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The Power of Unplugging

We are living in a digital world, which means we constantly have screens in front of us. Whether it’s a TV, tablet, phone, laptop, video games or a combination of some or all of those, we are consumed by screens the majority of the day. Can we fully get away from consuming digital media? Probably not. But we can take steps to limit our consumption and be aware of how much time we are spending on our devices or checking social media.

Much like eating your favorite dessert, moderation is key when it comes to time spent in front of screens or on your devices. If your job requires large amounts of screen time, focus on limiting screen time in your personal life.

Where do I begin when trying to limit my screen time? It’s important to get a baseline for where you’re at. Many mobile devices track your screen time and break it down by how much time you are using specific apps. Tracking the apps is helpful because you can also now see how much time you are spending on social media. For devices that don’t track your usage time, such as TV’s, track this time yourself.

Now that you have a baseline, set realistic limits for yourself on how much you use your devices or spend on social media. Again, many mobile devices have the capability to set limits for specific apps, including social media. This is one way to set limits for yourself. For other devices or tasks (like checking email), you will have to manually limit yourself.

A way to make setting time limits for your digital consumption easier is to have other things to do instead. Here is a list of activities that you can do instead of being on your phone or in front of your TV for multiple hours at a time. The important thing is to find something YOU enjoy doing.

  • Read a book

  • Play a game

  • Work on a puzzle

  • Go for a walk

  • Play with your kids/grandkids

  • Play with your pet(s)

  • Pick up a new hobby

  • Learn a new skill

  • Meditation

  • Crosswords or Sudokus

Why do we need to “unplug” from the digital world and social media? Here are just a few benefits of putting your phone down or turning off the TV.

  • Reduces stress and anxiety

  • Aware of the present moment

  • Improved sleep

  • Improved mental health

  • Improved personal relationships

March 5th is National Day of Unplugging, a day to focus on stepping away from your technology devices. We challenge you to take this day to unplug, relax, reset and enjoy life outside of your devices. More importantly, become aware of how much time you spend in the digital world and take steps to limit your consumption daily.

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