Mia Gallucci: Stuck in a Rut? Challenge Your Daily Routine

Do you ever find that your free time is spent bouncing between screens – whether that is a TV, iPad, or cellphone? According to reviews.org, “Americans spend an average of 2 hours and 54 minutes on their phones each day. The average American will spend nearly a month and a half (44 days) on their phones in 2022.” 

Our lives can be dominated by technology and constant updates about the world around us. As a person in my 20’s, I find myself and others my age consumed by media during all hours of the day. Often, the influx of information we absorb through the internet can be enjoyable or even educational, such as catching up on what your childhood friend shared on social media or watching a how-to video online. 

However, the never-ending posts on the internet can turn toxic when we constantly compare ourselves to what our family, friends or celebrities are sharing online. Recently, I set aside my phone during a vacation and found that I created more time and space in my day for new activities and adventures. At that moment, I realized my routine was in a rut. I was constantly waking up and falling asleep to notifications, missed calls and texts. It made me irritable, anxious and afraid of “missing out.” 

It turns out, I’m not the only one. Studies have shown that high levels of screen time are linked to anxiety, interrupted sleep cycles and can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. While we may gain virtual connection with others online, we can lose sight of the opportunities we can create for ourselves. Investing time into our own interests and curiosities can improve the quality of both our own life and mental health.  

You might be thinking, “There’s only 24 hours in a day; I don’t have time to change my routine!” or “I’ll wait until the weekend to have fun.” However, there are only 52 weekends in a year. That leaves us with roughly 261 weekdays that shouldn’t go to waste. While we all lead busy lives, the key to shaking up your daily routine is by cutting out time spent on activities that don’t fuel positive outcomes and rededicating that time toward activities that will either improve your life or someone else’s.  

For example, do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling on social media for 30 minutes before bed? Cut out that half hour of social media and rededicate that time for a new activity, such as reading a new novel as part of a local or virtual book club. This option can help improve the quality of your sleep and create connections with others! 

Adding new activities into our weekday routines can take anywhere from minutes a day to a few hours a week. Some examples include: 

  • Volunteering 
  • Learning a language 
  • Taking a class 
  • Exploring a new hobby 
  • Challenging a fear 
  • Trying a new sport 

Over the next few months, I will be challenging myself to shake up my daily routine and I invite you to join me! Before you know it, you’ll be spending less time comparing yourself to others online and instead investing that time into your own goals and passions. 

I look forward to packing our lives with more activity! Follow along for where my adventures will take me next. 

Opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or its subsidiaries and affiliates. 

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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