Does constantly responding to your email and messages leave you feeling drained? Do you feel naked or anxious without your phone by your side? Does spending time on social media leave you more depressed than inspired? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it might be time to unplug for a while and give yourself a tech break.
Our modern world offers so many useful apps and gadgets, but they quickly lose their magic when they become more of a burden than a help. Recent studies and information are coming out about how screen time is affecting our physical health, sleep cycles, mental health and even relationships. Being constantly connected to our devices can create extra stress in our already busy and over-scheduled lives. A digital detox may seem challenging at first, however, there are lots of ways to incorporate less screen time into your life without moving completely off the grid. Here are few easy ways to unplug.
1) Turn off your push notifications. Those little red notices that appear when you have a new email or post like? Go into your settings and turn them off. Check your apps when you feel like it, not the exact moment something new is happening.
2) Spend time in nature. Breathe fresh air, watch the wildlife, and feel your feet on the earth rooting down into the ground.
3) Give yourself an hour before bed and an hour after you wake up before checking your phone. This can be a hard one to follow, so try setting a reminder or alarm to let you know it’s time to wind down for the day. Try using a real alarm clock instead of your phone. When you wake up, spend time doing your morning routine with care and love before you get sucked into checking Instagram or reading your emails.
4) Go out to lunch with friends and keep the phones OFF the table. Even seeing your phone sitting face down can heighten your stress and take you out of the moment.
5) Take a one-day adventure and leave your phone at home. Go camping, perfect your favorite skill or hobby, take a new class, volunteer, take a train or bus ride, enjoy a hike, visit a spa or a good friend, etc. See how it feels to just experience the activity you are enjoying and immerse yourself in the present. Don’t worry about documenting it! Try to savor the experience with every sense: sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste.
6) Stick to one screen at a time. Avoid scrolling through Facebook while watching TV, or working on your computer and messaging someone at the same time. Try to keep your full focus on one task or activity, and then when it’s completed move on to the next thing. Keeping your attention in the present moment can help you from feeling scattered and distracted.