Your texts will be there later. The person in front of you won’t; turn your phone off.

Here’s a simple question. What’s the first thing you grab in the morning and the last thing you put down at night?

If you’re anything like the average student the answer is most likely your phone. Although it can be fun messaging friends, browsing through social media or doing pretty much anything and everything (because phones are so associated with our lives) it’s not good for our health to be so consumed by our phones.

It’s time to make some changes for our mental and physical health and put the phone down. Here are IGNITE’s tips on how to stop checking your phone every five minutes. No seriously.

Don’t sleep with your phone

Women reaching for the phone in bed.

When your phone is on your nightstand or in close proximity to your bed it’s so easy to pick it up and scroll on social media aimlessly through the night. Not only is the blue light very damaging to your eyes as you sit in the darkness of your room with the light on your face, but it also affects your ability to get a night of full REM sleep

Try leaving your phone in a different room or placing it somewhere that you don’t have an easy arm’s reach before you go to bed. You may end up having to invest in an old alarm clock, but trust us, it’s worth the extra sleep.

Turn off notifications

Notifications on a phone screen.

Do you ever feel a sudden excitement or rush to your brain when you hear your phone buzz or ring? That’s because your brain triggers serotonin and endorphins that provide a sense of excitement when you receive a notification. Unfortunately, these emotions are short-lived and you are quickly burnt out by the constant cycle of instant gratification, which can lead to a feelings of anxiety.

To counteract this cycle, turn off your notifications completely; this way you have control over the chemicals produced in your brain. We’re not saying don’t check your phone at all. But instead of checking your phone every time you get a new notification (which seems to be every minute), set specific times of the day to check. This way you give yourself a break, but are still keeping up with work, friends, family etc. 

Use app time restrictions to your advantage

Three clocks ticking.

Is there a certain app that you find is taking up the majority of your screen time? Go into your phone’s setting and add controls to restrict your time on a specific app.

For iPhone users, you can do this directly through “settings” by clicking on the “screen time” and going to “app limits.” For Google and Samsung devices you can create parental controls that do the same thing. 

Cut it “cold turkey” and try a 24 hour detox 

Scissors cutting.

Figure out what you’re missing out on by removing your phone completely. Give your phone to a trusted family member or friend and stay away from it for 24 hours.

It may seem hard at first, but this will force you to find new hobbies and will help you to live in the real world (and not the digital world).

Find a new hobby

Bob Ross painting.

Do you find that your only hobby outside of work or school is going on your phone? This could be the reason why your free time is so filled up by screen time. Learn how to paint, join a sports team, create a side hustle! The possibilities of distraction from your phone are endless!

Now that you’re finished reading this article your time starts now. Put down the phone or digital device you’re reading this on and take a break from the screen… you deserve it!

If you’re going to be on your phone… you might as well learn some new skills from TikTok.

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