Feeling Lethargic? It May All That Screen Time

Do any of us really remember what life was like before cell phones?  Before computers?  Before information 24/7?  Probably not….While it is nice to be connected, digital overload can cause fatigue, added stress, and even burnout.  A study from the American Psychology Association found that 15-20% of people say that technology makes them feel stressed.  If the thought of a digital detox makes you panic, you most likely need one.  Consider implementing some of these strategies to reduce the amount of screen time, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how refreshed you feel.

List Your Devices

Most of us are unaware of how much time we spend before a screen, at work, at school, and at home.  Consider the following statistics:  The average person checks their phone 200 times a day – that’s once every six and a half minutes, and one in four people spend more time online than they do asleep. 

Make a list of all the devices you use in your life.  Then log just two days’ worth of screen time on all the devices.  Chances are that you will be surprised by how much time is spent on work or school-related digital activities—all necessary—not to mention how much personal time you spend on digital distractions such as online games, texts, and social media. 

Set Tech-free Time

Establishing a time that is uncompromised technology-free is a great first step.  Science says that it takes about two months to form a habit, so choose the same time each day to put all of the devices away.  Be fully present with those around you—this can be especially positive for families with children. 

When children see their parents making a commitment to a positive change, they are more likely to follow.  Young children play video games in their spare time, while older children seem to be permanently attached to their phones.  The average teenager sends 3,400 electronic messages a month from their bed. 

For those who are single, setting a tech-free time can foster a new healthier habit, such as taking a 30-minute walk outside or reading a great book.  Another habit to consider is banning technology from the bedroom, which allows your mind to slow down before going to sleep. 

Take Time to Pause

Many eye doctors say that eye strain from looking at screens all day has taken a huge jump.  Many people not only look at a screen, sometimes several screens at once, all day at work, and but when work is done, they unwind by looking at another screen.  Taking time every hour to look at something that is not media related can not only refresh your eyes but give your brain a rest, too.

If you ask yourself when you hear your watch ping with another message, or you pull out your phone to pass the time, “Do I really need to do this,?” it may help you be more mindful of digital burnout.  Embarking on a new digital habit could be just what you need.

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