5 Ways to Digital Detox
Currently, we are the most connected era in the human history and whilst this has many positives – the ability to research anything wherever you are, having the answer to nearly any question at your fingertips or video calling friends and family members in different parts of the world – it can also have a negative impact on our health and well-being. This modern culture of being permanently accessible can lead to being overworked and our dependence on digital devices can cause us to become alienated from the real world.
Our wirelessly connected world keeps us stimulated and awake for longer than our ancestors could have ever even imagined. Although this progress is huge and has made our lives much easier in certain ways, the effect of EMR (electromagnetic radiation) produced by our 24/7 world can take its toll on our bodies.
What is a digital detox?
A digital detox means consciously disconnecting from digital devices and the use of technology, where possible. It’s about giving yourself the opportunity to take a break from things like social media, emails and phone calls and do something for yourself or focus on other aspects of your life that don’t revolve around a smartphone or computer.
5 ways to detox from our digital devices
1. Set time boundaries
Schedule technology-free hours each day. This could be something as simple as staying away from your phone during mealtimes or setting an alarm every day to remind you to go for a walk – just remember to leave your phone behind.
Working at a computer all day can make it harder to avoid screens however it just means it’s even more important to prioritise taking a break. Not only can a break help reduce stress but it also gives your eyes a rest from the strains of staring at a screen.
2. Turn off your phone at a specific time
Powering down your phone before you go up to bed, or better still, before your evening meal and not switching it back on until the next morning is a great way to wind down before going to sleep.
Studies have shown that exposure to artificial blue light at night disrupts our circadian rhythm and suppresses the production of the 'sleep hormone' melatonin. Exposure to blue light at night tells our body that it is still daytime and melatonin is not produced. This makes it more difficult for us to fall asleep and stay asleep.
3. Find alternatives to digital media consumption
When you feel the urge to reach for your phone, why not distract yourself by reading a book or going out for a walk, jog or hike. Head to the seaside and go for a barefoot stroll along the beach; not only are you giving yourself the opportunity to clear your mind but you’re getting in your daily dose of earthing and reaping the many benefits that being outside in nature brings.
If you find there’s a certain time of day where you incessantly scroll your phone to cure the boredom or fill a lull in your day, try and fill that time with a new hobby instead. It could be something as small as enjoying your morning cuppa in silence before the busy day begins - better still if you can do this with your feet resting on the dewy grass outside - or something bigger like taking up an exercise class or learning a new skill.
Are you the sort of person that struggles to go for a walk or exercise without listening to music? You could always create an offline playlist on your phone, turn on airplane mode so you’re not tempted to scroll, pop on some air tube headsets to reduce EMR exposure and then you’re ready to go.
4. Ban digital devices from certain areas of your home
Creating a tech-free zone in bedrooms not only removes the EMFs, it also removes the temptation for digital distraction, allowing the mind, body and soul some downtime. Sleep is fundamental to our overall health and bedtime is a time for rest and rejuvenation, making it the perfect room in your home to ban the devices. Also, if you have to go into a different room to use a device, it may deter you from mindlessly scrolling, something the majority of us are guilty of.
To further resist temptation, switch your phone off or place it on airplane mode so you don’t hear any notifications coming through.
If you struggle to get to sleep and need some time to wind down once you’re comfortably tucked up in bed, you could read a book or magazine. Use something subtle like a blue light-free bedside lamp or book light to help you read whilst reducing blue light exposure at night. Check out our range of blue light-free healthy lighting.
5. Take advantage of your phone’s apps and features
Your phone’s features can help you control your overall technology use. Depending on what make and model of phone you have, you can set limits for what you want to manage. For example, you can turn off notifications for certain apps, you can set daily time limits or you can schedule downtime where only phone calls and apps of your choosing are available.
There are many other ways to detox from your digital devices and find better habits in your daily life. Overall, it can help you to achieve a healthier work-life balance, reduce stress and improve your mental health and well-being.