Mental Health Challenge: A Screen-Free Day

My dog, Zeb

Regular readers of this blog know how I love to do challenges! Every once in awhile, I like to create a challenge that will shake things up for me and get me “unstuck” when I feel like I’m in a rut. While past challenges have addressed either diet (like the Rainbow Challenge) or exercise (like 1,000,000 steps in 100 days), this time I’m focusing on something totally different – my mental health.

Lately I have been procrastinating a lot, putting off important work that needs to get done. It’s had me feeling a little down on myself, so I’m hoping that completing this challenge will put some fresh wind in my sails. I noticed that a lot of my procrastinating time is spent online, obsessively checking my email, Facebook and Twitter accounts and my blog stats. Sometimes, in combination, I do these things thirty times a day. It is completely wasted time, and a deliberate distraction. So, this Sunday, I’m going to hit the reset button by spending a full 24 hours Screen-Free.

From the time I wake up Sunday morning until the time I wake up Monday morning, I will not look at a single screen. I won’t open my laptop, turn on my desktop, turn on the TV or text anyone on my phone. If I drive anywhere, I won’t use the dashboard navigation system. I will make only one screen exception, which will be to answer my cell phone if anyone calls me.

I’m hoping to not only show myself that I can survive for a whole day without these things, but I’m interested in seeing how deeply ingrained these first-world habits have become. I am wondering how many times I’ll catch myself wanting to quickly look something up on the computer or binge-watch a few episodes of our latest Netflix obsession. I’m guessing it will be a lot.

I plan to spend my day reading, meditating, cooking healthy food, socializing with friends, walking my dogs and going for a bike ride. Oh, and I’ll be writing a blogpost about the experience – using pen and paper, of course!

Check back here on Monday to see how my Screen-Free Day went. Better yet, join me by taking your own break from technology and leave a comment here telling me about your experience.

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