Phone, laptop, tablet; there are countless ways with which we stay connected to the world around us, whether or not we want to. Many of us have become so tuned into our digital devices, that they have started to take priority in our lives, drawing away our attention when we should be focusing elsewhere. Despite the multiple ways in which technology like this can help us, persistent and long term use can also have a detrimental effect on our levels of stress; when we don’t turn off our phone, our brain can also not switch off.
If you find yourself getting a little nervous each time your phone buzzes or thinking constantly about your work, then you might be due a digital detox. A period of time in which all digital activity is banned, detoxes like these are designed to help people really relax and rest from the online world. Free from the distractions of technology, we are able to appreciate the moment in which we find ourselves and the people with whom we spend our time. If your phone has been beeping just a little too much lately, it could be time to turn it off and focus on yourself. Afterwards, you might just feel remarkably refreshed.
Take It Slowly
If the thought of switching off all your devices for a prolonged period of time fills you with dread, then try taking a few baby steps towards your first digital detox. Turning off your phone a few hours earlier each night and avoiding checking things like emails and social media platforms can really help you to get into the habit of detaching yourself from your devices. Switching off earlier in the evening can also have a significantly positive effect on your mental wellbeing and stress levels, making it easier to fall asleep and get a better night’s rest.
Learn How To Entertain Yourself
So much of what we do after work and during the weekend is connected to some kind of screen that without one, it can be hard to know how to spend our time. Before you switch off entirely, try looking into a new activity or hobby that doesn’t involve any digital activity. Taking part in sports activities, creatives classes or simply reading a book can be a great way of shifting your focus and making living without digital devices for a period of time much more easy. The more things that you have to do without technology, the less you will need to check it.
Limit Your Social Interactions
While social media platforms are a great way of catching up with far flung friends and sharing interesting content, they can also trick us into thinking that we have been much more sociable than we might in fact have been. Cutting your presence on platforms like Facebook and Twitter to once during the morning and the evening is a great way of reconnecting with reality and will encourage you to see your friends in real life. The less you are using online platforms, the more that you will connect to the world around you.
Turn To Paper
If the alerts from your calendar and organizational apps are starting to get the better of you, it might be a good idea to cut out the digital planner entirely from your life. Using traditional paper planners and calendars can help you stay just as on top of your life, without the constant need to stare into a screen. Leaving your planner somewhere that you can see it will ensure that you don’t miss any of those important appointments.
Hide Your Phone
While you might need your smartphone during the day to keep in touch with those most important to you, you will rarely need it over the course of the night. If you have a landline for emergencies, you can try hiding your phone in another room while you sleep so that you won’t be woken up by incoming alerts and messages. Alternatively, you can sleep with your phone facing down so that you can still hear it ring but won’t be distracted by the glow of emails during the night.
Taking time away from technology is something that the majority of us aim to do but actually going through with it can sometimes prove a little more difficult. If you want to aim for a full digital detox, try taking these steps to prepare you for your time away from technology. When it comes to switching off, you might be surprised at just how easy it is.