As the majority of us are working from home, in an average day we can go from our laptop, to our phone, to the TV, and before we know it, we’ve spent almost the whole day looking at some form of screen. That dreaded Monday morning screen time message is just one of the reminders that influences my personal, ongoing desire to reduce the time I spend online.
Of course, when WFH some screen time is unavoidable, however making a conscious effort to reduce this could lead to:
Increased productivity - less scrolling, more doing!
The ability to live in the present moment – rather than finding yourself struggling to respond to face to face conversations because you’re half concentrating on replying to a group Whatsapp thread.
Improved sleep quality – our body processes the artificial blue light from screens as day light and therefore thinks it’s time to be active. When this is the case we produce less of our sleep hormone melatonin, pushing bedtime later. Less time on screens at night = more melatonin.
Less comparison to others – we compare ourselves to others on social media without even realising. This can lead to us feeling inadequate if we are not doing the similar things.
REMINDER: Comparison is the thief of joy. We only see the best parts of other people’s reality.
Potential to reduce anxiety – continuous screen time means our brain is constantly active. Although social media and TV can be escapism – these are not necessarily restful activities. Flitting from one screen to the next can cause overwhelm, leaving us feeling less able to unwind.
More time for ourselves – less time on screen = more time doing the things we enjoy. No brainer!
Check out the bingo board above, designed by our onsite Health Coach Anna Whyte with the intention to promote less time on screen. See below how some of the challenges could be beneficial.
One hour screen free when you wake up
Avoiding screen time first thing can help us to establish our own mood and mindset for the day ahead, rather than it being influenced by something we see online, or a work email we need to get back to.
Why not use that first hour of the day to do something for yourself, like get outdoors for some fresh air, exercise or make a nutritious breakfast. Time invested in ourselves at the start of the day can lead to a positive attitude throughout the day.
Jot down how you feel during screen free time
Recognising how we feel, or how much we get done when we are away from our screens can be the encouragement and motivation needed to continue.
It is also a good way to distinguish any patterns, if we feel like our mood is low due to time online – this can be an effective way to track it.
Turn on Aeroplane mode during busy working hours to avoid distraction
That way, our phone isn’t constantly buzzing, tempting us to take a look!
When you’re tempted, do something else you enjoy
It’s so easy to get stuck in a social media hole and before we know it, 3 hours have gone by and we’re stalking our aunties ex-boyfriends dog! There are so many other enjoyable ways to spend our time – have a bath, read a book, enjoy a face to face conversation!
Go for a walk without your phone
Absolute bliss! Some time in nature with no phone can be just the headspace needed after spending most of the day with our eyes on the laptop. It’s a great chance to rest and unwind, as well as the opportunity for our brain to process new ideas, which is less doable when it’s constantly busy.
One hour screen free before bed
With less time on screens, and by welcoming darkness, our body is able to produce melatonin, helping us to drift off more easily. When we give ourselves some screen free time before bed, we can focus on doing those things that help us to wind down, getting us ready for a restful night sleep.
Challenge your partner or a friend – who can go the longest?
Nothing like an accountability buddy to keep you on track! Challenge each other – who can go screen free for the longest and how does it make you feel?
Make your bedroom a no phone zone
Be mindful of what you associate your bedroom with, if you often watch TV, reply to emails or use social media in bed, this will become the norm.
Work to reduce screen time in your bedroom to encourage a peaceful environment designed for sleep and rest. Investing in a good alarm clock can help to support this too.
Eat at least one meal today with your phone out of reach
It’s so easy to have your fork in one hand and phone in the other. However when we eat whilst otherwise engaged, we are not fully present and are unable to eat mindfully. Mindful eating can help us to distinguish our hunger levels, decide which food we fancy and make our meal experience all the more enjoyable! Try to make at least one meal time screen free, and see if you can slowly build it up to all three.
Hopefully some of these tips will encourage some time off screen in the coming weeks. Be sure to check in with how you are feeling throughout the challenge – chances are, the benefits will encourage you to continue. Good luck!
Holistic Health Coach - Anna Whyte
The ‘Wellness with Anna’ philosophy focuses on taking a more balanced and holistic approach to health. Often, the tools needed to make a lasting change are already in your toolbox. I offer client led guidance in order to support the progress of an individual working to meet their personal wellness goals. I will not diagnose, treat or take responsibility for bringing about wellness change, but direct, listen and support development. We work together on a journey to make health a main priority, both physically and mentally.