This holiday season consider switching off the phone, computer and television screens during your celebrations to give your family and friends the gift of your full and focused attention.
Many of us pull out our screens reflexively as soon as we have an unoccupied moment. We use our devices to check in on work and social media, to provide entertainment and also to avoid uncomfortable feelings. Ultimately this leaves us overstimulated and exacerbates feelings of disconnection and emptiness.
Winter holidays make a great time to encourage everyone in your family to unplug from school and work commitments and switch off the screens. Just a few days of no screen time can make a big impact for everyone.
Benefits of Switching Off for the Holidays:
People report feeling calmer and more satisfied with their lives after taking a few days away from technology.
Workers are more productive and show greater creativity after a complete break from their duties during the holidays.
Face to face time with family members creates stronger bonds and helps us to feel connected.
Children interact with other people more, leading to stronger understanding of facial cues and the foundations of empathy and compassion.
Switching off screens during mealtimes can be especially beneficial, leading to eating less, feeling more satisfied, and digesting meals better.
The majority of children feel their parents spend too much time on their devices ‘just checking’ things. Switching screens off and giving them your full attention helps kids to feel valued.
Make it a family project and let your kids help you too. Switching off is difficult for everyone and it helps to get everyone on board for support.
We are only half present when we divide our attention between the current moment and whatever is on our screen. Perhaps the biggest benefit to switching off for the holidays is the lasting memories of real interaction that it will encourage.