I have never felt such a strong need to digital detox before these past few weeks. With the combination of being stuck at home and resorting to being on my phone and laptop and every single piece of content on the Internet being about the pandemic, I simply can’t wait to get off my devices for a bit. Being inundated with depressing and frustrating news for hours on end can sometimes just be too much. And, while I think this is a particularly important moment in time for a detox, I’m pretty positive that disconnecting can be very helpful for our mental health at any time.
To me, a digital detox doesn’t need to be unplugging completely. If you want to take that route, definitely go for it! But, you can also just set a limit on how long you’re “on” at a time, a daily limit, specific times of day you’re “off,” etc. I think it’s important to: 1. be realistic, and 2. do what will work for you, so that you’re able to stick with it.
I 100% understand that this is a very small problem in the grand scheme of things, so I’m in no way trying to take away from the bigger issues at hand. At any rate, I do think this is something that should be addressed, because mental health is just as important as physical health. So, here are just a few tips on how to digital detox… I hope it helps!
- Let your friends and family members know that you’ll be off the grid for a little. I would definitely recommend doing this before you start your detox… I don’t think this really needs to be explained, but you don’t want to worry your friends and family if they can’t get in contact with you.
- Put your devices on Do Not Disturb. Do Not Disturb is genuinely one of my favorites features on my phone; I find it much easier to not reach for my phone if it’s not constantly lighting up or buzzing. And, for a digital detox, the less temptation, the better! (Worth noting: I have mine set so if someone calls twice in a row, the phone rings the second time. That way, if there’s an emergency or someone really needs to contact you, you won’t miss it).
- Delete some apps. You might find it helpful to delete the apps that are the most addicting for you. If you find yourself mindlessly opening up Twitter at all hours of the day, just delete the app from your phone for the time being. I’ve done this plenty of times with various apps (most recently Tik Tok, lol), and found it to be super helpful. It’s harmless, because it’s so quick and easy to reinstall whatever you’ve deleted once you’ve decided you want it back.
- Ask “why” when you reach for your devices. One of the biggest issues for me personally is that I pick up my phone or open up my laptop for no reason — it’s completely mindless. I don’t have anything that needs to get done, anyone I need to call, emails to write — nothing! I’m literally just picking them up for no reason. So, if you can get into the habit of asking “why?” when you reach for one, it will help you determine if you should continue or put it right back down. Mindfulness is key, here.
- Find other ways to spend your time. This is pretty obvious: Without your electronics, you’re definitely going to need something else to fill up your time. You can read books, paint, journal, learn an instrument, start a puzzle, use a coloring book — anything! One random specific thing I like is to fill out Mad Libs… I used to use these all the time on road trips or at summer camp, and now in my mid-twenties I’m wondering why we ever stopped using them 🙂
- Wear a watch. One main reasons I reach for my phone is to check the time. If you wear a regular watch (not a smart watch, for obvious reasons), then that easily eliminates this reason.
How are you personally handing all of this? Do you find the nonstop news and conversation overwhelming? Will you be partaking in a digital detox? Thanks so much for reading! x