Detox Your Digital World with 5 Steps
Hey loves. So recently I’ve been thinking a lot about technology detoxes because I’ve been trying to slowly detox myself from all of my electronics (which is hilarious because my job is to be on a computer all day). Unless vacationing on a tropical island (or in Bali), it’s impossible to completely detox from technology, especially in our social media-obsessed world. This can make the task seem too daunting to even attempt, so I hope this article helps you detox your digital world with 5 steps.
- Sleep with your cell phone in another room. This is something I’ve started doing recently, and it has reduced my phone usage significantly. Buy yourself a real alarm clock and put your phone on silent in another room an hour or two before you want to fall asleep. This forces you to detach from the technology with plenty of time for your mind to relax and your body to prepare for sleep. If you are tempted to go check your phone at any point, breath deeply and focus on letting go of the stressors of your day.
- Turn off all technology before sleep. If you take the first step with your cell phone, you may be tempted to watch your favorite shows before bed, especially if you have a TV in your room. While this activity may seem relaxing, especially if it’s part of your nightly routine, the light from the TV is actually entering your hypothalamus and inhibiting the release of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone that causes you to feel tired at night. Falling asleep with the TV on also inhibits your brain from entering the deepest stages of sleep, causing you to wake up feeling groggy. Instead, turn the TV off 1 – 2 hours before bed and try reading a book until you feel tired.
- Avoid technology as long as possible when you wake up. How many of you roll over to turn off the alarm, and immediately start checking your email / messages / social media accounts? I’m guilty of it too, but this heavy use of mobile technology has been associated with higher levels of stress and worse sleep problems. You may think you are just trying to be productive, but in fact you are overwhelming your consciousness with the demands of the day. Allow yourself 15 – 30 minutes in the morning to think about your day and keep your peace internal
- Schedule Time for Social Media / Email. Studies show that constantly checking your social media and/or email not only creates stress and distraction, but also inhibits productivity related to checking these accounts. It may seem important to check email as they arrive, but if you don’t have time to respond to emails the moment that they come in, what is the point of checking them at all? Pick 2-4 times per day to check your email/social media: once in the morning, once at the end of the day, and once in the evening before you turn off for the night. This allows you to dedicate time to these accounts so that you can give your full attention and respond productively, without allowing yourself to be mindlessly distracted all day.
- Put away your phone around friends and family. Do you find yourself checking your phone constantly throughout the day, even if it doesn’t ring? This habitual checking is a symptom of an addiction to technology and a need to be with our phones at all times. When you are with family and friends, put your phone in a bag, in the car, or just leave it at home so you aren’t able to check when temptation arises. If you need to use your phone as a camera, put it on airplane mode so that you aren’t bombarded with people contacting you.
I hope these steps help you all disconnect a little in order to be more present in the world around you. Do you all have any more tricks? Let me know