Editorial: Give yourselves a break

Take+a+break+from+the+screen+and+make+time+to+relax+this+season.

Zachary Khouri

Take a break from the screen and make time to relax this season.

Carlmont students can feel the pressure weighing down on them. Between finals season, college applications for seniors, and pandemic isolation, the end of 2020 isn’t going to be easy. However, it’s essential to give yourself a break.

You’ve heard it dozens of times before since the pandemic began, but it’s a piece of advice you need to take to heart. 

If you have time to be scrolling through Instagram and Twitter for hours each day, I guarantee that you can spend time away from the screen. No, social media does not count as “relaxing.” Studies affirm that social media-related anxiety can become an addiction, leading to heightened depression and anxiety levels in users. 

Furthermore, research links social media use to low sleep quality; sleep deprivation can significantly impact your ability to succeed. When compounded with increased inattention, social media may have detrimental effects on your test performance. Although it may seem natural to bounce between the computer and the phone, it will only keep adding to your stress, especially since you are already spending hours on end in Zoom classes and on homework assignments. 

While it’s easy to read these statistics and make no changes to your lifestyle, you have to be willing to take the initiative to reduce stress. You may ask, “What are the best methods that I can employ to combat social media addiction?”

If you have an Apple product, you can use your settings to put time limits on different apps. Additionally, you can turn off notifications so that they don’t pop up on your screen. You could even benefit from silencing your phone altogether; the noise that comes with a message can trigger you to open it up because of classical conditioning. After completing these actions, you can bring one of your old backpacks and place the phone inside so that you are unable to see it. Those who do not own a bag can always store the phone in a cupboard or drawer to keep themselves from temptation. 

However, the best means that you can use to break an addiction is to replace it with a more positive habit.

The most helpful recommendation that I can give you is to meditate. Without spending a dime, minutes of research can bring you to numerous, free guided meditations on YouTube. Dim the screen’s brightness, turn off the lights, and let your body and mind take a much-needed breather. 

Every time you consider opening your phone, participate in a guided meditation instead of heading straight to social media. 

My fellow Carlmont students, allow yourselves a break. After all the hard work you’ve done this semester, you deserve it. 

*This editorial reflects the views of the Scot Scoop editorial board and was written by Zachary Khouri. 

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