This holiday season, I hope you’ll consider giving yourself a rare and precious gift…I hope you’ll give yourself the gift of time away from your screens.
More than ever before it feels like we’re staring at a screen the majority of our days – living in a virtual world that detaches us from others and, more importantly, from ourselves. I’m determined to screen detox as much as I can over these holidays, and I hope you can do the same. Here are three tips that can help:
- Engage In Mindful/ Meditative Activities: We’re often encouraged to meditate, but it doesn’t have to mean sitting still with legs crossed. Any activity that helps focus awareness on the present moment, and brings calmness can do the trick. Engaging in different types of handiwork is a great way to bring a sense of calm and connection and avoid screens. Knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch – anything you can do with your hands – is wonderfully therapeutic and an effective way of staying rooted in the present. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku is fun and effective as well. Even everyday household chores such as doing dishes and laundry can be wonderfully meditative, and a great way to screen detox.
- Connect: Build in more opportunities to talk to family, friends & officemates in person; declare gatherings around the dinner table “screen-free zones”; keep holiday gatherings, in general, as screen-free as possible – spending time together with family and friends cooking, playing board games, charades, or working together on a giant jigsaw puzzle. There are lots of screen-free possibilities to encourage more meaningful connection.
- Exercise:If you can get moving without a screen in site, you’ll be doing yourself a huge solid. Since we’re heading into colder weather, look for ways to stay active indoors minus the screen. You might opt for mall walking with friends or running an actual track rather than choosing the treadmill or elliptical with screen front and center. In addition to the physical benefits, any type of exercise or dance class is a great way to get screen relief, as well as relieve the stress that can go hand in hand with the holidays.
Plenty of studies have identified the detrimental effectsassociated with an overabundance of screen time. While it’s not realistic to put a pause on screens entirely, I encourage you to find ways to give yourself more of a breather. Cutting out screen time is about living more fully in the present. I hope it’s a present you can give yourself this holiday season.