On average, smartphone users are spending from 2.5 hours on the phones per day. It is so important that we find ways to switch off from our phones over the Christmas period to engage with our loved ones and build healthy technology habits for our families. Our wonderful Zoe Semmler delves into the issue and provides some useful practical tips.

6KZH0ACK28.jpg#asset:336:transformerThe holiday season is a great opportunity to focus on connecting with our loved ones. For smartphone users, it is also a great time to reflect on our phone usage and how this may be impacting our relationships. In our last Beam blog, Andrew explored the topic of children and screen time.

This week we would like to turn the focus back towards adults with a friendly reminder to check in on our own screen time habits. On average, smartphone users are spending from 2.5 hours on the phones per day. Ensuring healthy phone usage not only contributes to our wellbeing, but for parents and carers, allows for role modelling of these behaviours to children and adolescents.

So how can we make sure we are switching off in order to tune in?
  • Dinner time game: stack phones in the middle of the table
  • Practice mindfulness: increasing our awareness can be helpful in reducing phone use and being as focused as possible in our conversations with others 
  • Place your phone out of sight when you’re not using it – studies indicate that we are less engaged just by having our phone screen visible even if we’re not using it 
  • Phone free zones at home (e.g. bed, dining table) 
  • Download a free application which monitors your usage for you

Another smart thing to do is to get out and find enjoyment in your local area. There is always a plethora of things to do that will naturally switch your child's attention to things that are healthy for them and away from the distractions of technology. As we are proudly based in Newcastle, here are a few ideas.

Phone-free destinations for Novocastrians:

Newcastle offers some fantastic areas to entertain families these holidays at a minimum cost, including:

blackbutt.jpg#asset:339                                                                                        Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Redhead-Beach.jpg#asset:341 Redhead Beach

King-Edward-Park.jpg#asset:340 King Edwards Park

Speers-Point-Park.jpg#asset:342 Speers Point Park   

We hope this has been a helpful reminder to check in on our own phone habits and to be inspired to plan some quality (phone-free) adventures for the weeks ahead.

Happy Holidays from the Beam Team

Zoe Semmler
Zoe-Cropped.png#asset:288Provisional Psychologist

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