Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography
I have always found that at this time of year, technology has started to become overwhelming and a digital detox is usually in order. Nowadays festivities start in September, the days get shorter and the hours we spend with our heads in our phones definitely gets longer. After a mere two months of this, it can start to have an effect on our minds, which can also lead to tiredness and an even bigger case of ‘the Winter blues’. Now, you may be reading this and disagree with me, in which case this blog post isn’t for you, however if you are agreeing, please do carry on reading.
Technology is overwhelming at any time of year, and the intense amount of time we each spend online always needs to be balanced out by a healthy amount of fresh air, human interaction and of course, screen free time.
I am the Queen of having my head in my phone, laptop, computer, iPad as I have to be on one for work, for my studying, for my blog and most of the time even to connect with my friends and family. We all lead such busy lives, so sometimes indulging for hours in a family WhatsApp group is the main way you keep up with each other! I may be the Queen of this, but I am also very good at switching it all off and appreciating everything else our wonderful world has to offer. My brain physically can’t handle too much time online, so regular day time breaks and digital detoxes are totally my thing.
Now you may be thinking that it is impossible, you just simply can’t help reaching for your phone when you’re on the sofa, sat in the car or even having a peak during your meal, but believe me it has to be done for the sake of your mental sanity. So, my five easy peasy ways to detox include:
Regular Breaks – this one will only apply if you spend all your day on a computer, tablet or phone like I do. The key is to have an alarm, always set it for 30 minutes and then when it goes off you need to stand, stretch it out, look out the window and take a few deep breaths before returning to work a few minutes later. Staying hydrated during the day is also essential as the lights in our screens put a lot of pressure on our eyes, so if you are well hydrated it will just make everything a little easier.
Instagram Time Limits – now I am pretty lucky nowadays that I don’t tend to have the free time I used to in order to spend hours every day scrolling through my Instagram, so I don’t have to do this as much, but it is still an effective tool. When you go on your phone to look at your social media apps, or play a game etc.… set yourself a timer on your phone. I used to set and still do sometimes at the weekend a 15-minute timer, where I would then go on the app and as soon as it went off I would quickly finish he last thing I was doing and put my phone down. It takes discipline, but once you start you do very quickly get into the routine.
Phone Free Bed Times – this is one I still struggle with if I haven’t been on my phone much in the day and I want to catch up, but banning your phone from the bedroom is such a positive thing. I always have mine in the room in case of emergency, but I try to be as strict as possible not to go on it before bed. You know what it’s like, before you know it an hour has passed and all you’ve done is look at ridiculous videos on Facebook and then you can’t get to sleep!
Socialise when you’re socialising – this one always makes me laugh. I can’t stand it when I see groups of people, friends, family etc.… out and about together, with their faces in their phones!! You might as well be at home on the sofa just texting each other! You may think I spend a lot of time on my phone and everyone, but one thing I have always tried my best at and been reasonably good at is not being on it when I’m socialising. Also, whilst we’re on the subject, I don’t need to watch the entire concert you went to through your Instagram stories…. I would have just gone myself!! Sorry not sorry.
Do something practical every single day. This is something I was told a few years ago and it always kind of stuck with me. At least once a day, every day, we should all be doing something with our hands. This can be making a meal, cleaning something, drawing something, writing with pen and paper, even creating a fancy makeup look. It is something practical, but it also has to be something that you are completely focused on. I always find, when I dedicate an hour or so to doing one of these, usually cooking, it feels like my mind has hit the reset button. I feel instantly refreshed even though I’ve been busy. It really is a great way to enjoy a small digital detox.
What is the best way you find to switch off?
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