Coronavirus Updates and Resources

Healthy Smartphone Habits While Social-Distancing

Updated on May 06, 2020


Coronavirus has many of us glued to our smartphones. We’re either frantically checking the news, mindlessly scrolling through social media, or video chatting with friends and family members.  Before you know it, you’ve wasted a good chunk of your day staring at your screen. In fact, smartphone usage is up 40% since the outbreak of the Coronavirus.*

Clearly, this isn’t a healthy trend, but breaking this habit is easier said than done. Here are a few tips for how you can cut down screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Put your phone away at meal times.

Take away distractions during meal times and put your phone in the other room or in a drawer. Use this time to connect with your family and have technology-free conversations. Not only will you give yourself a break from screen time, but you’ll be forced to live in the moment.

Turn off notifications.

Those constant alerts will lure you back to your phone, so turn off any notifications that are not necessary. Keep on notifications from apps that alert you that a coworker, friend or family might need your attention in real-time.

Up for a challenge? Consider deleting social media apps from your phone all together. You might gain an overwhelming sense of relief when you no longer feel tethered to your phone.

Don’t bring your phone to bed.

Studies show that looking at your phone before bedtime is very unhealthy. Not only does it keep your mind engaged, but the blue lights also mess with your sleep hormones. Start tackling your phone addiction by making your bed a phone-free zone. Instead of scrolling through COVID-19 news before sleep, pick up a book or have a conversation with your partner.

Use a real alarm clock.

Most of us use our smartphone as an alarm, which means we start every single day with a phone in our hand. You turn off your smartphone alarm and the next thing you know, you’re scrolling through social media.

Consider buying a real alarm clock and moving your phone away from your bed. If that’s not an option, make a conscious effort to only use the alarm function in the morning and avoid emailing, checking social media apps, etc. You don’t need to fill your brain with coronavirus updates and political opinions first thing in the morning.

Pick up new hobbies.

In this time of quarantine, you may find yourself turning to your phone because you’re bored. Instead of always relying on your phone for entertainment, consider using this self-isolation time to find new hobbies. Go for a walk (and don’t bring your phone), cook new recipes, or try out an adult coloring book. Challenge yourself to find new ways to engage your mind that don’t involve your smart phone. Need ideas? Here are some other suggestions.


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This article is for general information and should not be relied on as medical advice. Check with a medical professional for medical advice.

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