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  • Writer's pictureAnna Sophie

How to deal with excess of screen time?

Do you have the same feeling as everything is on screen now? Due to the lockdowns and pandemic, many of us started home schooling, remote working, online shopping or video calling family much more than before. And at the end of the day, you end up watching Netflix too? Eh. All the time screen - what to do with it? It's not easy, but maybe those tips will help you feel better.

  • Prioritise

Is there anything that does not need to be done on screen? Are you able to get all the grandparents in one call instead of two? Which TV series is most worth of my time? Can my children write a homework on real paper not on iPad? Ask yourself relevant questions and try to swap where possible.

  • Try to start and finish your day off-screen

I am making a conscious effort to start my day with coffee, meditation or yoga and only start looking at my screen after breakfast. It gives me 1h in the morning off-screen. To finish my day, I try to stop watching TV or answering messages at least an hour before bedtime. The earlier the better. I do not bring my phone to the bedroom and don't have a TV installed there either, it helps with the temptations.

  • Get outside to refresh

A walk, cycle or jog can do so much, especially if you can do it during the day. It can really refresh you if you can break the day. Even just being in a garden for 30 min already brings you back to your centre. Just avoid checking your phone. :)

  • Do more exercise

There is something in it, that the more I move, the more I can refresh my mind and body and in conclusion I can stay on the screen more, or at least in a more effective way. Try to make space for an exercise couple of days a week, something that you like and it does need to take hours. I would strongly recommend water related sports, how much refreshment you can get from surfing is just beyond amazing. Or a relaxing bath at the end of the day does wonders too.

  • Go for a Podcast instead

At times it's worth trying different options - like a Podcast instead of a YouTube video or a real book instead of iPad screen. Be creative.

  • Change devices

That might be funny advice but personally I find my phone much more tiring than my laptop especially in terms of a lot scrolling or typing. Big computer screens can make you more tired too. See what works for you best and adjust the brightness. Definitely when I can I use TV instead of my laptop I do that as the distance is much bigger and it feels a bit better.

  • Take breaks, longer ones too

Remember to take breaks, stretch, walk around, have a tea break. If you need a longer break, don't feel bad for it. We are really not designed to work 8h on a screen each day. Especially not children.

  • Try digital detox when possible

Maybe Saturday or Sunday off the phone? Try a day outside and make a conscious effort to only watch TV in the night, not much more than this - see how that works for you. If I work every day on my laptop as a digital specialist, I try my best to make a weekend without screen as much as possible. Even if you can go for a 1h walk to the forest or park, don't take any mobile device - be more present and get refreshed.

  • Get computer glasses

Highly recommend that, I don't need them due to my sight as it's pretty good but I just bought them due to excess of computer time. When I wear them my eyes do not hurt that much and are less dry.

  • Mental health check

Maybe it's due to lockdown or any other reason, however if you feel negative, frustrated and bored and you use a lot of screen it's harder to get better. It can drag you down, especially with certain content. If you feel bad in any way, try making healthy habits part of your routine and detox from screen. See if that makes a difference for you. Don't wait to get professional help if you struggle with depression, anxiety or any mental health issues.

Hope that helped you in any way. Share your tips in the comments. Please take care and see you soon!

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