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How To Limit Your Screen Time For A Healthier Life

April 14, 2023

The struggle, as they say, is very much real. We’re dominated by screens at all times – when we’re not logging onto Slack at work or watching Netflix at home, we’re scrolling on our phones in an endless attempt to stay plugged in and connected. Meanwhile, we’re trashing our sleep hygiene, straining our eyes, and (speaking for myself, but I don’t think I’m alone) generally degrading our quality of life. Our dependence on tech is such an integral part of modern society that to critique or even comment on it feels hack. We all know we’re spending too much time on Instagram; this is not news. But it remains almost impossible (or so it seems) to disengage. 

I’m here to tell you, you can break the addiction. Or, at the very least, reduce your screen time by a *smidge.* Here are a few ideas for starting the process: 

  1. Set specific, realistic goals. This one seems obvious, but how many dreams have been derailed because they were either murky or way too ambitious? The answer is, a lot! Set very specific goals for reducing your screen time. Determine how much time you want to spend on your devices each day, based on your current habits and what you think is a realistic reduction for you.
  2. Use apps to track usage. More tech to wean yourself off tech? These apps are your friends, though, and can hold you accountable with hard numbers. The minutes (or, let’s be honest, hours) don’t lie! Aro, Space, and ZenScreen are some of our favorites.
  3. Schedule non-screen activities. Plan daily mood-boosting activities to keep life interesting and screen-free – like taking a long walk, reading, playing with your pets, cooking, starting a new hobby, practicing an instrument, or indulging in some self-care. For a mini spa day experience, Vertly’s bath salts are truly transporting. For an aspiring gardener – or anyone who wants to enjoy the fruits of their labor (literally) – learn to grow your own produce with Lettuce Grow. For those with young kids, engage your mind and theirs with creative games and toys from KiwiCo and Clixo
  4. Establish screen-free times. Set aside specific times throughout the day when you will not use your devices – for example, during meal times or before bed. If you live with a partner, roommates, or children, turn this into a household rule so you have some solidarity. Accountability buddies forever! 
  5. Implement the 20-20-20 rule. When you must stare at screens, do it mindfully. To reduce eye strain and fatigue, take a break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Another tip: blue light glasses can help mitigate eye strain and headaches! Try a stylish, sustainable pair from Look Optic.
  6. Socialize in person. A novel idea, we know ;) Break out of the endless text loop and get some good old fashioned endorphins with in-person hangs. Grab a friend and go on a hike, discover a new museum, attend a concert, or just sip coffee together and people-watch. 
  7. Volunteer. Another great way to get out of your screen and engage with the world. Look up organizations in your area that speak to you and see how you can help – whether it’s donating food or clothing, cleaning up our planet, or spending time with people in need. You’ll be making a difference in your community, while stepping out of your tech habits at the same time. 

Change is hard, but it’s possible! Remember to be patient, as you continue to gently but firmly push yourself toward healthier, more productive uses of your time. 

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