Written by Sarah Holm
Decrease your screen time + increase your present state of mind
I had a saying with my college friends, “Phones off, friends on.” It was a quick intention we’d set when we were spending time together that communicated we wanted to be present with each other, and not with our phones.
As ENO’s Digital Content Producer, I am chronically online. I am deeply familiar with opening your phone to check the weather, and then 2 hours later you’re buried in silly cat videos and thrift hauls on TikTok (a peek at my algorithm).
Because of this, I am intentional about taking time away from my phone and computer screen and welcome my breaks from the digital world.
I realize how contradictory this blog may feel - as I am advising you to spend time away from your phone, while you’re reading this on a screen. Hopefully, these thoughts may stick with you the next time you catch yourself mindlessly scrolling.
Here are a few ideas, that have worked for me, to decrease your screen time:
1. Find your flow state
By flow state, I mean that activity where you are wholly present. Your mind quiets down and your focus is narrowed in on what you’re doing in that moment. You may find it by running, going for a drive, making art, reading, dancing, walking, baking. Pay attention to the activities where you feel the most engaged and clear-headed. When you’re in the zone, you rarely feel the pull to check your phone.
2. Take a mindful walk
I challenge you to go for a walk without distractions - no music or podcasts. It doesn't have to be anywhere special - your backyard, a greenway, your local park, or the woods. Slow down, and notice what it feels like as you move. Can you feel sunshine on your body or a slight breeze? Look around - not just straight ahead or at the ground in front of you. What do you see? You may notice a flower growing in an unlikely crack in the sidewalk, a cloud in the shape of a dragon, or a cracked mirror set out with a “free” sign catching your reflection. Give yourself time to explore the world around you more deeply, without rushing around. Enjoy fleeting observations that you would have otherwise missed.
3. Spend time with others
Let’s go back to the original “Facetime” and reach out to a friend or family member who lives locally and spend time together. My favorite (free) ways to spend time with friends include hammocking at the park, having a potluck picnic (be sure to bring your Islander Blanket), playing a game, or throwing a frisbee. Tuck your phones away and see where the uninterrupted conversation takes you.
4. Leave your devices behind
One of the most sure-fire ways to not be on your phone is to not bring it. This can feel radical and unsettling to not have your device, but if you’ll be in a safe environment and know you won’t “need” your phone, try leaving it behind. When you don’t fill every moment of downtime with distraction, you never know who you may meet, what small observation may delight you, and the freedom you may feel.
5. Connect with nature
Access to endless information online can be overwhelming. Sometimes the best way to get grounded is to reconnect with the world around you by spending time outside. You don’t have to go on a grand adventure to get the benefits of nature. Outside is right on the other side of your door. Maybe you set up a Lounger DL Chair and read in your backyard. Perhaps, you go hammock camping over the weekend to really reset. No matter how you choose to show up outside, we’ve got your back + want to help it feel as comfortable as possible.
We hope these ideas serve as your motivation to find balance with your time on and off your devices. Catch yah outside!
Sarah has been ENO’s Digitial Content Producer for the past 3 years. When she’s not hanging out in her Marine/Gold DoubleNest, you can find her cuddling her black cat, Nani, experimenting with a new artistic craft, or hosting a game night with her friends.