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Mental Mondays: How To Master Mindful Screen Time To Break Free

Mental Mondays: How To Master Mindful Screen Time To Break Free


We are in digital times. The chances of permanently boycotting our devices are slim. We can only take retreats and time away from the internet and its digital cohorts, but the facts remain that we are in an era when eradicating tech is an impossible endeavor. This means that there’s a risk of phone addiction that can include obsessively sharing our lives with our followers on social media or being caught up with the activities and achievements of others. How can you curtail this?

Being away from your phone for an hour seems like a death sentence, but it’s necessary, as sometimes spending a ton of time on our devices poses a threat to our mental health and productivity. Beyond that, excessive screen time can have physical implications on our eyes, brains, hands, and other parts of our bodies. Plus, it can affect our moods and thought patterns. In short, if there’s ever been a time to scrutinize the time we spend on our screens, it’s now!

While our screens boast of producing and promoting tech innovations, it has become a mindless addiction to continue scrolling through internet content until productivity becomes alien to us. That’s where mastering mindful screen time becomes a state of emergency. The best option is to prevent the extreme effects of unhealthy screen time, but if you’re already in, there is a way to mitigate the impact. To achieve this, discipline comes into play, as it helps us stay in control of our time, interests, and choices. It also encourages us to learn to adopt strategies to balance digital consumption with a healthy lifestyle. Simply put, phone addiction is a huge issue in our time, but we can learn to manage it for a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Here are a few tips to master mindful screen time…

#1. Be clear

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When the purpose of a thing is unknown, abuse is inevitable. Define specific purposes for your screen usage, such as work, communication, or entertainment. Once specified, set a time frame for usage and stick to it. Avoid aimless browsing by setting goals for each session.

If you work on social media, the lines often get blurred. In searching for a post inspiration, we might get lost in the latest trends and veer off on another tangent. But with discipline and a clear plan, you can look at the timer and be prompted to head back on course.

#2. Set boundaries

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Schedule screen-free times, particularly before bed and during meals. Some experts advise you to stay away from your phone immediately after you wake up in the morning. This helps you start your day with focus and intention. One way to do it is to place the phone far from the bed.

Create a morning routine of non-digital activities, such as morning walks, meditation, and prayer. You can also use features like “Do Not Disturb” to minimize interruptions on your devices.

#3. Track effectively

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Use apps and built-in features to track screen time. Reflect on your screen time habits to identify areas for improvement, then set a schedule to help you track and manage your daily actions. Most devices can show how long we spend on our phones. This is a way to hold yourself accountable.

#4. Set your priorities

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Choose content that adds value or joy to your life. Avoid mindless scrolling by curating your feed and unfollowing accounts that don’t serve your goals. Align yourself to your life goals and streamline yourself to edifying content. If there are posts with negative effects on your mindset, that’s more reason to master mindful screen time.

#5. Apportion breaks

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Practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Stand up, stretch, or walk around periodically to reduce physical strain. In addition, focus on one screen activity at a time, instead of multitasking. Engage fully with the content or conversation, without getting distracted by other notifications or tabs.

#6. Create digital free spots

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Designate certain areas, like the dining room or bedroom, as tech-free zones. Use these spaces to engage in offline activities like reading, cooking, or spending time with loved ones. Balance screen time with offline hobbies and social interactions. Ensure to schedule regular activities in your day that don’t involve screens, such as exercising, outdoor activities, or practicing mindfulness.

#7. Search inwards

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Regularly assess how screen time affects your mood, productivity, and relationships. Your loved ones may feel neglected. Plus, spending unhealthy hours on your device could adversely affect you. It’s time to adjust your habits as needed to ensure a healthy balance.


Periodically, take a break from screens for a few hours, a day, or even a weekend. Use this time to reconnect with yourself and your surroundings. Once you can master mindful screen time, you can cultivate a more balanced approach to technology, enhancing your general lifestyle.

Featured image: nicoletaionescu/iStock

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