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How much screentime is too much?

Now more than ever it’s all too easy spending hours every day attached to your phone. Covid-19 has us glued to all our screens, whether it’s checking news updates, scrolling social media, watching the latest TikTok craze or keeping up with the endless WhatsApp group chats.  

Here are a few signs your screen time habits might be verging on the unhealthy side: 

 No wonder that all this dependency on our phones can have such an impact on our overall wellbeing and things can start to feel a little overwhelming. Here are some ways we can all try to reduce our dependence: 

Turn off social media notifications   

Every time your phone pings or buzzes, do you check it? Of course, you do, FOMO kicks in plus our brains like it! The brain is addicted to the chemical dopamine a.k.a the “feel good” hormone. So, every time we get a social media notification, it causes dopamine to be released creating a little flurry of excitement even if it’s just a message from your sister! By simply turning off our social media notifications or putting them on silent, you focus more on the present and can enjoy being in the moment instead.  

Take short breaks from your phone  

 Ease yourself into taking breaks from your phone. Start by putting your phone away for 15 minutes without looking at it then the next day, try 30 minutes. You can also set aside daily periods with no screen time at all such as when you wake up, mealtimes with the family and before you go to bed. We all know the impact the blue lights from screens can have on our sleep patterns and right now, we need all the good quality sleep we can get to help us through this unsettling time.  

Get reading 

Who doesn’t love to be curled up with a good book and cup of tea? Sales of the Classics are up at the moment and we all have a stack of books that we keep meaning to read but just haven’t quite found the time. Make the most of the extra time we have now and lose yourself in a great novel or take back some control and learn about something new altogether. Reading is considered to be the best medication for a healthy mind, and it allows you to escape into a different world altogether, even for just a little while.  

Boost your daily workout 

A lot of time is wasted by simply scrolling for hours on end down to pure boredom. But you can also use your phone in a positive way to support you through your one form of daily exercise. Whether you head out for your daily walk and enjoy a walking meditation playlist on Spotify or you choose your favourite workout mix to keep you motivated whilst doing your daily online exercise class, your phone can help alleviate stress and anxiety when used mindfully. 

 

 

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