Taking some time off social media – or anything with a screen – to just BE always ends up feeling so good. When we’re constantly trying to do the most, we’re often going to feel like we’re not doing enough. It’s only when we pause and take a step back that we can get the perspective we need. Trust me, I know some days are impossible to be 100% screen-free, but being mindful of your tech habits is key to living a fulfilling and healthy life. So, here are five ways you can take a digital detox and be more mindful about your tech use.
Turn off as many notifications as possible
Notifications elevate the urge to check your phone, especially when they’re coming from social media. Every notification, whether it’s a text message or a “like” on IG, has the potential to be a positive social stimulus. So all the notifications we get on our phones throughout the day actually activate dopamine in our brains. I like to turn off notifications for certain apps and even put my phone on Do Not Disturb certain hours of the day!
Limit screen time before bed
Limiting screen time before bed is just one way to calm your mind before bed. The blue light from screens stimulates your brain, suppresses the production of melatonin and alters your circadian rhythm, which makes it harder for you to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep.
Try not to use any screens at least one hour before bed. To help with this, you can put your phone in another room or far away from your bed in the bedroom. If I need to be on my phone in the evenings, I like to turn on Night Shift (I have an iPhone!) which helps block the blue light and turn my screen’s brightness all the way down.
Keep your bedroom screen-free
When we use our bedroom as our at-home office or personal home theater, our minds start to associate our bedroom with these activities vs. a place to relax, unwind and rest. So I like to keep our bedroom a screen-free space. This also helps us limit our screen time before bed!
Unplug with awareness
I like to go through a digital detox every now and then, especially with social media. Whether it’s a few hours or a few days, schedule some deliberate time where you can unplug. If you’re a heavy tech user, you might feel anxious, disconnected or bored – but these are just symptoms of being constantly mentally overstimulated. Instead of trying to fight against the feelings of discomfort, resist the urge to reach for the nearest device and do something else with your time. I like to fill my time with a good book, cooking/baking, journaling or some fresh air with my daily walk without distractions!
Wait with intention
Whenever you’re on hold or waiting for an appointment or a friend, turn your waiting time into a mini meditation session. I like to do this vs. opening my browser or checking social media. These moments are the perfect time to practice breathwork, do a full body scan and bring awareness to the present moment.
Have you taken a digital detox before? I’d love to hear your tips!