From 8 hours screen time to 0! What I learned from a full day without screens

I had been planning for this day for weeks.
No zooms were scheduled, no calls expected, all emails had been answered: I was ready.
For months now I had been watching my screen time steadily creeping up, from scrolling on social media to binge watching series on Netflix.
Enough was enough!
Especially after seeing The Social Dilemma, I realised that I was addicted to screens.
And now I was going to go cold turkey (well, for a day to start with), and here’s what I learned:

  1. You get SO much more done!

I didn’t realise just how much time I was spending just lounging around, getting lost online.
Not only did I finally deep clean the kitchen and the bathroom, I cooked enough food to feed a village and stuff my freezer with AND did laundry TWICE. And I enjoyed it!
And vipassana-rules applied: no music or background TV was allowed.
Usually I would be knackered by lunch and sneak in a nap.
Instead, I would go for quick meditation sessions in between to revitalise.
And I was not tired at all during the day, mentally or physically!

2. I was SO much happier throughout the day!

First thing I usually do everyday is scroll through Twitter to see what people were talking about while I was sleeping. And since that’s rarely puppies and roses, I get mad pretty quickly.
Outrage gets clicks, and social media runs on it.
But today, I was denying it my share, focusing instead on a book over lunch.
My world was smaller today, centred around what I could control.
I felt like I hadn’t been this present in ages, like I was really seeing the space I was living in.
And that included my head!

3. My sleep hygiene needs some SERIOUS work

When I was five years old, I was sent to sleep therapy.
I would complain that I just did not get sleep: are we meant to just lie there til it happens?
Nowadays, I watch ASMR to fall asleep.
Sometimes I can sleep if I am knackered from a full day of walking, otherwise I need my dose of white noise to sing me to sleep.
Of course that means that I am on my phone until the very moment I close my eyes instead of staying away from blue light for 2 hours before.
Maybe it’s time to retrain myself to depend only on myself to get some rest!

4. Internet and snacking go hand-in-hand for me!

I’m surely not the only one who has gained some weight during lockdown.
What I didn’t realise was the symbiotic nature of snacking and screen consumption!
Without watching TV or just lying around, there was no urge or time for extra munching.
Instead of using food as a dopamine hit, I was eating only when I was actually hungry.
I was learning to listen to my body again, and made eating an active activity!

Of course, this was only one day.
But I can already tell notable differences!
I’ve been snacking less since, I can feel myself ‘disappearing’ when scrolling instead of passiveness being my normal mode, and I aim to have a screen-free day at least every 2 weeks.
Taking my own advice on how to form a habit, I can decrease my screen time little bit little to make a lasting impact.
Especially now I know I enjoy it, it’s much less daunting.
What’s you screen time, and how long do you think you can go without one?

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