Increased screen time during the Pandemic and its effects. With COVID-19 and social distancing putting limits on our ability to connect and physically interact, daily screen time has definitely increased. Even before the global pandemic, there were concerns about what screen time is doing to our health. However, screens are not inherently bad.
There are reasons that we have all had to use screens more in the last year. Working from home, virtual school, reaching out to loved ones. Our world has become increasingly digital in the last year or so, and that has had an impact.
Increased screen time during the Pandemic and its effects
For many of us, screens are our window into the world. We connect with friends, family, fitness, and even food inspiration. Here’s the question. How can we make sure we have a healthy relationship with them? Waters Edge Counseling has some things to consider. From screen time strategies to surprising statistics.
The kids (and YOU) will be ok
So, both adults and kids are experiencing an increase in screen time. But experts are saying it’s going to be ok. In fact, there is actually very little evidence directly connecting screen time to damage in children. However, the bigger problem lies in screens replacing positive activities. These include exercise, socializing, and sleep. We have some simple things to keep in mind.
One media-free meal per day
We suggest trying to have at least one meal per day without screens. Screen time (even background television during meals) have been linked to eating unhealthy food. This causes increased weight in children as food ads for low-nutrition options can influence what kids want to eat. Conversations during mealtime can help to shape a child’s social-emotional health and lessen stress for the entire family.
Two hours screen-free before bed
Putting screens aside for two hours before bedtime makes it easier to fall asleep. Which makes it easier to wake up on time. The “blue light” from TVs and other screens disrupt the natural sleep cycle. For small children, it also helps to save the screens for after naps. For older kids, device alerts can be an issue as well. We suggest using a real alarm clock and keeping their phone out of their bedrooms.
Three ways to measure screen time
The time spent on a screen is just one of three ways to measure the health of technology use. The quality of the content and being there to help your children understand what’s on screen are two important factors that can help create meaningful conversations.
Waters Edge Counseling can help in everything from anxiety treatment to depression to family counseling. Check out our Services and our Therapists pages to learn more about the many ways we can change your outlook and your life.
If you feel you need more help with managing your screen time or that of your family, please give us a call. Waters Edge Counseling therapists are here to help. We hope to hear from you soon – reach out today.