Do you know that feeling of losing time when you are immersed in technology? Or perhaps feeling a little groggy after too much time with screens? Sure, we all can fall into this trap. Many of us are using electronic devices and looking at various screens for large portions of our day. This may have increased due to working remotely, or just a habit that has crept into our modern lives.
Whether you find yourself scrolling through social media throughout the day, binge watching television, or sending off dozens of emails and texts, there is a good chance that you are letting electronics take up time that you could be spending on other things that you value more. While some forms of electronic use can be vital to your day for work or communications, it can be beneficial to take some time away from the digital world and regroup.
This can be done through a digital detox which entails setting boundaries regarding your electronic device usage or physically separating yourself from your cell phone, laptop, tablet, or any other device for a set amount of time. We are used to setting screen time limits for kids, but do we perhaps also need a little Digital Detox ourselves?
Time and Duration
Although you may be thinking that separating yourself from your devices isn’t feasible for your lifestyle or work demands, there are many different ways you can go about a digital detox. There is no specific amount of time you must be away from your devices for a Detox. While some people may choose to do a day-long digital detox, it is also an option to set aside a couple of hours in your day or evening to disconnect.
Try to choose a time and duration for your detox that not only works for your schedule but will also make a significant impact on your day. This means choosing a time when you would usually be on a device. In preparation for your digital detox, you may wish to tend to any obligations and necessary communications in advance. This will help you feel less stressed about being away from your email or phone. You may also wish to let any of your contacts know ahead of time so that they don’t become concerned when they are unable to reach you.
Keep in mind that this detox doesn’t have to be a physical separation from your devices. This may not be possible, or you may want to keep your phone on for emergencies. If you are not partaking in a physical separation, set some boundaries regarding your device usage.
You can turn off your phone, or only allow calls from certain callers. You can also set your phone to airplane mode in order to avoid getting notifications or being tempted to use apps that require internet connection. This may be useful if you are wanting to play music while you spend time away from the internet.
Use the time away from your devices to connect with the people who are physically with you. Go outside and enjoy nature. Get caught up in a hobby like painting or knitting. If you find yourself reaching for your phone or device, ask yourself why you feel the need to use it. Try and address this reason without using a device. For example, if you are bored, try out something new and engaging.
In our household we have a few simple rules that help us set boundaries around screen-time. First, no phones at the dinner table, and second, no phones in the bedroom unless using a meditation app. Then, I also try to not have my phone the first thing that I go to in the morning and the last thing that I see at night. This helps reduce stress and allows for better sleep and a better start to the day. Another method is to go technology-free for an entire day each week. There is a great 3 month challenge to see if that is something that will work for your household.
Whatever method you decide to try, there are benefits from unplugging from technology and plugging into our families, ourselves and nature. Give it a try and see what works for you!
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