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Do you feel like you spend more time looking at a computer screen than looking at the faces of those that you love? I know I do.
These days a lot of us spend our day in front of a computer screen and then more screen time (TV) at night. Not to mention the time spent looking at texts, emails, updating our status and posting cute photos to Facebook or Instagram.
One statistic I recently read said that the average smartphone user checks their device 150 times a day. That is an average of 10 times per waking hour.
Technology is wonderful and amazing and has made our life better in so many ways. But even more amazing is the life that we are not taking the time to live.
We often forget to schedule time to turn it all off, destress and hang out with live people. We don’t spend as much time as we used to moving around or being out of doors.
Stress, anxiety, fatigue and sleep deprivation have become just another part of everyday life. But beside being unhealthy and challenging, for the most part we just accept it and live with it.
So, herein lies the challenge of balancing technology and getting away from the screen and living our life. I have a few easy ways that can help you distress.
Take Some Down Time
We can always find a reason to work; there is always just one more thing we need to get done. Try to find times in your day to get up and walk away from the screen.
Also, be mindful of how much work you bring home. Be sure to set some boundaries so that you have time to spend away from your screen with friends or family.
Remove Yourself from Unnecessary Groups, Email Subscriptions, Etc.
Take the time to unsubscribe to a few of those “junk” emails you get every day. If you are anything like me, then you get at least 10 junk emails per day. You don’t need to see every single thing. By cutting out some of the unnecessary “noise” you can better focus on what is important and maybe cut your screen time down.
Remove yourself from some groups, friends, etc. on Facebook. Turn off the messaging on your Facebook page. Have Do Not Disturb as the default on your Skype with a message re-directing them to your email address.
I’m just talking about streamlining here. Sometimes we are uber connected and don’t need to be.
Take Breaks for Your Phone
This is really huge while you are spending time with friends and/or family (such as out for dinner, etc.). Be purposeful in spending time living in the present; set your phone on silent and stash it away. Give your full attention to the person you are with for that period of time.
You can also set a certain timeframe every day where you step away from your mobile phone. Say during your lunch hour. Take that time to stash it in a drawer and read a book or go for a walk.
It is helpful to set a strict “technology” bedtime. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the blue light from our screens can mess with our sleep patterns. It’s suggested that you avoid your screen for about two hours before your actual bedtime so you have time to wind down.
You probably know if your use of technology is getting a little out of control and impacting your quality of life. There are little signs such as sleep problems or maybe your partner giving you a look as you check your phone just one more time.
I know it can be a challenge to find a balance between technology and being present and living life. But I’m confident that if you implement a few of these ideas and really unplug then you will be on your way to distressing. And, who knows, you might even enjoy it.