This past weekend we took a vacation to California to see all our west coast friends and celebrate LOVE at a gorgeous wedding tucked into an apple orchard in the mountains of San Luis Obispo. It was so beautiful. I did not work for 5 days, I did not respond to email, go on social media (except to post photos every evening) and basically shut down my brain. It was exactly what I needed. As someone who can feasibly work 24/7, taking time off is IMPERATIVE for me. I also celebrated my 48th trip around the sun with dozens of my besties and it was just the celebration I needed.
While we are patiently waiting for spring to appear here in the Northeast, we can think about more ways to bring mindfulness to our daily life. Yes, the flowers are blooming (and they are GORGEOUS) but do you miss it because you have your phone in your hand while walking down the street?
Do any of you feel like you may be addicted to your phones and/or screen time in general? It’s a tough habit to break- I feel like it’s something I am completely aware of but have a hard time breaking.
You know who is mimicking our addictions to our phones? Our kids. It doesn’t have to be this way, we can start to be more mindful of our use and eventually break the addiction. Most importantly though, we should notice how it is effecting our kids.
If you find shutting down the screens or putting away your phones to be really challenging, then take a listen to this video from The Mindfulness Month Dream Team – we share our tips for Mindful Technology with this 9min Mindful Chat.
In this chat we talk about how to use technology more mindfully with your kids and families. It’s a struggle for most of us these days with screens everywhere- tablets, computers, phones and TV. How can we manage it effectively with our families? Here are some of our tips we speak about.
4 Mindful Tech Tips for Families:
First of all….
This darling book is about Blip. Blip loves being plugged into her computer. Then a blackout happens, and Blip finds herself tumbling outside.
Suddenly, Blip’s gray, plugged in world is now filled with color and excitement. She finds new friends to play with and has adventures all day long. Blip finally returns home, and she then realizes that the world can be even brighter when you unplug.
1. Take a non-technology break!
A lot of us use technology- shows & video games as a break from school & learning. If we can break that as a routine, it can become regular practice. Try reading, taking a walk, playing games, etc. It seems like a no-brainer, but my son walks in the door and the first thing he asks is “can I watch a show?” I’d love to break that cycle by doing something different before he watches a show. Usually I say- go find something to play with, go outside or do something else first.
2. YouTube as a mindfulness & yoga tool
Instead of using your tech mindlessly, use it MINDFULLY. There are SO many good youtube channels out there with great tools for kids that teach them breathing exercises, mindfulness activities, practicing yoga and more. Here are some favorites:
3. Setting Limits
Set limits and expectations for when you let your kids play videos games, watch shows, etc. Set timers, have specific days/times when it’s allowed and make sure they always ASK permission to use it, watch more, etc. Somehow I ended up with a kid who always asks and is not sneaky about it. He doesn’t take no for an answer which is frustrating sometimes, but we stick to it and it works.
4. Keep your own use in check
We need to make sure we are setting our own tech limits by not ALWAYS having our phone in our hand. We need to do activities phone free and break our own habit.
- Take family walks without a phone.
- Keep your phone somewhere not near you when you are home.
- Don’t sleep with it next to you!
- Turn off your notifications.
- Just put it away when you are with your kids, SET THE EXAMPLE.
What else have you done to take a tech break in your home?