We spend more time on our digital devices than ever before in history.

  • The average person in the UK spends a whole day per week online!
  • One in four people spend more time on their phone than they do asleep.
  • The average person checks their mobile phone 200 times per day.

All of this digital use has brought, and continues to bring, many benefits to us, but it can also be problematic, physiologically and psychologically.

I’ve had conversations where people say they feel neglected because their partner is always on the phone and they don’t get half as much attention as facebook/youtube/google…

Others feel the burden of their smartphone because they feel work emails are following them around, even when they are not at work.

I’m personally quite disciplined with my mobile phone and it’s only ever on from 6.30 – 19.00 and off all the rest of the time.

If I’m sat at home I want to be with the people I’m physically with, not sat on the other end of the sofa browsing the internet.

However I’ve had conversations with people over the years about limiting their usage and they mention that this is just not possible for them for a variety of reasons.

The Christmas and New Year period however, when almost everyone takes some downtime and there are less time demands, is a perfect opportunity to get away from mobile phones, laptops and TV’s.

I’m planning to have at least 72 hours across the Christmas period where my phone and laptop are completely off.

If you think that just sounds totally unrealistic try some of the ideas below:

  1. At meal times leave all phones in another room and sit together round the table being present
  2. Decide on a nightly curfew time for mobile use and stick to it – ideally a couple of hours before you go to sleep
  3. If you go out to walk off some of the festive over indulgence, try leaving your phones at home
  4. When there are others in the room, put the mobile devices down and engage with your family and friends (this is what Christmas is all about anyway isn’t it?)
  5. No digital devices in the bedroom, it’s meant for sleeping. Light from your devices hinders the production of your vital sleep hormone melatonin
  6. Set yourself a window of time when you will use your phone and then for the remainder of the day leave it switched off in a drawer

If you’re already quite disciplined with your mobile devices try going for a whole day or more like myself without using them. If not, give one or two of the above ideas a go and see how you get on.

Have a great Christmas!