We check right when we wake up, right before we go to bed, and throughout the day. But don’t worry, we’re not addicted. Screens are all around us, and while the technology serves us in so many positive ways, too much screen time can cause poor sleeping, shorter attention spans, and health problems. With these tips, even the most dependent phone user will be able to enjoy a screen-free evening.
Give Your Phone a Bedtime
Treat your phone like a child and give it a bedtime. Set a time every night to put your phone “to bed,” and don’t get it out again until morning. Tucking your phone into a drawer will keep it out of sight and out of mind. Even better, try leaving your phone in a different room than where you sleep. The best way to sleep is with your phone out of your bedroom completely, so there is no chance of checking it in the night. If you need your phone as a morning alarm, go ahead and set it before putting it away so there will be no excuse to check your phone before bed.
Turn Off Your Notifications
The phone buzzes. You wait, trying not to answer, but the suspense kills you until you finally cave. Switching off notifications will stop the temptation to check your phone and is easy to turn on and off in the settings. If you can’t hear it or see it, the notification won’t distract you as much. If you like having notifications during the day, place the phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode for an alert-free evening.
Make a To-Do List
Create a daily bucket list of a few items you normally wouldn’t have time for. Fixing the loose cabinet, meal prepping for the week, finishing up chores, and working out may be activities you currently can’t prioritize every evening. Cutting out your phone will free up more time for those extra chores, and checking items off your list will give you a sense of accomplishment. Staying busy and active will keep you from getting bored and returning to your phone.
Give Up Social Media
While this may sound extreme, a good way to ensure less screen time is to delete social media apps from your phone. All social media can be accessed on a computer if you need to check in with friends and family, and not having the apps at your fingertips will stop the urge to scroll. This option is not for everyone, but if you are really passionate about reducing screen time, this is a great path, and you may find you don’t even miss the apps.
Start a New Hobby
Try something new with all the time you have. Read a book, listen to new music, do a puzzle, or start a craft to keep yourself from missing your screen. You may even learn a new skill! Any of these activities will work out your brain. Take this time to relax and indulge. Pamper yourself! Taking a hot bath or painting your nails may seem small but can make massive improvements in your mood.
We’re challenging ourselves to pursue health with our Hancock Health Challenge. See what a screen-free evening can do for you. Give it a try this week and let us know on our social media how it went!