Nowadays, technology is at the center of everything we do, ranging from work to socializing to exercise to relaxation. While technology is amazing and helps us do more in less time, it can also be a burden at times. Sometimes the constant flow of connectivity and information can be so overwhelming that we just need a break. Here are some ways to unplug a bit and get your mental health back – without sacrificing your productivity.
Keep your phone out of your bedroom.
Recent studies have shown that if you use too much technology right before bed, it can be extremely detrimental for your sleep patterns. This is because electronics produce excess blue light, which is known to make it more difficult to fall asleep quickly and can also have a negative effect on your sleep cycles throughout the night. Additionally, checking email and texts right before bed can increase your stress, making it difficult to relax. Switch back to a traditional alarm clock and keep your phone in the living room at night.
When you use your phone or computer, have a reason.
Many of us pull out our electronics whenever we get bored, which leads to completely mindless web surfing, social media scrolling, and game playing. There are many amazing things you can do with your phone, but be sure to use them wisely. Make a rule that whenever you pull out your electronics, you’re going to do it for a reason. You’ll find that your relationship with your phone will be much more positive if you only use it when you need it or have something you truly want to do with it, like calling a friend or taking a picture.
Don’t use your phone when you’re socializing with other people.
Everyone has experienced the irritating situation of being in the middle of a conversation with someone, but then they pull out their phone and start texting someone else or using social media. We all know it’s annoying, so don’t be that person! Set a rule that you’ll always keep your phone put away in your pocket or bag when you’re with others, even if you don’t think they’ll mind you using it. This way, you’ll get to really appreciate people when you’re with them instead of trying to multitask. This is particularly important at the dinner table, as your kids pick up habits from your behavior, and if you use your phone during meals, they’ll think it’s okay to do that too.
Set an alarm to remind you to get off your phone or computer.
If you think you’ll be tempted to use your electronics for a long time, set an alarm to remind you to turn them off. This will help you stick to whatever your tech time goal is, whether it’s twenty minutes or an hour. Just be sure not to hit snooze! Over time, it will get much easier to turn off your phone and really interact with the world.