How to 'Digitally Detox'...Daily
Let's get real for a second...We are becoming OBSESSED with being online, in front of screens and in contact with the whole world 24/7 and the effect it is having on our mental health, relationships and other aspects of our lives is not looking too good! With more and more studies showing the impact of the digital world on our anxiety levels among other things, it really is time to start looking at the way we use technology on a day-to-day basis. The trouble is, there seems to now be a universal expectation that we are available to everyone at any time, thanks to emails, mobile phones and the modern day culture that we are developing together. So many of us consider a digital detox when we go away on holiday or perhaps over a weekend spent with loved ones doing something special, but what can we do on a daily basis, to help us get on with the ordinary days without being glued to our inboxes or social media feeds?
I've put together a few ideas to help you, and me, to take a couple of steps towards a slightly more digitally detached lifestyle...
1) Set yourself a morning routine, and complete it before you go online.
This one is self explanatory, but the idea is you give yourself 10 minutes, 30 minutes or even an hour or so first thing to get up, shower, meditate, yoga, workout, do whatever it is that gets you up and ready for the day BEFORE checking emails, instagram etc. We might as well delay our attachment as long as possible and give ourselves some time to ourselves before letting the world in!
2) No phones at the table.
Dine alone or with friends, just certainly not with your phone. Not only will it give you a few moments offline, but you are also much more likely to be mindful in the way that you eat. You'll be less likely to overeat, chew your food more thoroughly and actually enjoy whatever it is you have taken the time to cook!
3) Do one thing a day that is offline.
Read. Write. Paint. Draw. Sit in a coffee shop and just think. Go for a walk without music/scrolling through news feeds. Do whatever you fancy, just leave the phone/laptop/ipad at home. It will help you to switch off, but it might help you to tap into your creative side or discover a new hobby!
4) Log out of Facebook on your phone.
Unless you really need constant access for work, keep Facebook logged out on your devices. No notifications will mean less distraction and you're much less likely to just check in at random if you have to go through the lo in process to get there! Same applies for all social platforms really, or at least turn all notifications off if this seems like a step too far!
5) Set yourself an Inbox access timeframe.
Of course, sometimes there are emergencies, exceptions etc. BUT have you ever tried to set yourself specific times of the day for accessing your inbox? You'd be surprised how much you get done if you designate specific times in the day for emails, freeing up more time for other areas of work/life! You can even get applications that help you to do this. I did something similar to curb my Facebook usage during exam periods at university. I've not tried any that are email specific, but if anyone finds a good one, let me know!