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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Screen Free = Less Stress and More Fun

etsy print by groundwork: find it HERE
Last week I spent less time in front of screens and more time with both family and myself. I was mindful of the time I spent on the computer, in front of the television, or on my phone. 

My initial progress to more mindful screen-time was very poor! On Day 1, I had already woke up to the television newscast and thought I would definitely be throwing in the towel on this experiment. Reflecting on this past week, I can honestly say it was a positive experience. I was less stressed/anxious without a constant tie to social media or other distractions.

On Tuesday, Day 2, Isabella and Grace had their fourth birthday party.  This usually requires a full room-to-room cleaning in order to prepare for guests. I vacuum, dust, put extra leaves in the dining table, decorate, make sure fingerprints are not covering every last inch of reflective surface... you catch the drift. It is a long day.

This time I turned off the TV for the entire day while the older girls were at school. The computers and my phone both remained shut down as well. My only goal to accomplish on their birthday was to entertain them, clean, wrap presents and get ready for our dozen + guests to arrive. By party time, I was cleaning baseboards in the kitchen trying to find something else to do.

Normally, you would find me frazzled, half-dressed, and freaking out because the table had not been decorated or the dinner dishes were still on the kitchen counter by the time guests began to arrive. This time... calm and collected. Why? All other (unnecessary) distractions had been eliminated for the day.

I continued all week with no television time during the day until 4:00. The computer in the living room remained off and my phone was pretty much out of commission anyway. I did sneak some glances at email mid-week. I checked in on Facebook on the twins birthday. I did send a few tweets out on Friday. That was the extent of my screen time. The time I did spend online was not rushed and never pulled from time with family. I think I have never spent as much time crafting, reading or playing with the girls as I have this week. It was a good thing!

Some thoughts I take with me as I plan on continuing with my mindful screen time:

  • What will I remember a year from now? Even a day from now? I guarantee you will not remember what any one of your followers tweeted a week ago.
  • What memories do I want to create today? For both myself and for others. Pinterest is super cool and inspiring but let us go create a little inspiration of our own!
  • Be mindful of whatever I choose to do at that moment. Multi-tasking may seem like a virtue but I may have to disagree. Focus on one thing and complete it before moving on. Your stress levels will thank you for it. 
  • Do not waste opportunities on screens! Making animals out of play dough with your children will trump checking your email inbox any day of the week. Believe me. 

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, 
for that's the stuff life is made of.”
-Benjamin Franklin

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I appreciate you stopping by! Thank you for commenting! xo ~Olivia