How to kick start your digital detox
Date: May 2019
Is your phone the last thing you use at night and the first thing you check in the morning?
Are you constantly checking your social media feed?
Would you feel stressed or irritated if you went a whole day without checking your email?
If so, it might be time for a digital detox.
What are the benefits of a digital detox?
Before we discuss how to kickstart your digital detox, let’s talk a little bit about how it can improve your well-being.
While our smartphones are a great tool for convenience and socialising, using the internet a lot for things such as social media can take its toll on your mental health.
Turning off technology can help with many wellbeing issues, including:
And many more issues relating to the pressures of modern society and being online during most of the day.
How to start your digital detox
Start small & commit to certain periods without your devices
Detoxing doesn’t always mean going cold turkey, especially if you use your devices for work.
Why not start by introducing a phone-free meal time in your home or go for a walk without any tech? Easing in device-free periods will help reduce your usage to a healthier level and means you can focus on time spent with your loved ones or just relaxing on your own.
Choose allocated periods of time & areas in your home for device user
Rather than carrying your phone with you everywhere, especially at home, make a ‘phone station’ for you and your family where you can all leave your phones to charge or just to place them there when you’re not using them.
You could even set up an area of your home where this is the only place people can use certain devices, e.g. only using computers, laptops and tablets in your spare bedroom.
Delete social media apps from your phone
Social media apps are potentially the most used apps on phones, especially with younger generations. If you find yourself addicted to scrolling through your feed, it might be time to start deleting the apps from your phone.
Still struggling to live without Facebook or Instagram? Try limiting yourself to only checking the sites when you’re on a computer.
Unsubscribe from emails & app notifications
Our email inboxes can quickly fill up with junk and spam, and app notifications can also become a bit excessive. Unsubscribing and marking emails as junk can help detox your inbox, meaning you only see important emails.
Managing your app settings for sites like Twitter and Facebook will also enable you to only see notifications that are really relevant to you, rather than your phone vibrating every five minutes with notifications from a friend of a friend or a group conversation.
Treat yourself to a better night’s sleep
In order to have a good night’s sleep, research suggests keeping your phone away from the bedroom and your eyesight at least an hour before you sleep. It’s definitely worth charging your phone in another room and using a physical alarm clock, as you won’t be interrupted in the night.
Try and unplug from all devices and wind down a couple of hours before you plan to go to sleep to help your brain relax and help you get a better night's sleep.
Start a non-digital hobby on a digital detox
There are lots of hobbies out there that existed long before the days of blogging, gaming and gambling online. Why not take up a physical craft like sewing or knitting? Or treat yourself to a run in the park or a yoga class?
After all, sitting around leads to boredom, which means more time spent staring at a screen. So, a hobby that doesn’t involve a device can definitely help improve your wellbeing and give you a sense of achievement.
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Next review: 10 May 2022