We live in a time where technology is prevalent in every aspect of our lives, which can make it seem like we simply can’t live without it! With our smartphone alarms to wake us in the morning, our smart watches to alert us of every meeting and reminder throughout the day, our laptops to keep us productive, and our social apps to mindlessly scroll through for a dopamine kick, it can be easy to slip into a situation where every moment of the day is accompanied by some form of screen time.
Have you ever considered that screen time may be contributing an appreciable level of stress to your everyday experiences? The lights and stimuli from screens have an impact on our anatomy and can cause repeated stress to our Central Nervous Systems. As a result, studies have shown that we can become angry, impulsive, isolated, aggressive and less empathetic. (National Library of Medicine)
The solution? Digital detox! A welcome break from digital devices not only frees up our time to focus on the lively world around us, but it allows us to engage in activities that make us happy and that can lead to incredible mental health benefits. Keep reading to unveil my best tips for carrying out a digital detox! XO Nina
The Benefits of a Digital Detox
Is technology holding you back from living in the moment? The results of taking a step back from our screens, and a step into the real world, can have wonderful benefits on our personal lives, including:
- A reconnection with the world around you
- Sharper focus
- Higher productivity
- Less stress
- More control of your time
- Time for new hobbies
- Enhanced social interactions
- Improved sleep
- Better health
- More time for yourself
- A more enjoyable life
Choose a Behavior to Change
Take a second to acknowledge the form of media where you are spending the most of your time. Are you always binge-watching your favorite shows after a long day of work? Have you been stuck inside the entire weekend playing too many video games? Do you spend hours a day scrolling through social media or watching trending TikToks? The first step to a digital detox is to select which activities you want to reduce or eliminate altogether.
Schedule Time Away From Screens Throughout the Day
If you work on a computer all day, it can be difficult to take a break. This makes it even more important to prioritize time away from the screen. Set an alarm or reminder to go for a walk or spend time with your furry friend instead of spending your free time answering your latest email. If you’re going to run errands or venture outdoors, challenge yourself to leave your phone at home. This allows you to be more engaged in what you’re doing and can encourage you to enjoy the beauty of the present moment.
Create Specific Goals
Set goals for yourself to make it easier to follow through with your digital detox. For example, focus on your morning and night routine instead of checking your phone right when you wake up and go to sleep. When you set specific goals, over time they can turn into good, long-lasting habits.
Adjust Your Phone Settings to Limit Certain Apps
Thankfully, iPhone users are able to limit their apps and schedule downtime where the only notifications you receive are phone calls. It can be very easy to lose track of the time we spend on our phones, so this is a wonderful feature for reducing screen time.
It can be difficult to practice self-discipline on our own. A great way to build in support is to have a partner, family member, or close friend encourage and hold you accountable when you take on this digital detox. Share your goals and ask them to check in with you on your progress. You can even detox together and hold each other accountable!
Assess Your Progress
After a few days of your detox, check in with yourself and be sure to keep track of your progress. Note how you feel and what you may be noticing about your daily experiences now that you’re spending less time in the digital space. But be cautious about swapping one digital habit for another. For example, if you’re spending less time on social media, make sure you aren’t replacing that time with TV!
Consider Long-Term Changes
Be aware of the benefits of your digital detox. Do you feel more energized and able to focus? How did you feel about spending less time on your phone? Was it easier or harder than you imagined? Decide if you feel like this was beneficial for the long term or if you will continue with short-term detoxes to stay focused on other areas of your life.
Although technology has many benefits in terms of our careers, keeping us connected with loved ones, and allowing us to consume media as a way to relax, it can have detrimental effects on our well-being.
Challenge yourself to a three day digital detox and leave a comment below to let us know how the experience impacted you and your daily life!