Globally, we spend an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes of screen time on a device connected to the internet per day. That’s close to a third of a day spent looking at a screen. In the UK, a 2022 screen study revealed that over 50% of the nation is looking at screens for more than 11 hours a day.

Basically, while our eyes may not have turned square, it's easy to find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds or playing endless games to pass the time. While these activities can be entertaining in moderation, excessive screen time can have negative impacts on our physical and mental health. 

We’re all about using technology in a positive way both for the planet and for the mind. There are plenty of healthier alternatives to consider when reaching for our phones, that’s why we’ve put together 10 ways you can healthily use your screen time, to avoid doom scrolling and reduce the negativity.

1. Mindfulness and Meditation Apps

Instead of getting lost in a sea of notifications, consider using your smartphone to learn more about mindfulness and reduce stress. There are numerous meditation and mindfulness apps available that offer guided sessions, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques. 

Spending just a few minutes a day practising mindfulness can have significant benefits for your mental well-being.

2. Educational Podcasts and Audiobooks

Turn your screen time into a learning opportunity where you can soak up some new knowledge by listening to educational podcasts or audiobooks. Whether you're interested in history, science, personal development, or language learning. Use your smartphone to stimulate your mind while on the go.

3. Fitness Apps

Make the most of your screen time by incorporating fitness and wellness apps into your daily routine. From workout programs and yoga sessions to meal planning and hydration trackers, there are countless apps designed to support your health and fitness goals. Use your smartphone to stay motivated, track your progress, and make positive lifestyle changes. It’s like having a PT in your pocket - if that’s the approach that works for you.

4. Be More Creative 

Unleash your creativity by exploring art, photography, writing, or music apps on your smartphone. Whether you enjoy sketching, taking photos, journaling, or composing music, there are endless possibilities for creative expression right at your fingertips. Use your screen time to tap into your artistic side, find people who are like-minded and ways to share your art at the tip of your fingers.

5. Explore The Outdoors

Just because you're using your smartphone doesn't mean you have to stay indoors. Use mapping and navigation apps to discover new hiking trails, parks, or outdoor attractions in your area. Take your smartphone with you on nature walks or outdoor adventures and use it to identify parts of nature you see on your way, photograph your surroundings and learn more about the world around you.

6. Virtual Social Connections

While social media can sometimes leave us feeling disconnected, there are ways to use your smartphone to foster meaningful social connections. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through feeds, use messaging apps or video calling platforms to stay in touch with friends and family members. Schedule virtual hangouts, and game nights, or use group chats to maintain relationships and share experiences.

7. Community Engagement

Turn your screen time into an opportunity to give back to your community. Use your smartphone to research volunteer opportunities, community events, or local causes that align with your interests and values. Whether it's participating in virtual fundraisers, signing petitions, or sharing resources, there are countless ways to make a positive impact from the palm of your hand.

8. Journaling 

Take advantage of your smartphone's note-taking and journaling apps to engage in self-reflection and introspection. Use your screen time to jot down thoughts, feelings, or gratitude lists, or to document memorable moments and experiences. Journaling can be a powerful tool for self-discovery, personal growth, and mental clarity.

9. Skill Development and Online Courses

Transform your screen time into an opportunity for skill development and lifelong learning. Explore online courses, tutorials, or skill-building apps that align with your professional or personal interests. Whether you're looking to enhance your career prospects, explore a new hobby, or master a new skill, there are endless resources available at your fingertips.

10. Digital Detox and Screen-Free Time

Finally, don't forget to permit yourself to take breaks from your smartphone altogether. Schedule regular periods of screen-free time to disconnect, recharge, and focus on activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. You can now even download apps to control screen time if you need a helping hand to take a break.

While smartphones offer countless opportunities for entertainment and connectivity, it's important to approach screen time mindfully and intentionally. By choosing some of these healthier alternatives, you can make the most of your screen time while prioritising your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

So the next time you find yourself reaching for your phone, consider how you can use it to enrich your life and cultivate healthier habits.

For more ways to embrace technology in a more meaningful positive way, explore our Wave Case blog full of tips and tricks for positive living.
March 13, 2024 — Wave Case