The Importance of Taking Screen Breaks

Many people have recently been talking about hitting the pandemic wall. The stress of living with COVID-19 in our communities day in and day out takes its toll. We’re coming up on a year of pandemic measures in the U.S. For people who are older and who have medical concerns, there’s a possibility that you haven’t seen or hugged your family in months.

Many of us dug deep for energy and quarantined for our safety and to help the people we loved, but it is exhausting and stressful. No one expected to still be doing this when we started in March of last year. After almost a year, many of us are feeling done. We’re all looking for ways to ease the stress. We’re past the stages of learning a new hobby or taking up baking. We’re tired of TV marathons. So how do we handle things without climbing the walls? One way to handle the strain might be to take a break from screens.

You should finish reading this, but then you should consider turning off your screen for a while. So much of our lives have moved online and to screens. We’re getting all our entertainment from screens. We visit our social groups, churches and other religious events online. We’re working and learning online. And, we mostly see our families through screens.

It might seem odd to think that a source of pleasure can be stressing us out. But the light from screens causes stress to your central nervous system. That’s why it’s important to stop using them before bed. And, the notifications constantly popping up can distract you from other tasks and leave you feeling anxious. They can also lead you to spend more time on your device than you meant to. You might always be clicking on “one more thing.”

Instead of spending countless hours on your computer, tablet, phone or TV, consider scheduling your time. It might seem silly to schedule your free time, but it works and helps you track what you’re doing! Tons of great, free, apps will lock you out of social media or other features on your phone according to a schedule you set. One of the people on our team uses an app so that she doesn’t get tempted by her phone games at bedtime. You set the schedule, and then, if you really want to unlock it, the app will make you jump through digital hoops to open it.  

What you do during your break is entirely up to you! Some people like to use the time for physical activity. It can be an excellent time to get some exercise. But, it can also just be a break for your mind. You can switch from a screen to a book. Or, go from planning a puzzle game on the phone to solving an actual jigsaw puzzle, crossword puzzle or brain teaser — all of which can be bought online for low prices.

You don’t have to do something large to benefit from the break; we’re not saying that you need to go out for a hike. Just turn off your digital device and decompress with a little time away from technology, the light and the constant barrage of information. Giving yourself a screen break can lower your stress and help you reclaim your sense of calm. Hopefully, that will provide you with a little boost to help you push through the wall that so many of us feel like we’re hitting!  

Banner image: Pixabay via Pexels
February 04, 2021
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