There’s no doubt that smart devices have improved how we work and play. However, screen time adds up quickly when we use technology to read the news, watch TV, or write a paper. In a recent study, American adults admitted to being online “almost constantly.” This excess screen time can lead to anxiety, isolation, and fatigue, without proper intervention.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways to improve digital wellness. While it can take time to kick the habit, it’ll benefit your mental health in the long run. Here are five tips to achieve better balance with technology in your daily life.
1. Establish healthy boundaries with technology.
Digital wellness starts with creating healthy boundaries with technology in all areas of your life. This means putting your devices away before bed, staying off social media during family time, and shutting down your computer when you’re finished with work. When it’s time to disconnect, do so completely – even if it means leaving your device in another room of your home. You’ll be surprised how refreshed you feel after some “analog” time.
2. Make time for face-to-face interactions.
Because of the internet, we can communicate with anyone at any time without leaving our homes. However, technology can never fully replace face-to-face interactions with the people we care about most. Whether it’s scheduling one night a week to eat family dinner or an hour to chat with friends or colleagues, carve out time for undivided human connection.
3. Get up and move around.
It’s all too easy to spend hours sitting in front of a computer screen. Take breaks to move your body each day, even if it’s a quick walk around the block. Not only will this give your eyes a break, but it will also help you clear your mind, provide a fresh perspective, and benefit your physical health.
4. Unplug from social media.
Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family members – especially those who live far away. It can also be a major source of stress and anxiety when used in excess. If you find yourself constantly comparing your life to the seemingly perfect lives of others or second-guessing your own choices based on what you see on social media, it might be time for a detox. Delete the apps from your phone and give yourself some time offline to recenter yourself.
5. Be mindful of how technology makes you feel.
Pay attention to how technology affects you mentally and physically. If using certain devices or apps leaves you feeling anxious or stressed, limit your exposure to them as much as possible. Remember that part of achieving digital wellness is finding what works best for YOU specifically. Trust your gut and experiment until you find the right balance.
By following these simple digital wellness tips, you can create a healthier relationship with technology. Give yourself permission to step away from your screen and enjoy your life offline!