9 tips on balanced use of the Internet and video games

Mental Health   ›   Cyber Dependence and Addiction  ›   9 tips on balanced use of the Internet and video games

To stay balanced, there’s no need to avoid the Internet, video games, and social media altogether! 🎮💻👾 Instead, you need to review your use to make sure that it’s healthy and you’re really having fun. Here is some advice to rebalance your daily life:

Change up your activities 🤪🤹🏻‍♂️🎉

  • Pay more attention to fun, self-affirming things… other than the Internet and video games. For example, you can draw up a list of activities you’d like to do: why not learn to ski 🏂 or play hockey 🏒, start piano lessons 🎹 or walk your dog more often 🐶?
  • Don’t be passive! Take the initiative of inviting your friends or family to do these activities with you.🤺⛸🎳


Prioritize your time ☝️

Do you have homework 📚, a soccer lesson ⚽ or chores to do at home after school? Start with them before you even go online 📱 or play your video games. 🎮


Set a “playing schedule” and respect it ⌚️

Plan your day and allocate specific – and reasonable – periods ⏰ to play games. You can even use alarms ⏱️ to help you manage your game time. Decide on a consequence you’ll have to apply if you don’t respect the schedule you set for yourself. You’re the boss!


Ask your family and friends to help

It’s not always easy to control oneself! Ask your parents 👪 to help you manage your playing time. You can also get them involved by asking them to take an interest in what you do, talking about the games you play, and explaining what you love about these games. Get people involved in your virtual world!


Save time for your family 🗓👨‍👩‍👦‍👦💚

A family dinner, family outing, going to the movies with your little brother, etc. Write these dates down, initiate them, plan them, and respect them. 🎞🍿🌙


Change your routine 🔄

Instead of going online as soon as you wake up, for example, take your shower 🚿, have breakfast 🥞, dawdle in the kitchen for a while to talk to your brother or sister, etc.

Do you remember what you used to do “before”? That is, before games or the Net took up so much room in your life? Look at your daily routine and try to identify how you could gradually bring these activities back into your schedule today.


Set goals for yourself 🎯

When we want to change, it’s motivating to have goals to achieve so we can keep on course. Choose realistic, gradual goals.

You won’t go from 50 hours of video gaming a week to 1 or 2 hours from one day to the next! One step at a time! To start with, what if you turned off all your screens on Saturday morning? 😉


Take stock

Take the time to observe 👀 your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours related to the frequency, duration, and context of your use of the Internet or video games. Are you more relaxed since you started playing less… or less relaxed? Is it easier to cut ️✂️ the length of your sessions or the number?


Consult someone

Solving a dependency problem alone isn’t easy. Don’t hesitate to get help if necessary from a counsellor at your school or the CLSC, or call us at Tel-jeunes! 💜