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Wellness Tip - Digital Safety

 

This Month's Wellness Tip focuses on using our devices in a healthy way! 

 

Wellness Theme for November: Digital Safety

From zoom meetings to increased texting and social media use, it can really feel like our eyes are glued to our screens more than ever before. This can affect our mental health in many ways from screen fatigue, sleep disruption from blue light, and constant social comparison from social media. While it is critical to be aware of the negative effects of increased screen time and the potential safety risks, we can also recognize that technology has been an amazing tool to stay connected!

 

 Ways to use our devices well:

  • Connection is so important to our mental health. There are many ways to do this such as texting and social media. Instead, try calling more often to chat with a friend or family member, and be sure to not let digital connection replace in person connection. 
  • Try listening to an audiobook or a podcast. It is easy to fall down a YouTube or social media rabbit hole, but sometimes our eyes need a break from blue light. Instead, check out some podcasts or audiobooks that you can listen to while you go for a walk, do chores, exercise, or do something creative.
  • Set time limits on your devices. A simple check of a notification can sometimes turn into an hour or more of scrolling. Set time limits in your settings to remind you when it is time to turn your device off.
  • Have high standards for the apps you have on your devices or the pages you follow on social media. Be mindful of what you are consuming via your device and if it is having a positive or negative influence on you.
  • Keep your devices out of your bedroom (or at least not on your nightstand). It can be so easy to have our phones be the last thing we look at before we go to sleep and the first thing we look at when we wake up. However, the blue light emitted from our phones stimulates our brains to think it is daytime. Additionally, checking our phone first thing in the morning can really set the tone for our day. Who knows what that could be if we are opening our social media or news feed first thing in the morning?
  • Be present with the people you are around. Sometimes our devices can distract us from the people who are right in front of us. Decide for yourself what your rule is for looking at your phone or device when you are with another person. Most of us don’t like when someone else looks at their phone while we are having a conversation, so be careful to not do this to someone else. 
  • Turn off notifications to be more present. Oftentimes, notifications end up distracting us from whatever is right in front of us at the moment.

 

The 1-1-1 Principle:

This is a rule that I personally have found works well for taking a break from my phone. This principle is to help us have predetermined designated times when phones and devices will be turned off. With the 1-1-1 Principle, you choose 1 hour a day, 1 day a week, and 1 week a year where you turn your phone or device off and take a break. Using a principle like this establishes clear, healthy boundaries for yourself or your family. Knowing that you have a wellness plan in place to keep your device usage in check can make all the difference!

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