media.
1. I put my phone in another room.
When I went to watch television, which I also limited, I made sure to put my phone in the other room or at least not within arms reach. I went for my phone a lot in the beginning but little by little I got better about it.
2. I read a book.
Imagine that! Instead of turning on the television immediately, I decided to crack open an old fashioned paper book (rather than a Kindle or iPad). It was such a delight! First of all, there is nothing like the smell of a book and feeling the pages in your hands. Also, I found that when I read before bed, instead of scrolling through my phone or watching television, I slept better!
3. I went for a walk.
Go outside, it’ll do wonders for you. There are so many times that I was just too tired to do anything but sit in front of the tv. However, after I made this vow with myself to have less screen time, I moved my tired self instead of slumped on the couch at the end of the day and found that I not only enjoyed the evening hours outside more than expected, but it lifted my mood and helped me sleep better.
I stepped outside of my comfort zone and loved it. First of all, there is so much out there when we lift our eyes from the screens – try it! Sleeping better is probably the best thing to come out of all of this. Less screen time meant that my eyes weren’t getting the unnecessary stimulus that I didn’t even realize I was exposing them to. Less stimulus means a calmer mind. Lastly, I feel like we are too dependent on technology and wanted to make sure that I didn’t lose what I was raised with, pre-tech.