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Wellness challenge: play this game to break phone addiction

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Many of us relied on screens to stay connected and be entertained during the restrictions of pandemic life. To break the screen habits of your family or friends, you don’t need to be cold turkey. Instead, practice separating from your phone for a while. A few ways to do this: Don’t check any screens until you’ve been standing for half an hour. Take a walk or go to lunch without your phone. At dinner, try a “first to watch” game. Put all the phones in the center of the table. The first to look does the dishes or pays the bill!

Incoming texts, alerts, emails and vibrations are an almost constant presence in our lives, and these interruptions can take a toll on our minds, our sleep, and our ability to interact with others. In one study, the mere presence of a cell phone in the room made people feel less connected to the interlocutors.

Screens don’t need to be banned completely, but putting away our technology every now and then can help us focus on real life.

To ease your screen addiction, try creating phone-less and screen-less areas in your home, work, and play spaces. To involve the whole family, play a game away from your phones.

1. In bed. Get a real wake-up call and charge your phone or tablet in another room overnight. It’s much easier to resist your tech when it’s not at hand. Bringing technology out of the bedroom is a proven way to help you sleep better. Blue light from your screen has the same effect on your brain as sunlight, meaning it wakes you up just when you want to fall asleep. For children, the appeal of technology is strong. In one study, even having an unused device in the bedroom increased a child’s risk of sleep problems.

2. At lunch. When you’re at work, practice eating lunches without a phone. Leave your phone in your desk drawer and suggest your guests do the same. It might seem odd at first, but you’ll probably end up enjoying the daily break from emails and texts. One study found that just holding a phone or having it at the table, even if you’re not looking at it, has an effect on who you are with. In this study, people felt less empathy and social connection when their meal partner had their phone on the table or in their hand.

3. Outside. Leave the phone at home when you walk the dog, walk the kids, or go for a bike ride, hike, or jog. If you are in a new location and want to take pictures, you can bring the phone – just put it in airplane mode, so you can only use it as a camera and you won’t be tempted by it. pings of texts, tweets or e-mails.

4. At the table. Phones are best kept away from the table during meals, and zero tolerance should apply to everyone, not just children. If you liked the “first to watch” game, there are other games for you to try out for using the screen at mealtime. Consider a “at-a-glance policy,” which allows everyone at the table to glance at their phone once during a meal. Or, establish a rule that the phone can only be used once at dinner, and only for the benefit of the whole group, to Google a fact, resolve debates, or light up the table with trivia. meaningless. Anyone who uses the Google excuse to check their emails or texts loses all their phone privileges at the next meal!

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