How can being screen-free improve your mental wellness?
Nowadays everyone has a screen, from grandparents down to 10-year-olds our digital the fingerprint is starting younger and it has quickly become the norm for people to spend hours a day looking at a brightly lit screen; liking, searching, learning, absorbing and comparing themselves against their digital counterparts. Don't get me wrong the improvements in technology have aided some wondrous things. People can create careers and work with people across the world just from a laptop on their kitchen table, people can learn about new subjects with the click of a button and connect with friends across the seas.
What's starting to get some attention is that as much as these screens connecting us to billions of threads of information have some positive aspects, it is becoming clear it also has some detrimental effects on our mental health and wellbeing.
Social media has played a role in the increase of mental illness amongst young people including eating disorders, self-harm, and suicide. Teenagers are submerged into platforms where marketing giants fire off ads or ideas of how the perfect woman or man should look and act and with any predisposition of mental illness it leaves young people at risk lower self-esteem and higher chances of developing mental illness.
For adults, the detrimental effects of longer screen time, especially at night can affect the quality and quantity of sleep, poor sleep is associated with decreased mental wellbeing and increased risk of developing a mental health condition, especially if sustained over a long period of time.
Incorporating screen-free time and the use of non-technology based products not only puts you back in touch with reality but can also help to improve mood and boost mental wellness.
Parents may not notice the effect of restricting and monitoring screen time right away, just as they may not notice a child getting taller day today, but there is what he calls a "ripple effect." Monitoring screen time and content don't immediately lead to changes, but over time, there is a wide range of health and wellness benefits.
Remind yourself that's it's worth the arguments. Your child may be one unhappy camper when her screen time is limited and monitored, but remember that there will be many benefits for her in the long run.