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It goes without saying that the past few months have been difficult, isolating and far from what we consider ‘normal’. We’ve got to know the space inside our four walls pretty well, and while this has been a period of adjustment, perhaps we’ve had some time to reflect inwards and identify the things that make us happy, and the things that don’t.

One thing that can sometimes have a negative impact on how we feel is consuming too much junk – and by junk, we don’t mean food. How many hours a day do you spend scrolling through social media accounts, online newspapers and watching TV shows, all the while absorbing content that leaves you feeling a little less happy than before?

While it’s of course essential that we stay in touch with the world around us – and laugh out loud at the occasional video of dogs or babies having their willpower tested when left with a bowl of treats in reach – at what point are you consuming too much of the negative stuff?

Fernwood Fitness resident wellness guru and Accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor Emma says that while social media, television shows and other screen-related activities can help people to unwind, too much screen time could lead to negative impacts on our health and wellbeing.

Emma says too much screen time, and negative screen time, can affect our sleep, our self-esteem, lead to unhealthy and unhelpful comparison behaviour, highlight reels and so on. “Balance is key” she says, and adds we need to practice discipline.

“Some people have addictive traits and find that habitually they are reaching for their phone, or start to crave screen time, which is why it’s so important to spend time away from your screen,” Emma says.

So, how can we scale back how much junk content we consume? 

  1. Set yourself digital detox goals and limit your daily/weekly screen time
  2. Leave the phone at home or on silent when exercising
  3. Unfollow accounts that don’t make you feel good, and follow accounts with positive and uplifting energy
  4. Ask the question – does this add value to my life?
  5. Replace screens with other activities you enjoy - books, puzzles, podcasts, crafts, DIY projects
  6. Focus on self-care and empowering behaviour

For people living in lockdown locations, read more about how to stay connected during this time.

If you’re looking to learn tools and techniques to support sleep health, stress, burnout and anxiety, explore our Empower program. To support women’s health during this time, we have moved our Empower program online to provide the full 6-week program in a digital environment where women from around Australia can come together to learn how to manage stress and anxiety, meditate, support one another and stay connected.

Our next Empower Online program starts on August 3. You can learn more about Empower here.

The content in this blog is for general information only. It does not take into consideration your personal or health conditions. Always consult your GP, medical specialist, or mental health specialist, for health-related advice.

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