Posts Taged bad-habits

15 Realistic Tips to Lessen Screen Time for You and Your Family

It’s fairly common knowledge now that too much screen time is unhealthy for a wide variety of reasons. According to the Nielsen research group, American adults now spend “more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media.” If we assume 6-7 hours of sleep in a 24 hour day, that leaves just 6-7 hours of time daily with no screen interaction. Yikes! This shows how addicted and reliant we have become to our screens, and that can’t possibly be a good thing. For kids, it’s even more important that screen time be limited. But how to go about it without going cold turkey? We’ve created a list of practical, realistic tips on how to lessen screen time for you and your family.

1.   Keep track of your screen time.

Smartphones let you check your screen time daily and weekly usage, as well as your number of pickups. Not sure how? Here’s how to do so on Apple devices, as well as on Android, which also has a feature called Digital Wellbeing to help you use your phone in a healthier, more balanced manner. You may be shocked to find, for instance, that you are picking up your phone 58 times a day (the average). Don’t forget to track screen time usage for computers, tablets, game consoles, and televisions—these all count as screens.

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Pandemic Habits to Say Goodbye To

As of June 16, 2021, 70% of King County residents 16 years and older have been fully vaccinated—what an achievement! A year ago as we were struggling to cope with prolonged Stay At Home orders, this seemed like a far-off dream, and now here we are. The state will fully reopen by June 30, and although there will still be some health restrictions remaining, it will be the most “normal” life will be in over a year. I still can’t believe it sometimes! It was a challenging year on so many levels, and most of us had to change how we did everything—how we schooled, worked, and exercised, how we cooked and ate, how we kept ourselves entertained, how we kept in touch with the outside world. Now that things are moving forward, it’s time to make some positive changes in our lives. Some of the practices we’ve picked up during the pandemic definitely aren’t sustainable for a healthy, productive life. Let’s go over pandemic habits we can now work on saying Goodbye to!

Screen time overload.

We are all guilty of this. Every human in the world aged 3-103 spent countless hours on screens: smartphones, e-readers, tablets, computers, and TVs. Many parents relaxed (or chucked out completely) any screen limits for their kids. We worked, schooled, went to the movies, saw our friends and family, had happy hours, and played games via screens—it was a link to life outside your household. If only we’d bought stock in Zoom 18 months ago! It’s time to wean ourselves and our families off too much screen time: we like Calendar.com’s strategies on doing so.

Unstructured days.

For some, working and schooling from home created an upside-down world of malleable scheduling and do-it-when-you-can options. Mealtimes were all over the place, weekdays bled right into the weekends and before you knew it, it was already Tuesday again. Get that calendar up and running, whether it’s a cute calendar hung up in your kitchen, or an online shared family calendar like Cozi. Set up a regular waking, working, and bedtime schedule that is reasonable as well as realistic. Then schedule fun stuff: Hike to Mt. Si, dinner with friends (in a restaurant, even!), a local event like Kirkland Summerfest, game night with the grandparents. Sky’s the limit!

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