Do you find yourself constantly looking at your phone? Like many, you are accustomed to frequent use while at work, on your commute home and even while you’re winding down with the family after work and on the weekend.
It’s ironic that our devices provide so much ‘connection’, yet suddenly there are concerns that we’re becoming disconnected from each other – we’re spending more time on our phones, tablets and phablets than ever! And as a result, we’re actually speaking much less to our friends and family face-to-face.
What if I told you that Easter is the perfect time to forget about your phones, technology and yes…even the recent release of the final season of Game of Thrones? That’s why this weekend is perfect to put our screen time on hold for a while and spend some quality, face-to-face time with family!
Lots of us like to get away for the Easter break, which got me thinking about how nice it would be to go bush and forget technology for a while. This year though, I’m heading to a busier city (hello Sydney!), and I’ll still be connected to my phone at the hip. However, taking 3 days away over Easter to meet my newly (first) born niece, is going to be a great time to catch up with family that I haven’t seen in a few years. And apart from a few snaps of my Easter holiday with the newest member of the clan, I’ll be doing my best to ‘disconnect’.
Now, I know that not everyone can pick up and ‘take a break’ whenever they so choose, even I have waited for the public holiday to time my break so that I’m back in time for work when it rolls around next Tuesday.
However, it’s important to take care of ourselves and find a way to enjoy some quality family time when we can.
It’s a hard thought to swallow – going anywhere or doing anything without your phone. Although contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to completely cut yourself off from the rest of the world like Tom Hanks in Castaway, to have a successful digital detox.
You’ll be more productive
Let’s face it – a lot of the time you’re on the phone it isn’t because you’re hastily replying to those texts that have been waiting since last Friday. It’s a safe bet that a lot of the time you’re checking your social media and scrolling through pictures from your friend’s recent travel pics.
By taking a break from your mobile and other forms of tech, you’ll see just how much time we waste on it. Even if you start with a 30 minute break each day, there’s an extra 3 and a half hours each week to play with.
Do you have an iPhone? Take a look at recent iOS feature ‘Screen Time’.
It will tell you how many times a day you pick up your phone, a breakdown of which apps you are spending the most time on – plus many more personally alarming statistics.
Your physical health will improve
If your eyes are glued to a screen, you’re likely sitting (at least while working) or lying down. These sedentary behaviors aren’t great for the waistline, so unplug, go outside and get blood pumping. You’ll be amazed with how much better you feel.
However, make sure to get exercise clearance from you general practitioner before doing anything strenuous.
Additionally, taking a break from the nasty blue light that screens emit is also great for your eyes. If you must use your phone or other screen, you can minimize the strain on your eyes by getting a pair of blue light blocking glasses, which are available from most optometrists. Alternatively, you can use the blue light mode of your device within the settings area, this is particularly when using your device at night.
Possibly the most overlooked, yet important aspect of health is the quality of sleep we get every night. Research has shown that using a screen before bedtime tricks the body into remaining alert and awake, preventing melatonin from being released.
So if you find that you’re tossing and turning in bed, try and cut your screen time at least 30 minutes (ideally an hour) before bedtime. If you still find that you’re lying there staring at the ceiling, opt for a book instead.
Yes, the thought of catching up with the family can be absolutely daunting. The noise, mess and juggling of babies, children and the arguably more annoying – teenagers – is enough to make anyone’s head hurt!
However, at the end of the day my best memories come from the family lunches, dinners and picnics I enjoyed with family over the School and Easter holidays.
So I urge you this Easter to have a digital detox and make some extra time for the family.
Remember to stay safe over the long weekend – especially if you’re driving!
As always, please let me know if there are any particular topics you would love us to look into or you have any queries or concerns.
You can call me on 03 9963 4804 or email me directly.