By: Sierra Vandervort
Ever heard of a digital detox? It’s a growingly popular phrase in the modern wellness industry, and simply means you’re in need of a good unplugging from your devices and digital workload. In our constantly digitally-wired world, it’s easy to see the need. In a fast-paced world, finding time to give your brain a break and let your thoughts come and go is more important than ever. If you need a break from your screen, it may be beneficial to try one of these simple practices for digital detox.
The effects of our screens
According to a 2017 study on the connection between productivity and cell phones, we’re less productive, inspired and creative when we’re in constant data-consumption mode. Even during the transitional moments of our life—waiting in line, riding the bus, etc.—we’re still plugged into the constant flow of information. Our brains aren’t meant to constantly digest and interpret information. Your brain needs the opportunity to relax and regroup.
On a positive note, technology can be an incredible tool for enhanced communication, new learning opportunities and access to global information and community. Nevertheless, a good digital detox can be a great practice when you’re feeling particularly hooked by your TikTok account. The next time you’re feeling a bit run down with digital overload, try one of these easy practices for digital detox.
Practices for a digital detox
Anchor your device and look up
Researchers from the University of Texas found that the mere presence of a smartphone reduces brain power and focus. Instead of keeping your phone tethered to your back pocket, keep it at the bottom of your bag. When you’re at home, keep it in a designated drawer or shelf where it’s out of sight.
Whenever you reach a pause in your day or your work, take a moment to actually look up and away from your screen. Let your eyes rest on something that’s a few yards away. Bonus points if you can make it something natural and green like a plant or a tree.
Give space for mindful breaks
We have so many opportunities throughout the day to give ourselves space and silence. Next time you’re waiting for your kettle to boil or you’re standing in line at the grocery store, resist the urge to check your email or refresh your Instagram feed. Instead, take a moment to bring your focus inwards. Notice how you’re feeling, and take a few deep breaths. Root your awareness in your body, and move out of thinking and computing and into being for just a moment.
Take a digital-free walk
A brisk walk is much better for your mind and body than a huge scroll session. This is also really important in our modern-day of marathon work sessions. If it’s possible, try to prioritize at least 30 minutes of movement in the middle of your day. You could walk to your favorite lunch spot and back or take your pet on a midday jog. Any time we can redirect our energy into our physical body, it feeds our mental and emotional bodies as well.