Andre O’Donnell, M.A., LMHC, Psychotherapy and Consultation
Ten Ways to Set Boundaries with Your Smart Phone
Take a break from your phone each day for at least 10 minutes. Walk around the block, run an errand, or exercise without your phone.
Set your phone settings to dim two hours before bedtime each night.
Try deleting a few social media apps and use your internet browser to access them if you really need to use them.
Find at least two healthy substitutes a day, such as taking five deep breaths or drinking a cup of water, for the times you would normally use your phone to avoid unpleasant situations.
Carry a small object around with you that brings you comfort or peace—a small memento, a piece of jewelry, a photograph, an inspirational quote or prayer.
Don’t take your smart phone with you into the bathroom.
Turn off notification sounds and settings. Do you really need to know immediately each time someone comments on a Facebook post?
Designated “no phone zones”. Set up phone free areas in your home or workplace.
Give your phone a human name (i.e. Wanda, John etc.) Referring to your phone by name can help you set boundaries. “Wanda has been distracting me too much lately, I need to stop taking her with me each time I go to the bathroom— it’s getting weird.”
Each time you take out your phone for distraction, pause and ask yourself what you are feeling. Once you’ve identified a feeling (boredom, anxiety, stress, exhaustion, etc.) try asking yourself if there is anything else you can do in the moment to deal with these feelings rather than using your phone.
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