In today's world, technology is an integral part of our lives, and let's face it, it’s here to stay. We use it for work, entertainment, communication, and to manage our daily lives, from tasks to travel. But it's crucial to recognize the negative impact of too much screen time on our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Setting boundaries and having a healthy relationship with technology is essential for maintaining balance and wellbeing, helping you perform better in life in the long run. And who’s responsible for managing this? YOU!
THE POWER OF SELF-AWARENESS:
One of the first steps in achieving a healthy relationship with technology is to be aware of how much time you spend using it. With this nugget of information, the power is in your hands, as self-awareness is the root of change. Take a moment to write down (yes, with pen and paper) what a day’s worth of tech use looks like for you. Most people will find that they're spending more time than they realize on devices, which can lead to feelings of burnout, anxiety, and even depression.
TIP 1: Track your screen time. This will help you become more aware of your habits and identify areas where you can cut back.
SETTING BOUNDARIES FOR HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIPS:
Another important step is to set clear boundaries around your use. This might mean establishing specific times of day when you won't use your phone or computer or setting limits on the amount of time you spend on social media or other apps. You might also consider turning off notifications, informing people of your available times and channels of communication, or using tools like screen time controls to help you stay focused and avoid distractions.
TIP 2: Go grayscale on your phone, not only is it much easier on the eyes, but it also makes your phone less enticing to use.
TAKE TIME TO RECHARGE:
Technology has become hard to avoid. But it’s crucial to find healthy ways to disconnect and recharge. This might mean taking breaks throughout the day to stretch, walk, or engage in other activities that don't involve screens. Perhaps even meet with someone in person or find some fun "out of the box" activities to take part in. It could also mean setting aside specific times for self-care activities. Do whatever works for you.
TIP 3: Block out time in your calendar for recharging activities and treat it as you would a meeting. This will make it harder to ignore and increase the likelihood of you stepping away from the screen.
And last but not least, set aside a time (perhaps in 3 weeks) to review your progress. Look at what changes were effective and where improvements can be made. Nothing happens overnight, and it is essential to take time to appreciate your progress and hold yourself accountable for your own wellbeing.
TIP 4: If you’re struggling to do this by yourself, link up with a friend, family member, or colleague and grow together. This will help hold you accountable and perhaps make the experience more enjoyable.
By setting boundaries and developing a healthy relationship with technology, you can improve your overall well-being and reduce the negative effects of screen time on your mental, physical, and emotional health. Be mindful of your habits, set clear boundaries, find healthy ways to disconnect and recharge, and review your progress. With these strategies in place, you can enjoy the benefits of technology without sacrificing your well-being.
IMPORTANT: If you are struggling with your mental, physical, or emotional health, please seek help from a qualified healthcare professional.