I don’t know about you, but my screen time has increased a lot since quarantine. In Chicago, places are still closed so I find myself on my phone and watching TV a lot. Recently, I’ve been focusing on reducing my screen time. My goal is not to make a major change and eliminate hours of screen time. I’m primarily focused on bringing it back to where it was pre-quarantine.
A slight disclaimer before you read my 7 ideas.. some of them require a screen. Sounds a bit backwards, right? To be honest, it is. But so much of our world is online now-a-days that it is hard to avoid. The main thing to remember is where your mind is focused. Your mind is not focused on the screen with these ideas, even if a screen is involved.
1. Be active
One of my personal favorite ways to reduce screen time is by being active. I love going for walks and doing an at-home workout. Unfortunately, my at-home workouts require my laptop or cell phone but my mind is focused on exercising. I am not glued to the screen, it is simply guiding me. Being active helps boost your mood, energy, and keeps you healthy! It can be hard to stay active when you’re not out and about as much so this is an important one in my opinion.
2. Read a book
I can be a total bookworm! Sometimes, I have to be strategic about starting a book knowing I may not do anything else until it’s done. With that being said, reading is such a simple way to reduce your screen time. Let your mind get lost in a story and just relax. Some of my favorite books and books on my list are below if you need a recommendation.
3. Set screen time limits on your phone
This is a bit newer to me but I recently set screen time limits on my phone. Although it is not a perfect solution, it helps keep screen time on your mind. If you have an iPhone, use the following:
- Settings > Screen time > Downtime: Here you can set a time frame to essentially block all of your apps except essential ones. If you need to access an app, you can ignore the limit (which I’ll admit, I have done). However, you need to make a conscious effort to open an app. It is definitely strange unlocking your phone and feeling like there’s nothing to do on there.
- Settings > Screen time > App Limits: Here you can set a daily limit for certain apps. I personally did this for my social media apps because I was getting a bit carried away with all my extra time! Similar to downtown, your social media apps will be blocked after you reach your daily limit. You can ignore the limit, which I admit again, I have done. That conscious effort is required and it still reduces your time spent in that app.
Here is a preview of what your phone will look like. Quite a big change in my opinion but I’ve enjoyed it.
4. Play a game
I shared this in my Top 6 At-Home Date Night Ideas post, but it is truly such a relaxing way to spend your time! My roommate and I have been playing cards instead of watching TV at night and it is so much fun. A lot of times we just throw music on in the background and chat. If you are in search of any card game recommendations, let me know because I am card obsessed!
5. Clean your space
Although cleaning is not usually a favorite chore, it is so satisfying once complete. There is something about a clean space that actually reduces stress, in my opinion. I know when my room is disorganized I just feel more on edge. Last week, I shared some easy cleaning on my Instagram stories. I’ll plan to share more tips & tricks there when I’m cleaning my space. Think of cleaning as organization or true cleaning with a mop and water, either will do the trick.
6. Try a new recipe
Cooking or baking can be so therapeutic. You are forced to focus on the recipe and what you are making, nothing else matters in that moment. I am constantly on the hunt for new recipes to try and probably make something new each week! Although a screen may be required to find or reference a recipe, the overall process reduces your screen time.
7. Complete a DIY project
Last, complete a DIY project! A DIY project is fun and again, has your mind focused on something other than a screen. I’m sure you’ve seen everyone and their mother tie dying, but it is a perfect example of an easy DIY project. I plan to make my own t-shirt quilt with old shirts from college. Originally, I was just going to ship them off and pay someone to make it for me. That seems silly now since I have extra time and it’ll be a perfect DIY project.
I hope you loved all these ways to reduce screen time. If you have any other ideas not listed above, leave them in the comments below to share with the community! We are all in this together. As always, remember to be comfortably you no matter where you are on your screen time journey.