Do you ever find yourself checking your phone for no reason at all? You aren’t expecting any calls or emails and you are up to date on all the current events. Even if you have checked Facebook several times that day, you find yourself reaching for the phone to check it once more.
For many of us, phone addiction arises as a result of the need for distraction. And is why we have based our blog theme this month on taking a tech break, to help increase your time for fun and health! Eventually, checking your phone becomes habit. But phones weren’t always around to keep us occupied. Here are a few suggestions for putting down the phone and tapping back into reality.
Go Back To Basics
If you use your phone as an escape, ask yourself what you did before phones were around. Chances are there once was a time in your life when you did not have a phone to check. So how did you escape from reality then? Maybe you stepped outside to get some fresh air or closed your eyes and meditated for a few minutes. There are other ways you can benefit from taking a mental break that do not involve technology. In fact, technology may clutter your head even more.
Think about how your childhood differs from your children’s daily life. You did not have a phone that enabled you to sit on the couch all day. Many of us grew up riding bikes with our friends and playing outside. You were likely more active and fitter than kids are today.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, parenthood is associated with children’s eating habits, body weight and blood cholesterol outcomes. In a way, your children become who you are. If you want healthier children who spend less time on their phone, then you have to set the example.
Tips For Putting Down The Phone
Create A Phone Bucket
You might not have energy to ride your bike all day long like you did when you were a kid. But that does not mean your family won’t benefit from a 30 minute daily bike ride. Start by dedicating 30 minutes each day to a family activity. Have each family member write down two or three family activity ideas on a piece of paper and put them in a hat. Ideas include 30 minutes of reading, cooking, going for a walk or even talking to each other. Place your phones in a bucket or safe place and take turns drawing from the activity hat. You will find yourself more present and maybe even a happier person.
If addiction to social media or games is your vice, remove all apps from your phone that make it easy for you to get sucked in. You may also want to remove email apps from your phone so that you have to physically sit down at a computer to check these later. Receiving emails to your phone is great. But if after checking emails you hop on social media, it becomes easy to lose hours at a time. Hours you can never get back!
Scrapbook Your Memories
Challenge your family to a fun event and take lots of pictures but do not post them on social media. Instead, print the pictures off and create a photo book to collect them in. Each adventure can have a new book. If you have young kids, purchase a book that allows you to color or personalize the front and back. Give your adventure a label and color the name on the book with markers. These make great gifts to out of town family and friends.
Boost Your Water Intake
Another great tip is to challenge yourself to a water drinking contest. Every time you check your phone, take a sip of alkaline water. You’ll be naturally detoxing your body while breaking your phone habit at the same time! To make your challenge easier, invest in an alkaline water bottle to make any water alkaline. You can also put a pound in a jar every time you check your phone. Use that money to do something healthy, such as investing in a healthy supplement.
When Is It Ok To Be On Your Phone?
Phones have so conveniently combined many electronic devices into one. Many of us need them for work reasons. For that reason, it may not be feasible to ditch them completely. There are certain instances in which you will absolutely need to check your phone. But to avoid wandering off into social media land after answering a few work emails, set a time limit. Before you check work emails or make phone calls, set the alarm on your phone for 30 minutes. Chances are you will be done with whatever you needed to do by that time and the alarm will serve as a reminder to be more present.
If you are at home, only take calls or check emails that are absolutely necessary. If it can wait until the morning or after the kids go to bed, let it be. Prioritizing the needs you have for your phone will make it easier to keep both your work and home life in order.