Remember the days–about a month ago–when we all expressed a desire to cut back on our screen time??

I haven’t changed my mind about that, but I have been sucked into the vortex of coronavirus news, zoom meetings and more social media time that I would like.  Out of desperation.

I still have concerns about excessive time on the computer, you Tube and the little computer we call a cell phone, so I’m offering some tips to minimize technology and maximize our life experiences.

1 Eat Your Meals Without a Screen and with attention.  Especially if you’re working on weight rebalancing and portion sizes, be present with your food and outlaw distractions. Living alone in these times of social distancing? Put on some gentle music, light a candle and say a blessing of gratitude–with or without others.  Still feeling lonely during a meal? A good novel makes a much better companion than a screen. My current favorite is Deep River by Karl Marlantes. Beautifully written and researched, and a great reality check since it’s based in early 20th century America.

2 Be Selective with Screen Socializing, and when you use it, do your best to minimize stressful snags by checking out links or downloading an app prior to when you need it. Depending on where you live, you may be able to take a socially-distanced  “6-foot walk and talk” with a friend, rather than always setting up another Zoom time or Houseparty. You will not only benefit from the exercise, but be more relaxed for that catch-up than stressing over an internet connection or delayed email.

3 Find a reliable news source you like and sign up for their updates; then ignore the rest. Still getting sucked in for longer than you’d like? Set a timer when catching up on news and social media.

4. Ban phone-charging in the bedroom and turn off ringer/notifications.  Naturally, there are times you need to be “on call” but be highly selective and whenever possible, keep that phone (and TV and computer and I pad) out of the bedroom!

5  Really?  Are you bored?  Occasionally, choose entertainment that does’t involve a screen; read a book, knit, sew some masks or try something creative you always thought sounded fun–but never seemed to find the time for previously.

6 For brief work-related exchanges and times you just don’t want to be “seen”, make a phone call instead of screen-based chats.During these challenging times, give yourself permission to stay in your jammies all day long.  Which does not mean you can’t do Essentrics but it does mean you won’t want to set up screen chats that day. 😉

7 One way I’m not scrimping on screen time is Essentrics® workouts. Substitute EssentricsTV or Mountain Fit online workouts for excessive social media and news. It will balance out the extra baking many of us are doing right now!

Screen time is a necessity during social distancing; it’s all about balance and choices. Choose wisely and do your best to get into Nature each day. For those stuck in a highrise apartment, surround yourself with pictures of Nature and choose a screensaver pic that makes you feel at peace. Maybe pics of the beach, where I hope to be again before year’s end.