Over the past few years, the term ‘digital detox’ has become increasingly popular as people discover the benefits of turning off their electronic devices and just living life with a bit of quiet for a day or two.
Doing a digital detox once a week is a fantastic way to restore your mental health and calm your soul. It’s true we live in a digital age, and millions of people are glued to their mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc. The other day I was noticing in the grocery store how many people were talking on their cell phones while pushing their carts through the aisles. I also noticed how they were not being very efficient or focused about what they were doing.
As an aside, it’s a personal pet peeve of mine, but it really makes me nuts when people have what should be private conversations in public places. I don’t need to hear their business or personal stuff while I’m trying to buy food for the week. Is it important for me to know about the order you just landed at work or how Great Aunt Sally has toe nail fungus? I don’t think so. I have my own Great Aunt Sally stories that I won’t subject you to endure.
The constant barrage of social media notifications, beeps, buzzes, emails, etc. is enough to make anyone feel frazzled. Let’s not even get started talking about the vitriol and political debate on social media sites.
Aggressive behavior is way too prevalent these days, and more people than ever are discovering that less is more. Less social media, less news on TV, less online debate, and less screen time is the way to go if you want to maintain your sanity and a somewhat optimistic view of life and the world.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement, let’s talk about how to do a digital detox. It may or may not work for your life, so I have a couple of approaches to suggest to offer some flexibility for you.
How to do a digital detox
Of course the degree to which you disconnect depends upon your commitments. Ideally, in the truest sense of the term, a digital detox means absolutely no electronic devices like TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc.
However, if you’re working, this is just not possible for more than a day or two. The good news is that even a day of detox yields benefits.
You may want to prepare for this by telling your friends you’ll be unavailable for a day or two, depending on the length of the detox you’ve planned for yourself. Then you can turn off your mobile phone and lock it in a drawer along with whatever other items may tempt you.
Plan your detox day ahead of time. While you may feel lost without your digital devices, with a plan to keep yourself occupied, you’ll get by just fine. Perhaps you decide to spend the day at the beach or with friends. Maybe you just read a wonderful book or do the crafts you never allow yourself time to enjoy.
Whatever the case, as long as you don’t use your phones/tablets or watch TV, you’ll give your mind a mental break from the constant stresses that come with all your electronic devices.
In some cases, it may not be possible to do a complete digital detox because your business requires you to be on call, etc. In situations like this, a digital detox may mean not logging into your social media accounts and turning off notifications on your phone for some much needed peace of mind.
The goal here is to STOP feeling stressed all the time. To do that, you need to eliminate the unnecessary distractions that constantly demand your attention. If you need your phone for work, only use it for work-related issues. Everything else can take a backseat for a day or two.
Important note: I always advocate “small steps for big changes”, so if you’re thinking you could never do this, start small. Begin with one day. If that seems impossible, start with a morning of disconnect from social media and phone alerts. See how you feel. You may enjoy it so much that the next time you do a mini-disconnect, you may try a few more hours.
Less time on social media in general has been shown to have a positive impact on your mental and emotional well-being. You’ll also be more productive. You can burn a significant amount of time surfing on Instagram and Facebook!
Your energy is finite
It’s important to know that you’re NOT an infinite fountain of never-ending energy. During your waking hours, where you expend your energy will determine your outcome in life and your degree of happiness. Resolve to devote your energy to matters which will benefit you and which will bring you joy. Don’t waste your energy on frivolous activities that will not reward you in the long run.
Try to do some sort of a digital detox at least once every two weeks. You’ll have more mental energy, be less stressed and won’t feel addicted to social media. These are immeasurable benefits for your health and happiness!
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you! If you’re new to the world of creating better health, both mental and physical for yourself, please check out my training on how to get gluten out of your diet. Becoming Gluten Free Me is where to check it out. Learn how gluten affects us and how to go about reducing or eliminating it from your diet. You don’t have to suffer with Celiac Disease to benefit from getting gluten out of your life!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter so you won’t miss my daily postings for health, wellness and mindset!