In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to go an entire day without coming into contact with a screen.  Whether it’s your phone, computer, tablet, or TV…we’re constantly bombarded with content & tasks on screens.  Both intentional and unintentional, it’s really hard to completely avoid them. Part of refining your daily health & wellness routine doesn’t just stop at nutrition or workouts, it includes everything from meditation to managing your screen time! Excessive screen time can cause problems like sleep disruption, eye strain, vision problems, and even obesity. Over time, all the blue light from screens causes permanent damage to the retina (yikes!).  Since many tasks at school, work, and at home require the use of screens, I wanted to share some tips on how to reduce your time spent on a screen. Plus, I’ll even share some insights on how you can optimize your screen time (when you do have to be ON). 

I know I’m guilty of being on my phone all the time with my job, so I’ve made some small changes to my routine in order to better my eyes & my brain! Ever get headaches from looking at your computer or phone for a long time? That’s the blue light at work, putting strain on both your eyes and your mind. 

Here are a few tips I would recommend in order to minimize the damage from your screen & help you better make use of the time you are on your screen. 

  1. Set an alarm or timer: Try setting a timer to remind you to put the phone away after dinner/before bed. You can also set another one for a few minutes after you wake up in the morning, so that you can wake up slow without immediately checking your phone.
  2. Track your screen time: If your phone has an app that can track your time spent on the phone every week, try it! It can be extremely helpful just to be aware of how much time you are spending on what apps every day and it can even show you how you’ve improved from the week before! 
  3. Find something else to do: Sometimes all it takes is a distraction. When you have spare time, instead of going on your phone or computer, try reading, exercising, mediating, knitting, spending time with friends, basically anything that will get your mind off screen time. 
  4. Get blue light glasses: Sometimes it’s inevitable and you just have to spend time looking at a screen for school or work. In these cases, it can be super helpful to wear glasses that block or absorb the blue light. This can help protect your eyes and improve sleep quality. 
  5. Take breaks: When you do spend a lot of time looking at a screen, make sure you take breaks every now and then to allow your eyes to rest and to move your body. Staying stagnant in front of a screen can not only cause serious eye strain- but it can also create tension in your body. So, taking short breaks can be a great way to combat that. 
  6. Implement Blue Light Filter Apps: If you’re on a computer for work or school, you can also look for Blue Light filter apps that integrate directly into your computer.  This will allow you to actually dim & control the amount of blue light being emitted from your screen so that your eyes aren’t as strained.  

It can be overwhelming but just cutting back a few minutes of screen time a day can be a game-changer. Although some screen time is just inevitable, optimizing it by working “smarter” against some of the effects and trying to reduce it every day can really make a difference. If you have any good tips or tricks you want to share, let me know! 😁