digital detox

4 Steps to a Digital Detox

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Between text messages, emails, music, podcasts and social media notifications, it is no wonder that we are all glued to our phones. We have all been at dinner with a person who just cannot put their phone down. We all have a friend who works around the clock because she can’t seem to ignore the email notifications popping up on her screen. Or maybe WE are these friends!

For many of us, staying connected is a necessity. Technology has made working, socializing and entertaining so much easier, but it has also created a situation where people panic if they can’t get plugged in. Digital FOMO (fear of missing out) is a phenomenon that plagues many people today. There is such a strong need to connect, stay up-to-date and meet expectations that we are all feeling the impact. Plenty of research has shown that our addiction to technology has created feelings of stress and depression for many people.

So with this in mind, who’s up for a digital detox? 

To get the positive effects of a digital detox, you don’t have to forgo technology altogether. There are tons of things you can do to be more mindful about how and when you use it. If you think that a digital detox would be completely impossible for you, remember that there was a time (not too long ago) when we didn’t rely on these little devices as much as we do now. Like any kind of behavior, we have the power to change it if we desire to do so.

Spending a little bit too much time on your phone, computer or tablet? Read on to find out some of our favorite tips for changing this behavior and becoming more present in your life. After the initial discomfort, we know you will see an improvement in your in-person relationships and your overall mood. 

Tips for Your Digital Detox

We know that it might not be feasible for a full-on digital detox–no computer, no phone, no social media. So here are 4 tips that can help you significantly change your digital behavior and help you reap the benefits of a true digital detox. Try one or even a few of these tips and we guarantee that you will see positive changes in your life.

Do Not Disturb

Many phones have a Do Not Disturb feature that allows you to stop notifications and phone calls from making noise or lighting up your screen. You can set this feature for any amount of time, maybe an hour before bed or the period between waking up and arriving at work. You can also customize the settings to allow notifications and calls from specific people so you can still be reached in case of an emergency. 

Delete Your Biggest Time Wasters

Do you have certain apps on your phone where you spend the majority of your time? Do you find that you are aimlessly scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feeds just to keep your mind occupied? A great way to give yourself a digital detox is to temporarily remove the apps where you waste most of your time. Sure, it may seem difficult at first. But you will be surprised at how much free time you have that can be filled with other things that make you happy and healthy. 

Get Out of Town

Plan a trip or weekend getaway where the goal is not only to explore but to avoid using any technology. It’s easier to stay off your phone when you are occupied by new places, activities and adventures. You don’t have to go far, as long as you make a point to leave your phone behind and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of wherever you are and whoever you are with.

Set Some Boundaries

Setting boundaries for your digital life can give you clear-cut expectations on what is okay and what is not okay when it comes to technology. Some examples of boundaries that might help you in your digital detox include:

  • Not allowing phones or tablets at the dinner table- for children and adults. 
  • When out to dinner with a group, keep your phone in your bag or pocket.
  • Ask your friends to leave their phones at the door when you host a dinner party or game night.
  • Choose a day (or even two or three) every month where you avoid technology altogether.
  • Commit to reading at least one book every month. 
  • Check your email at designated times during the day, not every time you get a notification. 

Ready to Start Your Digital Detox?

Today, most of us could benefit from some degree of a digital detox. The benefits of staying present in our work and with the people we care about far outweigh the mindless scrolling through Instagram or the incessant checking of your email.

Do you think you could use a digital detox?  We challenge you to start today by picking one tip from the list above.

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