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Over the years, the time we spend on our screens (whether that be our smartphones, laptops, TVs, or iPads) has increased significantly. Add in a global pandemic, and watch those numbers soar even higher. I know I don’t speak for myself when I say I certainly have spent more time on my smartphone than I did five years ago. Hell, it seems like my screen time percentage increases each week!

While the rise of the internet and technology has allowed us to connect with others on a level we never could before, it has also caused us to lose our sense of self and our connection to the present moment. Gone are the days of spending a few moments in mindfulness and silence, enjoying an afternoon basking in the sun or experiencing the smell of dewy grass on a crisp spring morning. We’re much too busy scrolling our social media feeds and zoning out on the evening news.

Screen time your family FBTo put it plainly, this addiction to technology is incredibly harmful to us. And it’s even worse for our kids! Their minds are growing, but they’re consuming technology at rates unheard of, at rates we never experienced as children. The damaging effects have already been studied, but it hasn’t seemed to change our behaviors yet. We’ve lost all mindfulness (how human of us).

The good news is–you’re here. You’re currently absorbing these words. Maybe you noticed the title and were intrigued, or you happened upon my blog when you were Googling for this very information. Regardless of how you got here, by reading this, you are showing a commitment to fighting against screen addiction. You bad ass, you!

It starts with you

It’s so important to not only be responsible for yourself, but also for your children. Remember “monkey see, monkey do”? Your children copy your every move! Getting them off their screens starts with you doing it first. After all, your kids are intelligent, and they’ll question why you get to be on your smartphone, and they can’t.

Start by turning off notifications on your smartphone and computer. We’re addicted to the dopamine that’s released with every ding, and we need to rewire our brains. From there, schedule the time you allow yourself on your screen. Once that time is up, stay off it. Exercise self-restraint. You can do it!

Lastly, add in a mindfulness practice. It can be a morning ritual, an evening skincare routine, finding the present moment in a warm bath, or even practicing mindfulness while you’re using the restroom (come on, you moms know what I’m talking about–sometimes that’s the only time of the day you have silence!).

Bring your kids along for the ride

Once you’ve become a role model in limiting screen time for yourself, you can now set boundaries for your children. Schedule in video games and other screen time in the evenings. When that time is up, it’s up! The key to success here is to provide them with an alternative. Help them develop new hobbies like drawing, colouring mandalas, or other art activities. Help them exercise their creative minds! You’ll be surprised with the beautiful things they create. Gardening, evening walks with the family, and playing board games are also great substitutions.

Need a little more help?

Finding yourself unable to break free from screen addiction? Still walking into lampposts because you’re looking down at your smartphone? We all need additional help sometimes. I am an art therapy expert, and I would be honored to help you decrease your screen time and increase the time you spend on things that fulfill your life and bring you joy. Let’s chat today.


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