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Creating a Healthy Screen Time Habit

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A few weeks ago my phone notified me of my screen time usage for the past week.

In horror I looked at my husband and asked, “Did you turn screen time on my phone?”  He told me that he had and to be honest I was pretty angry and said in a frustrated tone… “I DON’T WANT TO KNOW THAT!”

a womans hands holding her iPhone The second I said that to him, I realized he wasn’t the one I needed to be angry at.  It was me.  I knew I was not only spending a lot of time on my phone… I was WASTING time on it.

The amount of time I was using my phone was embarrassing.

And it frustrated me to be honest.

I had no idea how much time I spent on social media, texting, emailing, etc.  I suddenly realized that all the things I said I didn’t have time for was because I was spending too much time in an area that was wasteful.

I have goals and things I want to do (like reading books!)… and I’ve been avoiding those things by zoning out on social media instead of doing things that bring me joy, reduce my stress or get me closer to my goals.

a woman in bed holding a book that is covering her faceI had gotten into the bad habit of every time I nursed my daughter I’d scroll social media.  I wasn’t engaging, or posting, I was just scrolling.  And when you nurse 6-8x a day, and through the night, that’s a lot of scrolling.

The more time you spend on social media the more time you want to spend on social media.  It became a vicious cycle.

If you are on social media you know what I mean when I say you don’t just log on for a few minutes, before you know it you’ve wasted more time than you’d like to admit, and if you are like me, that is really frustrating.

I am thankful for social media.

I think it is a great way to connect not only with family and friends, but also like minded people.

I use social media to keep in touch with my friends and family because time doesn’t allow us to see one another very often.  I also started my Beautifully Broken Journey Instagram account over 5 years ago and I’ve made some great friends on there as well, so I don’t think it’s something we should avoid, but I do believe that sometimes it’s necessary to set boundaries.

That’s exactly what I did.

As embarrassed as I was to see the amount of time I spent looking at my phone each day, it prompted me to make a change.

a woman holding her phone and looking at instagramHere is how I have changed my screen time habit

  1. Daily limits for Instagram and Facebook

    You can set limits in the settings app in your phone under screen time.  I chose an amount of time that allows me to work and have some time for personal use, but it doesn’t feel too restrictive.
    My plan is to slowly reduce the time allotted each day over time.I knew if I told myself right away I only have 30 minutes each day I would fail, and get frustrated, and turn off the limits.  I want to create a healthy use of my social media platforms, not discontinue the use of them and this is how I plan to do it.
  2. Set up Downtime on my phone

    Every night at 9pm my apps go black on my phone.  And they don’t allow me to open them until 7am.  I allow a few apps to be open during this time such as email and text messages, but any app that I find myself “wasting” time on is black.
  3. Sharing my goals with others

    I told my husband and a good friend about my goal to spend less time on my phone because I want them to hold me accountable.  I am sharing what I am accomplishing as well during the time I usually wasted most of my time, which was the hours after my kids were in bed.  I’ve read much more and have been more productive with my blog as well.
  4. Leave my phone in another room

    When my phone is by me, it’s a habit to pick it up.  Often.  I’ve started leaving it in another room if I need to accomplish something so I take away the urge to pick it up.  I have been much more productive doing this!
  5. I don’t scroll while nursing anymore

    My nursing days are numbered as my daughter is already 10 months old.  I’m not going to waste these precious moments scrolling social media anymore.  I spend those moments with just my daughter and have quiet time for us both.

I know that I am not the only one who spends a lot of time on their phone.

multiple people on their phonesI see people do it every day.

I see people in restaurants, waiting in line, watching their kids sports events, at the stoplight… our phones are consuming us.

I’m challenging you to make one small change to reduce your use if it’s something that you find yourself wasting time doing.

I don’t want my kids to look back on their childhood and remember their Mom with her face in her phone all the time.

And while I try to be present with them most of the time I know they see me on my phone a lot and I don’t want to set that example. Someday they’ll have a phone and it will frustrate me to no end if they want to be on it all the time!

I want them to be present in their life… and I am going to set that example.

Put your phone down.

Engage with the people right in front of you and quit missing out on your life.

Setting the boundaries I did was needed and I’m so thankful that my husband turned on my screen time tracking that day without me knowing.  I got a clear picture of my use and instead of beating myself up, I decided to make a change.

Do you need to set boundaries with your phone use?

A woman holding a phone with an iced tea in the backgroundAre you ready to create a healthy screen time habit?

How do you check your screen time?

  1. On an Apple iPhone, go to your settings application
  2. Click on Screen Time
  3. You will see your daily average, if you want to see a breakdown click on “See All Activity”
  4. The following screen will give you a detailed description of where you are spending your time

How do I create downtime on my iPhone?

  1. On an Apple iPhone, go to your settings application
  2. Click on Screen Time
  3. Find Downtime, and click on the tab
  4. Customize your preferences for downtime
Create healthy screen time habits with these tips!  #screentime

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  1. Thank you so much for this post. I am guilty of this also and I know I end up wasting so much time out of my day on social media. I will definitely implement some changes.

  2. Great read! I also am struggling in the same area! Thank you for sharing your wisdom! Blessings to you and your family! Enjoy them, they grow to quickly! My daughter is our only and is 22, planning on moving out of state this year so I am trying to soak up all I can with her. ?

  3. I love that Instagram now tells you exactly how long you’ve spent on the app and so now I try and make sure I don’t exceed three hours over 7 days, as I was spending way too much time on the app xo

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