Taking a detox from electronics can be difficult, whether you are taking a break from a game console, smartphone, TV, or social media. We’re so used to the idea of looking at the screen at work, in our free time, and even during our meals, that giving up our electronic devices seems nearly impossible.
However, going tech-free or at least limiting your screen time can significantly improve the way you function on a daily basis and it can do wonders for your health. But how do you actually do a digital detox and why is it so important for your health? Find out more by reading the tips below.
Set limits and limit distractions
Living in a digital era makes it harder to completely disconnect, but setting limits is important if you want to improve your mental well-being. For instance, eating a meal with your family or friends isn’t exactly the time to respond to emails or make phone calls but rather connect with your loved ones.
Similarly, when you’re working on a project, you don’t want to be distracted by any messages, phone calls, or notifications. Leave your cell phone on in case there’s an emergency, but turn on the airplane mode so that you can be more productive. You should also skip using electronic devices before going to bed as this can lower your sleep quality and cause daytime sleepiness. By limiting distractions and setting boundaries on technology usage, you’ll be able to focus more on what really matters – your work, your relationships, and your health.
Ask yourself why you’re using your devices
Humans are creatures of habit, and many of the activities we perform on a daily basis are done by default. For many of us, the first thing we do right after we wake up is to look at our phone. Similarly, when we feel awkward or alone when we’re with a group of people, we instinctively grab our phones to mentally distance ourselves.
While our tech tools can be handy, more often than not, they serve as tools for when we want to ignore or avoid something, or when we need some kind of distraction from what’s going on around us. Next time you reach for your phone, ask yourself why you’re doing it. By questioning your actions and avoiding using your gadgets as a safety blanket, you will allow yourself to be more present and more mindful of your day-to-day actions.
Swap your tech devices for quality, non-electronic gadgets
A digital detox doesn’t have to be as difficult as many of us think it is. Sometimes, all it takes is introducing a couple of non-electronic swaps into our everyday routines. For instance, gadgets such as quality automatic watches can be great for maintaining focus and keeping you active. Because they rely on the natural movement of the wrist for power generation, they don’t require batteries to function and it’s basically you who is making the watch work.
Other than replacing your battery-operated timepiece, you can also make some other non-electronic swaps as well. Consider replacing your e-reader with printed books, and draw using a pen and paper instead of a tablet. In making an effort to limit your use of electronic devices on a daily basis, you can boost your productivity and creativity, increase your attention span, and reduce stress, all the while becoming less dependent on technology in general.
Use the technology to your advantage
Probably the best thing about digital detox is that it can be done in different ways. Although there are some general guidelines to follow when taking a digital fast, there are no strict rules. What this means is you can come up with a digital detox plan that works best for you as an individual.
Whether you choose to give up all electronic devices or restrict your use of one device for a specified time is up to you. Individuals can also choose to rely on technology as a source of motivation to live more healthily. Some might start an interesting 30-day challenge and try a new chrono diet while others can use the Internet to watch exercise tutorials and workout at home. There are so many ways to put technology to good use – all you have to do is find something that works for you.
As much as stressful and uncomfortable giving up electronic devices may seem, taking a break from your tech tools can be a rewarding experience that can improve your health in more than one way. While it might feel difficult and downright impossible at times, going on a digital detox can also provide an insight into your relationship with technology and help you find a way to minimize the anxiety that comes with constant connectivity.