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Sharp Health News

10 ways to stay off your phone over the holidays

Dec. 21, 2018

10 ways to stay off your phone over the holidays

We spend far too much time on our phones and digital devices. In fact, studies show that U.S. adults watch, read or listen to digital media more than 11 hours a day. That’s more than a full night’s sleep!

This holiday season, commit to spending less time with your devices, and more time connecting with family, friends and life beyond technology. These 10 easy alternatives can help.

  1. Read a book.
    Reading not only reduces stress, but it sharpens your mind, too. Bonus points for reading with kids. Children thrive when read to, and reading together is a bonding activity you'll never regret.

  2. Take a walk.
    Walking is the easiest and cheapest form of exercise, and provides amazing health benefits — like lowering your blood pressure and improving your mood. Bring Fido along for an extra boost of unconditional love.

  3. Bond with your pooch.
    Speaking of dogs, there’s no better time to snuggle one. Whether he’s yours or Aunt Matilda’s, dogs can substantially improve our mental and physical health. Just don’t let him near your apple pie.

  4. Bake holiday cookies.
    There are so many fun cookie recipes out there, it’s hard to choose just one. And if you’re really missing your phone, recreate it with eggs, sugar, flour and some creative icing.

  5. Review you.
    New year’s resolutions are usually met with an eye roll, but it is possible to make small changes you’ll stick with. Take the time to come up with a new healthy meal plan or workout routine, or simply commit to more sleep.

  6. Get crafty.
    From knitting to brewing beer, focusing on a craft can reduce stress and offer an opportunity to work closely with those you love. It’s like meditation with a parting gift.

  7. Be mindful.
    Mindfulness practices, including meditation, can take you out of the everyday, and help you focus on what’s important. If you’re staying local, check out San Diego’s best places to meditate.

  8. Create your own spa day.
    Who has the time for facials? This holiday season, you do. Treat yourself to a home exfoliation. It’s relaxing and great for your skin, plus it can help you look younger.

  9. Tackle the clutter.
    Pick a messy corner and restore order. Studies show that mess does create stress. So make a commitment to clean one room, one closet or even one drawer.

  10. Take a hike.
    Aside from strengthening your body, exercise does wonders for your mind. And exercising with a friend? Even better. This holiday season, try a healthy group hike on one of San Diego’s best trails.

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