10 Ways to Unplug this Summer

Electronic usage, screen time, limiting screen time, things to do this summer in colorado

Technology and the internet play an important role in today’s society – it’s how many of us get work done in order to put food on the table.  But when over-use depletes us of balance and rids us of present moment experiences, these brilliant inventions can come at a high cost.

Too much electronic usage can lead to:

  • sleep disruption
  • brain development issues (especially for children and adolescents)
  • mood changes/depression/anxiety
  • eye strain/vision difficulties
  • weight gain
  • lack of social connectedness

While electronics have their place in the world, it can be important to monitor your and your family’s usage for overall health and wellbeing.

Here are 10 ways to get you thinking outside of the [electrical] box in order to unplug!

  1. Set guidelines of when and where electronics are appropriate. Decide as a family, if applicable, what the rules should be for meals, evenings after dinner, sleep schedules, weekends, etc.
  2. Have an electronic keep space. Use a box or basket to place phones and devices in during break times.
  3. Move together. Offer up a family walk, hike, or bike, go for a swim or paddle, play yard games, or work in the garden together.
  4. Talk. Bring back the art of the conversation during and after dinner, on weekend mornings over brunch, or in the car on the way to school. Ask meaningful questions and get to know each other!
  5. Read. We may be used to reading quick snippets online, but there can be great value and enjoyment in reading a book from cover to cover. Encourage reading with trips to the library, cozy evenings with candles and soft music, family read-alouds, and book discussions.
  6. Schedule breaks. Whether at work, home, on vacation, etc., sometimes it’s necessary to actually schedule when your phone or device will be shut off. Maybe it’s for 30 minutes, maybe it’s an entire day, but shutting off such electronics can be grounding in and of itself.
  7. Take a vacation from the news and social media. Simply put…detox the clutter.
  8. Explore something new. It’s hard to be engaged with devices when learning, seeing, or trying something new. Experiences such as those with sports, travel, arts, cooking, and the like demand much, if not all, of your attention.  Use these types of activities to release the grasp of technology.
  9. Spend time with others and set agreed upon rules. Socialization is an important part of wellbeing, so take time to meet up and see other people. Don’t be afraid to explain your electronics detox and that you’d like a device-free get together as much as possible.
  10. Be okay with doing nothing. Look out the window, close your eyes and breathe, people watch…let your brain take a break and revel in the productivity of doing nothing.

Ready to unplug, yet?

The CNMA office provides naturopathic care, testing, massage, and holistic counseling to those in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, and the greater Denver metro area.  For those outside of these areas, virtual appointments are available.

Please call us at (303) 688-6698 for further assistance or click here to schedule an appointment.

 

REFERENCES:

https://nida.nih.gov/sites/default/files/NIDA_YR18_INS3_ACTION_StuMag_2pg_508.pdf

https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/prevention/7-ways-screen-time-affects-adults-and-how-cope

https://hms.harvard.edu/news/screen-time-brain

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