Why A Digital Detox Is Essential And How To Unplug

By | January 1, 2019

As you’re here, reading this, you know that your entire body and mind are craving some rest from the incessant screen exposure, annoying notifications constantly buzzing from your phone, and almost constant communication via social media. So much noise, and yet, so little real bonding or connecting. Since more people are switching to fully-digital careers, we tend to get consumed by the chaos of it all, without paying any attention to what such a lifestyle can do to our health.

This is an attempt to help you clear your schedule for the time being, find that much-needed balance and get your life back on a more digitally-moderate track.

You’re hardly aware of how often you’re checking your phone or sneaking a peek at your Facebook. Now, it would be annoying if someone you care about kept telling you “you did it again”. Not only would it produce a staggering number of Britney Spears flashbacks every day, but you’d get more stressed than ever, which would defeat the purpose of the effort.

So, start by using an app such as Space to track and measure your digital consumption. Once you have a rough estimate and an equally rough epiphany as to your potential digital addiction, you can begin to make changes to your schedule. Even the simplest steps such as limiting your business email hours to the morning, and your social media time to an hour a day will be more than enough to feel the difference.

Add Variety To Your Life

However, once you free all of that time, you’ll be able to find excuses to go back on Instagram or quickly check if your client responded to your last reminder to pay their invoice. As important as some of those tasks may be, the purpose of your digital detox is partially to reclaim all of that time for more important items that keep collecting dust on your New Year’s resolutions list. The big ones we tend to skip are nutrition and exercise, as well as learning something new.

If you need further encouragement and motivation, pick out a pair of Adidas sneakers to be your dedicated workout footwear, treat yourself to a fancy pair of tights or a tank, and get that exercise plan underway. You’ve skipped too many Mondays and you’ve exhausted all excuses. Once you start training, picking out healthier foods will become easier over time, and you’ll definitely not miss your screen-caused stress thanks to your serotonin-boosting workouts.

Find Your Serenity Source

For most of us, it’s more than enough to try some mindfulness meditation in order to regain that calm. It seems too simple to work to some people, but who are we to argue with scientific evidence piling up to prove us otherwise? Meditating even as little as ten minutes per day, for example, in the morning when you wake up, can have tremendously positive consequences for your health.

For starters, you won’t be grabbing your phone first thing in the morning anymore and getting stressed by the slew of negative news online. This simple habit can rewire your brain to become more resilient to stress triggers, balance your hormones, and help you resist the urge to pick up the phone every time it pings.

Step Outside

We’re all guilty of spending copious amounts of time admiring majestic photos of Mother Nature while browsing for the next vacation package. Never once do we think it’s high time to actually get outside and appreciate what that very same Mother Nature has shared with us in our own backyard. Whether it’s a nearby park, a national reserve for wildlife, or a mountain, spending time in our natural environment has a soothing effect on our digitally-exhausted souls.

Grab your Salomon hiking boots, pack your favourite snacks, put your phone on silent mode (you only have to bring it for emergencies, after all), and brace yourself for a fresh surge of oxygen to take over your body.

Focus On What Really Matters

Finally, being informed may be high on your list on priorities, right alongside getting in touch with your relatives abroad, but allowing such aspects of your life to completely derail your health goals is far from “balanced”. During those meditative moments or hikes in nature, take some time to contemplate what the most important aspects of your life are: your mental and physical wellbeing should instantly come to mind.

Perhaps getting a little perspective is vital in determining the best steps to commit to your digital detox. Make sure you’re guided by the right motives, and you’ll be well on your way to restore that elusive notion of balance to your life, and finally let go of the phone. Photo by James Connolly on Unsplash. Contributed Content: Sophia Smith.

Nic Makim