Social media can be amazing, just like the devices we use to view it. However, spending long periods of time using computers, laptops, and tablets, can be unhealthy to our sleep, and therefore overall wellbeing.
For example, excessive screen time can make you more prone to digital eye strain, bad posture, and insomnia. There are, however, ways you can reduce your screen time and improve your health by following these simple steps.
1. Start Monitoring Your Screen Time
There’s a very good chance that you don’t even realize how long you spend using your devices each day. That’s because it’s really easy to let time get away from you while you are checking Facebook, texting with friends, playing online games, browsing your favorite websites, and binging on Netflix.
Before you know it, you’ve spent a considerable amount of your day on your devices. In order to combat this, you need to start tracking your time spent in the digital world. The best way to do that is to install a screen time app on your smartphone that will track how long you spend using your device. The app will even track how long you spend watching TV. You can find and download a free screen time app from iTunes or the Google Play Store.
2. Plan Offline Time
Once you find out how much time you are spending online every day, the next step is planning to spend some time offline. Start by picking a one hour block of time each day to turn off all of your devices. That means no smartphone, computer, laptop, tablet, or TV. You are going to spend one hour doing “real world” activities.
For example, you could exercise, read a book, try out a new recipe, or work on a home improvement project. Once you get used to spending an hour away from your devices, pick a second hour during the day to go device free.
3. Practice Emotional Awareness While Online
Many people experience mental health issues that are caused by spending too much time online. Therefore, when you do spend time online, you need to become more self-aware about how you feel. For instance, if you feel angry, depressed, or jealous of others on social media sites, then you need a break from the digital world. Otherwise, you can end up with potential anxiety that will hurt your overall quality of life, even when you are offline.
4. Don’t Charge Your Devices in Your Bedroom
Millions of users have a habit of charging their devices in their bedrooms. Unfortunately, when you keep your smartphone or tablet so close to your bed it’s tempting to start using your device when you can’t sleep.
Using a device when you can’t sleep will actually make your insomnia worse. Remove the temptation of browsing the internet when you can’t sleep by charging your devices outside of your bedroom. That way, if you do wake up in the middle of the night, you will have a better chance of falling back asleep.
5. Change Your Bedtime Routine
In addition to charging your phone outside of your bedroom, you need to change your
bedtime routine if it involves spending time on your devices. For example, stop using your devices 30 minutes to an hour before you go to bed. Here are a few things you can do instead of browsing the internet:
• Read a Book or Magazine
• Take a Bath or Shower
6. Go Outside More
Lastly, staying inside a lot will make you more likely to use your devices. Furthermore, one reason that so many people are prone to obesity is because they spend too much time sitting in front of a screen each day instead of being active. Unfortunately, you can’t really burn any calories while texting or surfing the web!
Therefore, the best way to remove the temptation of living a sedentary lifestyle where you spend all your free time online is to leave your house and enjoy some outdoor activities. For example, you might enjoy jogging or even just walking for exercise. Whatever you decide to do outdoors, find activities that keep you active and off your smartphone for a while.
In short, once you become aware of how much time you are spending on your devices, as well as what that’s doing to your emotional psyche, it’s time to start planning to spend some time offline. Find activities around your house that you can do instead of browsing the internet all day. When it’s time for bed, remove your devices from your bedroom to remove the temptation of using them when you are supposed to be sleeping. Make sure that you go outside more and stop living such a sedentary lifestyle. If you start exercising more, it will make you want to spend less time sitting in front of a screen, which will improve your overall health and well-being.