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Put Your Tech Down: Take a Digital Detox

The average person spends 5 hours a day on a smartphone —and that doesn’t include time spent on personal computers or the TV. While it might seem fun at the time, staring at a screen for that long can wear down both the body and your mental well-being.

That’s why a digital detox may be just what you need.

 

What is a digital detox?

A digital detox involves limiting or outright eliminating your interaction with digital devices for a period of time.


What are the benefits to a digital detox?

 There are a number of major health benefits to the digital detox.

 

They include:

 

  • Avoiding stimulus addiction, which can create psychological strain 
  • Avoiding negative self comparisons, which can reduce the likelihood of depression
  • Eliminating or avoiding “passive eating,” which can increase weight gain
  • Avoiding blue light at night, which has a huge impact on sleep quality
  • Making time for other activities, including fitness, socializing and more

 

How do you digital detox?


Even though digital devices like smartphones are often an essential part of working life, there are some easy steps to detox.

Keep phones and computers out of the bedroom.


Start by liberating your bedroom from any devices. Then, give yourself 30-60 minutes to wind down before sleeping.

Don’t use your phone at the dinner table.


Don’t waste precious time with friends and family by being totally consumed by your device. Instead, make it a rule that when you sit down to eat to focus on those you’re with and the food rather than your email. There are multiple benefits to eating mindfully.

Leave your phone at home.


Going out for a run? Taking the dog for a walk? Doing the groceries? Leave your phone at home. Give yourself a chance to be out and about in the world without a device constantly begging for your attention.

Turn off notifications and schedule check-in times.


Turn on “do not disturb” and review notifications at specific intervals. This way, you won’t repeatedly be taken away from the tasks at hand.

Take a whole day off.


Go for the gold by taking an entire digital-free day. See friends in person, walk your city or town, do your chores and enjoy the world around you.

Take a detox trip!


If your circumstances permit, try taking a detox trip. There are retreats that offer fully digital-free experiences. It’s a great place to meet like-minded people and learn to thrive without the beeps and buzzes of your daily device-laden life.