Reduce Screen Time and Stop Doomscrolling

Lisa Cai Daily Life, Updates

Since the end of March, physical distancing measures have been in place across Canada to tackle the spread of COVID-19. In the beginning, many of us experienced a dramatic change in our daily routines following business and school closures. All of a sudden, we found ourselves spending most of our time trapped indoors, at home and in front of different screens.

According to a recent new study released by Statistics Canada, people who were exercising outdoors and limiting screen time back in March and April were more likely to report good mental and general health. To promote better mental and general health, we should keep finding opportunities for outdoor exercise and limiting screen time.

In previous articles, we have discussed how to take care of your mental health and stay active during COVID-19. Today, let’s focus on screen time.

What is considered as “screen time”?

Screen time is the time that you spend using a device that has a screen, such as a smartphone, tablet, computer, television, or games console. Increased screen time among various age groups is one of the most common phenomena during COVID-19.

Bad news after bad news, it’s hard to keep myself away from the Internet.

You are not alone. Believe it or not, a new word has emerged to describe the tendency of continuously reading bad news, especially bad news about COVID-19, without being able to stop oneself. It is called “doomscrolling”.

Is doomscrolling bad for us?

Yes, doomscrolling can become a never-ending cycle. Once you start to doom scroll, you find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into this black hole of negativity. It exacerbates anxiety and damages our mental health.

How do I stop doomscrolling?
  • Plan how to spend your time. Stick to it until it becomes a habit;
  • Build positive emotions. Start your own self-care routines. Treat yourself with small things that make you happy;
  • Constantly find opportunities to make new connections. Join our recurring Conversation Circles and make new friends, or join our online workshop and learn about Strong Networking Skills;
  • Connect with people (family and friends) you care about. If you are tired of video chats, do it in person at a safe distance in an outdoor space;
  • Practice meditation regularly. Meditation helps reduce stress and increase calmness;
  • Avoid using cellphones immediately before bedtime and after waking up;
  • Turn off the push notifications on your phone for social media and news applications.

Word of the Day:

Exacerbate: to make something worse, e.g. a negative feeling, problem or bad situation.