By Samantha Cohen
How much screen time is toooo much?
For most of us, a large part of our day requires us to look at a screen in one form or another. Take the time to look at your screen time summary, I guarantee you will be absolutely shocked at how much time we really spend on our screen. While it is impossible to completely escape the screen, there are definitely some ways to reduce your screen time. Here are some tips to change up your lifestyle and limit screen time throughout the day!
Out of sight out of mind.
This one is primarily for kids but adults can benefit from this as well if you do it as a family. Come up with a “phone jail” to place your electronics in after a certain time in the day. This can also be an opportunity for a DIY project for you and your household. You can set a “sentence” for your electronics and for that amount of time, just leave the phones in jail and do an activity either individually or as a family. After the phone’s sentence is up, you can break your phones out of jail.
Engage in other activities.
Instead of laying around bored, scrolling through social media try putting the phone down and engage in other activities. Reading is a great way to cut out screen time and still stimulate your brain. To swap out scrolling on your socials to reading, you activate your imagination and extend vocabulary. Which is so much more efficient for yourself as opposed to mindlessly being on your phones or computers. If reading novels isn’t really your thing, try a mindfulness journal where you can fill in the blanks and color. It’s not reading, but it still forces you to use your mind and really reflect.
If you find yourself hopping on your phone whenever you have a little bit of free time, go outside! There is so much you can do to enjoy the outdoors, whether you’re in a time crunch or have the whole day to yourself. There are activities for both lifestyles. This one is for when time is not an issue: gardening. If you have a green thumb, take up gardening in your spare time. It is a great way to soak in some vitamin D and to make your lawn look well put together. Or check out your local state parks and trails to go hiking! Hiking, kayaking, fishing, etc. are all very good options to get you out of the house and moving. For a time crunch, taking a walk outside can take up a quick bit of time during your day. Just a half-hour can substitute for the time you’d be on your screen.
Eat your meals at the table
A lot of people (myself included) sit on their phones when they eat. Eliminating your phone at mealtime not only reduces the amount of aimless scrolling, but you’ll actually enjoy your food more since you do not have any distractions.
These are a lifesaver! I swear I have memorized every single TikTok dance because I spend so much time on that app. I recently discovered this little hack to limit your usage, so 100% TikTok was the first app I put a timer on. If you have an iPhone, in your settings is an option to set timers on certain apps. If you are on the app over the time you allow yourself, a notification will pop up and essentially “lock” you out of that app. Here is how to set up the feature…
- Go to settings
- Click on screen time
- Go to App limits
- Click on the apps you want to place a limit on and choose the amount of time for each one.
- Lastly, You can set up a four-digit passcode for use with App Timers. The passcode will then be required to extend the limit or dismiss it for the remainder of that day. You’ll also need to enter it when making any changes to existing App Limits
While completely ditching your electronics is not an option for most people, there are certainly ways to cut screen time and enjoy the day a little bit more. I promise, as screen time goes down, happiness goes up.