June 26, 2020

Disengaging for Peace of Mind
If we locked your cell phone in a box, how long could you go without it? For some mobile phone users, the answer is about 6.5 minutes — studies found that is how often the average user checks his or her phone. It’s a side effect of our connected world. Checking our devices for email, text messages, or social media has become as normal as talking and breathing.
For example, it is no secret that the social media frenzy has become over the top and with the average American having five social media accounts and spending an hour and twenty minutes a day browsing their networks. This usage is starting to have a negative effect on our collective mental health. Studies are now showing that social media use can lead to depression, low self-esteem, body image issues, anxiety and the list goes on. 
It’s important now more than ever to invite more positivity into our lives. Below are some tips and tricks to break away from using your device to help your mental health:
Separating work/school and home life: Make it a point to leave work at work and school at school. This is easily maintained during remote working/learning if you have a specific area of your home dedicated as an office space. Once you leave this space, set your boundary to transition into home life and refrain from using your devices for this purpose.
Improving Sleep: Try shutting your devices off for a few hours before you go to sleep and engage in something less stimulating such as reading a book.
Put your device down and out of reach: If your device is in another room, then you won’t have the urge to grab it. Out of sight, out of mind is great way to detach.
Set limits by tracking your social media time: There are tons of apps out there that can track your social media time and help monitor and control how much time you spend on Facebook and Instagram. Set a goal for yourself.
Set “device free zones”: Pick areas in your home where you are not allowed to be on your device
Schedule “device free days”: These device free days can allow you to spend more time socializing with others, engaging in hobbies and being productive.
Connect offline: Go outside and connect to nature since our face-to-face social connection is limited.
To use technology the ‘right’ way, be mindful of your use and the impact it could be having on your mental health. Self-awareness is key.
The Well-being Task Force
Faculty of Medicine
Psychology Today: Social Media Breaks and Why They are Necessary - https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/happiness-is-state-mind/201907/social-media-breaks-and-why-they-are-necessary
Psychology Today: Are We Allowing Social Media to Dictate Our Happiness? - https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/happiness-is-state-mind/201712/are-we-allowing-social-media-dictate-our-happiness
Daily Mail: Mobile users can't leave their phone alone for six minutes and check it up to 150 times a day
Green Child Magazine: How Unplugging from Technology Can Improve Mental Health