Digital Detox is the most modern detox of our time which will greatly improve our lives.
Are you getting palpitations by reading the title? Don’t click out. Hear me out.
Before we go any further, we all know the hold our devices, particularly our smartphones have over us. We should also note, improvements to our lives can only ever happen if we DO something about it. Not if we think about it. Not if we are aware of what we should do. But if we actually take action. I’m not here to lecture, just to steer you in the right direction.
I think we are all have little doubt that our screens are in fact addictive. A 2014 study of 2000 participants paints a disturbing portrait of an average user. They checked their phones 221 times a day. That’s close to once every 3 minutes in a 12 hour time frame. We check our facebook (and other social media), read the news, check the weather, clear our emails and check sporting results just to name a few. This study indicated participants spent over 3 hours a day on their phones. Now that was 5 years ago. I’d say our addiction has grown since this time.
Social media, it is thought is quite detrimental to our health. The effect this has on our vulnerable teens especially, is a worry. In fact, this can easily be a road to stress and depression. They have entered an age, as we all have, of perfectionist presentation. Do you ever look at social media and wonder how everyone around us have such perfect lives and that there must be something wrong with me? We automatically judge ourselves against others portrait of themselves on social media. We look at how many likes we have on our posts. Who has liked us. Who hasn’t liked us. In fact, we are all vulnerable to poor mental health outcomes due to social media which of course leads to poor physical health too.
The thought of giving up our devices or doing any type of digital detox will send anyone’s stress hormones through the roof. So let’s be realistic and plan ways we can change our relationship with our devices.
How this Digital-Detox looks:
- Take notifications off your phone. Do you really need to be notified every time someone likes your post?
- Set a rule of no devices at the dinner table. Going back to actually enjoying our meals and each other seems old fashioned these days but wow, what an improvement to our health this will bring.
- Don’t allow devices in bedrooms. This is important for everyone but for our children it is imperative. It isn’t unheard of for kids to wake at 3am to check their phones to avoid missing out on life!
- Unsubscribe from redundant emails.
- Have set periods through the day where you go device free. Increase the time increments over the next few weeks. Make a definite plan on this, don’t just think it, do it.
- When you get home, put your device in a cupboard on silent. Allow yourself to unwind and only check it once or twice through the evening.
- Turn your phone off when at social outings.
- Prioritise being asleep by 10pm.
- God forbid…. Have a screen free Sunday.. or maybe a half day instead.
Idea’s for your extra Me-Time:
- Have a bath.
- Cook a meal.
- Sit on the train and do some deep breathing.
- Go for a walk without your device and take time to notice your surroundings.
- Talk to your family.
- Ride your bike.
- Sit on a bench in a park.
- Read a trashy magazine.
- Go to a cafe with a friend, or on your own.
- Play music.
- Write a gratitude list.
- Have an early night.
- Have a conversation with your partner.
Some extra Me-Time might just solve the problem of having no time for yourself.
It of course is not up to me to tell you how to set the relationship you have with your devices. In fact, I love the internet, I’m on social media, there are many benefits to it and I couldn’t live without it either. I’m simply bringing it to your attention that this is a real issue and we all know it. You decide to what extent you’d like to digital detox your life.
Again knowing this information isn’t going to improve our health, in fact, the stress of it may make it worse. Knowing we should make changes is not going to improve our health. What will improve our health is actually making changes with the way we interact with our devices.
Let me set a challenge. Write in the comments section of this page 1-2 things you can implement from this blog, this may be something from this blog or your own idea. Commit to it and DO IT… Be in control of your relationship with your device rather than let it control you.