The cell phone is a highly distracting device. It constantly steals our attention and does so successfully on a regular. Admittedly, overusing the cell phone is one of my biggest struggles, and below I share tips on how I attempt to be more conscious of my usage of the device, especially during certain times of the day. I can only imagine how much harder it is for a young teenager to put down their cell phone as many have grown up attached to the device. So I encourage you (and me) to be reasonably aware of how often and when you use your phone. Take notice if being on your phone interrupts your sleep, eating, workouts, and conversations. And know that people who use their cell phones less are happier and more satisfied individuals.
Cell Phone Tips for Better Health and Wellness for Teens
Turning off your cell phone at least 30 minutes before bed is a routine that should be established for a young teen to optimize their sleep. Powering down half an hour before bed will allow the body, and more so the mind, time to rest and prepare for slumber. Looking at your phone and attempting to sleep will delay the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep and calmness. Scrolling on the device will keep the mind activated, and the longer you stay on your phone before bed, the poorer your sleep quality will be. If you’re feeling brave, you can turn off your cell phone an hour before bed.
Scrolling on your phone while you are eating causes overeating. Being mindful about what is entering your body vanishes while eating and being on the phone. The focus is not on the food but on checking social feeds or other notifications. Put the phone aside, maybe even in another room or airplane mode, to remove distraction and temptation. Distraction-free eating will allow the body and mind to have a stronger connection, allowing you to enjoy your food and know when it is time to stop.
Put your phone on silent or airplane mode during exercise or sports practice. Just like eating, your focus should be on the task at hand. In this case, you don’t want to be distracted by checking your phone during or in the middle of a workout. Send the necessary messages before and have your music or whatever you are planning to listen to prepared before entering the training. Doing so will enhance your workout, reduce unwanted distractions and reduce the risk of injury.
Put your cell phone down when having a conversation. When you are talking to someone, especially if you attempt to be respectful, you don’t want to be glancing at your phone. Having a distraction-free conversation and doing so consistently with everyone will strengthen your relationships. Strong relationships are critical for overall health and well-being and jeopardizing a connection because you constantly check your phone is not worth it.
Take a 30-minute break from your phone at least once a day. We are glued to our phones throughout the day. Most check it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Putting your phone off to the side for 30 minutes and focusing on what you are doing, whether significant or not, is a great way to give your body and mind a break. Find an opportunity, whether in the morning while getting ready for school, during lunch, or after you get home from school. Because guess what? Those messages and notifications will still be there when you return to your phone.