Chances are your smartphone is sat right next to you, that is, if you’re not already using it to read this. And while there’s no arguing that technology has opened us up to a wonderful world of information and connection – in the wild realm of iPads, smartwatches, and screen upon screens, there really is no escaping the digital world.
From dusk to dawn our lives are completely enthralled online. Let’s do a quick show of hands if you check your phone first thing in the morning? OK, we can’t technically see you but we know you have your hand up girl – and to be honest, we do too.
All giggles aside, it’s time to step outside your comfort zone and embark on a digital detox. Even if you don’t get twitchy at the thought of your phone running out of juice, or you’re yet to experience the anxiety of FOMO (fear of missing out), a digital detox is needed for just about everyone from time to time. Trust us, we love our technology and don’t want to dream of a world without it, but since we spend so much of our time looking through pixelated lenses, sometimes we need to take a step back so we don’t overlook the real beauty of our lives.
So, to avoid becoming a slave to your own devices and defining your reality by tiny squares on Instagram, we’ve got 5 tips to help you kick-start your digital detox. It’ll require a lot of self-discipline to break those pesky habits but we know you’re up for the challenge! So are you ready? Here we go…
- Leave it at home. When was the last time you did the grocery shopping (or anything) without your phone? Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to go cold turkey altogether, but it’s about baby steps. Start by leaving your phone at home for an hour, and continue building on the time day by day. Weekends are great for testing the waters, so give it a go. We promise it won’t be as bad as you think.
- Get enough sleep. And keep your devices well away from the bedroom, especially if you want a good night’s sleep. There really are no ifs ands or buts – if you use your phone as a daily alarm then swap it for an alarm clock! Simple changes like this can have an awesome effect on your sleep. If you are going to keep your phone in your bedroom, make sure to turn off all screens at least 1-2 hours before bed. Your bedroom is for sleeping, remember that!
- Airplane mode during workouts. You might be using your phone to blast the tunes on the treadmill and that’s A-OK. But stopping mid-way to reply to a text is a no-no – it will simply derail your focus, decrease your effort – and you won’t benefit from the same rush of endorphins. To avoid all temptations, turn your phone to airplane mode.
- Spread the word. If you’re worried that others won’t be able to reach you, let your nearest and dearest know that you’re taking a break from using your phone. They’ll probably be so in awe of your gutsy decision they might even join you.
- Entertain yourself. For example, do you love meditation? Or are you a bookworm that hasn’t had the time to read in what feels like forever? Regardless of your passions, now is the time to focus on the things you love that doesn’t consist of apps and social media. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to refresh your brain by having some time for yourself, without panicking about anyone else. Let yourself lavish in the real world for a while.
Are you ready to take on a digital detox? We know you’ve got this in the bag – but take your time with it. You wouldn’t run a marathon without running a mile, and this is no different. Whether you’re challenging yourself to 3-hours a day screen-free, a 3-day detox, or a full week going sans social media, any goal is good! If you’re eager to keep us posted, you can tweet us your progress! We would love to hear how it’s going. But in the meantime, grab yourself another cup of tea and read our 5 easy ways to relax, reboot and recharge.