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Screen Time and Anxiety

What do laptops, smart phones, digital tablets, apple watches, and TV’s have in common? They all have screens! In today’s world of advanced technology and constant connectivity, we use screens a lot throughout the day. Need to text your friend? Want to watch the last episode of that Netflix show you’ve been bingeing? Ready to upload your final paper to BlackBoard? You’ll need a screen for that!

In a time of social distancing, remote classes, and working from home, we are using screens even more now than ever.

But did you know that too much screen time can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety?  Or that increased screen time can decrease the quality of your sleep? 

 So, how can we manage all our screen time in a healthy way? 

  • Tone down your device’s brightness level and enable “dark-mode” as much as possible 

  • Try to keep certain times or rooms screen-free (no screens allowed in the bedroom, no screen time during lunch and dinner, etc.)

  • Turn off as many notifications as you can to avoid accidentally spending more time on screens than you intended.

  • Try to limit how many screens you use at once (do you really need to have the tv on while also in a zoom meeting while also snapchatting your bestie??)

  • Use computer and phone apps to limit your screen usage (Apple products already have an app for that!)

  • Take advantage of the “Do Not Disturb” feature!

  • Try to deactivate or delete social media apps for a few days….

  • ...Or use apps like Forest to limit your social media usage.

  • Take regular breaks! Spend more time outside! Looking at nature - the trees, the grass, the sunlight - can help reverse stress caused by staring at screens all day.

  • Practice good sleep hygiene. For instance, avoid looking at screens for two hours before going to bed to help your brain get ready for sleep mode. Read more about sleep hygiene here

 

How do you manage your screen time? Share your tips and tricks on twitter and tag @loynocares. 

For more tips about managing anxiety, learn more about the UCC’s anxiety management workshops here!