Our screens and devices may feel like a necessity for everyday functioning, but the reality is – even in modern day life – we can cope perfectly well independently and without being glued to a screen for 8 hours a day. In order to reclaim the beautiful parts of daily life experience which technology often robs us of (not to mention the physical and concentration issues which often accompanies high levels of screen usage), we should plan a digital detox wherein we switch off smart technology, turn to old fashioned methods and spend some refreshing time far away from your screen. Even if you only use your devices for work purposes, it is important to rest your eyes, neck and mind through completing a monthly digital detox. This is not only beneficial for social-media addicted teenagers, but if you find yourself inseparable from your phone emails or laptop, you too will reap huge benefits from giving technology a kick for a week. Staying unplugged and offline seems impossible in this day and age, but we hope to give you a few ways to slowly ease yourself off your digital devices.
- Find ways to entertain yourself without a screen:
You would be surprised to find out just how much we all rely on our devices for entertainment. We are disconnected to real-life and have lost our curiosity to try new activities. Instead, we stick to the comfort of Netflix for our evening wind-downs and are beside ourselves with boredom when our phones aren’t around. Our brains need refreshing and time for real-life entertainment: try meditation, board games, reading, trying something artistic, sport or cooking. These all seem fairly basic ideas but are effective in loosening our attachment to screens. Try doing an activity which forces us to be in the present and active thinking: you will be taken-back by the increased creativity and richness of your inner world.
- No screens after bedtime:
In an ideal world we would be without screens during the day, however baby steps are essential in gearing up to a more intense detox, so little alterations should be your first move. Using devices during the night has been proven to disrupt sleep, mood and even increase stress. The Blue light of our phones in particular, interferes with the circadian rhythm and thus as a result of poor-quality sleep, opens the door for a host of other health problems. The solution is simple: at bedtime, lock-down any digital device in another room and refrain from being active on them at least one-hour prior. You will gain more refreshing sleep and those under-eye bags will be treated like a charm.
- Social media silence:
Unless your job is completely dependent on social media (an influencer for example) you should log out of your socials and delete the app until you’ve had a substantial break. It is vital to be stricter with social media if you use it purely for your own pleasure: it is simply a drain on your attention, concentration and a distraction from important matters. The detrimental mental side-effects of Instagram overuse for example, should not be underestimated and often fuels serious conditions such as body dysmorphia and eating disorders. Regardless of whether you feel your time on social media is ‘healthy’ or not, it is strongly advisable to stop the endless scrolling in a bid to receive your quick fix of dopamine and re-enter the real world. Without social media, we are more grounded, connected and less likely to develop irrational beliefs about the world around us. If this sounds appealing, begin the logging out today!
- Old fashioned organisation:
The phone’s calendar, reminders and notes are extremely helpful assets, but people often forget that being organised is possible without the help of a device. In fact, an old-fashioned Filofax will do just the same, with the added benefit of not sucking you into the digital vacuum and becoming more of a distraction than help.
- Pen and paper rules!
Whether it is to communicate with friends, making notes or a pastime after a busy day, writing the proper way is sure to give your brain a happy boost. There is something far more engaging and special about putting pen to paper, rather than hitting arbitrary keys on a soulless device. Technology certainly has its advantages, but it cannot replicate the physical and mental satisfaction of writing rather than typing. Indeed, science has shown that the brain is far more active and new neural pathways are stimulated when one uses a journal rather than Microsoft word. The increased memory and retention associated with actual writing should also spur you to ditch the laptop and liberate yourself through pen and paper.
Good luck with your journey in freeing the body and soul from the restrictions of modern tech!