Beat the Screen Fatigue

— Written By and last updated by Tamara Carawan
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lady with head down on computer

Quarantine and social distancing has been in effect for nearly twelve weeks now. As grateful as I am that we have means to connect with friends, family, and the kids in our 4-H program by video chat, sometimes it feels like I am always staring at a screen. Even as we all are much more accustomed to entertaining ourselves with films, television, or our phones, Screen Fatigue is a real thing.

So how do we beat the Screen Fatigue?

One of the best ways to beat Screen Fatigue is to get out and get active. While that used to be an easy thing to do we now have a few more things to consider before we head to the park. There are some great games to play at home with your family. Blind Man’s Bluff and hopscotch are great options. One of our favorite games to play during 4-H Summer Day Camps is Ghost in the Grave Yard, or you make your own Graces hoop (instructions on our website).

Another way to keep the boredom blues away and disconnect from your screens is a book, which is why I’m so happy that the library has opened back up. While we all continue to practice safe social distancing, it’s wonderful to have cornerstones of our community open again. The Pamlico County Library is still focused on keeping the community safe, with curbside pickup, and Wednesdays dedicated to high risk families. A full library schedule can be accessed on their website and that’s not the only thing you can find on their website.

While I am still looking forward to our Book Explorers program being able to meet again, I am super excited that kids can continue do some exploring on their own. We have some suggestions on our website, however, a new feature on the library’s website is a book list generator. It’s not just a randomization of books, it’s actually a personalized reading list, based on your last reads, age, and interests. While you’re there, you can also check out the audio books available to be borrowed. Audio books can be a great accompaniment to a day spent out in the garden.

I talk a lot about being in the garden. I confess it’s one of my favorite places to be. It’s also part of some of my favorite childhood memories. Picking blueberries with my grandfather in our orchard, plotting out an English herb garden with my aunt, planting a mini farm with my mum and dad and sister, attending 4-H Junior Master Gardeners with my friends, and growing vegetables to be donated to the local food bank. This year so many events that we expect to be a part of our memories have been postponed and canceled. Our community safety is tantamount, but that doesn’t take away the sadness I and so many have felt at the disruption of

That disruption extends to our 4-H Summer Garden, but it doesn’t have to put a stopper on garden fun. We do have a virtual Garden to Gourmet program that combines virtual chat rooms, printables, and a guide to get out in your own garden, get your hands in the dirt, get some things growing, and make plans on how to enjoy those treats.

Even though gardening has been a part of my favorite memories, 4-H STEM Camps were some of the best part of my summers. They are still a favorite part of my summers. While we can’t collaborate in person, we do have 4-H Engineering Challenges. We have set some engineering challenges that can be tackled at home, combined with Zoom sessions to trouble shoot with other kids and printables for engineering fun at home.

For more information about our combined hands-on and virtual summer programs, our Garden to Gourmet and 4-H Engineering Challenges, give us a call or check out our website. Kids who have registered will be provided with kits to complete the projects in our Virtual Programs, but printables, and video recordings will be made available for everyone. You can also access other resources for coping with stress and screen fatigue on our website. For more information on 2020 Summer Fun Programs check out our website or give us a call at 252-745-4121.