You have more than likely heard about plenty of detoxes floating around the health scene, from liver detoxes to juice cleanses and more.
However, you may not yet have heard of digital detox, a method of cleansing your body and mind of some of technology’s negative mental health side effects. In this article, we explore the benefits of digital detoxing and some simple ways to begin incorporating the practice into your daily routines.
What Is a Digital Detox?
A detox is an act of abstaining from specific substances to improve your health and happiness. Digital detox refers to a time in which you refrain from using your phone, tablet, computer, or other technological devices to rid yourself of the added stress that comes along with being plugged in at all times.
The connectivity that our devices provide is wonderful, but it can also be incredibly draining. Doing a digital detox gives your mind a much-needed break from the pressures of social media, the news, and a never-ending stream of texts, calls, and emails.
Digital Detox Benefits
Putting your phone away for a few hours, a day, or even a week can have tremendous benefits for improving your mental health and general wellbeing. Some of the most commonly reported benefits of doing even a short digital detox include:
When you have your phone, computer, or tablet with you 24/7, you make yourself constantly available to outside influences like work and social media. The accessibility can be beneficial at times, but this level of continuous availability inhibits your ability to take time for yourself and relax.
Comparably, It’s almost like being busy at work, thus increasing your stress levels by never allowing you a moment of real rest away from the chime of your email notifications. Stepping away from your devices will finally let your mind be free and at ease.
The blue light emitted by our devices’ screens inhibits sleep patterns. Blue light is similar to sunlight, which halts your body’s production of melatonin, a chemical that your brain releases at night to make you drowsy. Decreased melatonin levels make it much more difficult for you to fall asleep.
The impact of social media can be detrimental to sleep as well, with one study even showing that checking social media while lying in bed causes spikes in anxiety and insomnia. Therefore, setting devices aside may be vital in fixing a faulty sleep schedule, like the afternoon slump or symptoms of insomnia.
The Digital Detox Challenge
Taking a digital detox challenge is the perfect start to your self-care journey this spring and summer. As you improve your daily routine to incorporate more health and wellness tips, you may find it helpful to slowly decrease your device time and replace it with mindful moments. Ultimately, increasing your connection with your inner self and facilitating a healthy separation between your work and personal life.
Start Your Morning Digital Free
You should strive to begin each day by reconnecting with your sense of self after a good night of sleep. One of the best ways to do so is to kick things off digital-free; leave your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb until you have completed your entire morning routine. Additionally, avoid checking emails, texts, or social media, as you enjoy waking up and getting ready for the day ahead. By including digital detox in your daily self-care practices, you will feel more grounded and in tune with yourself and your thoughts. Perhaps begin by incorporating daily meditations into your morning routine with a digital-free setting.
End Your Day Digital-Free
As you wind down from a long day, it’s helpful to give yourself some time away from the bustle that comes with your work and social life. Spending the last few hours before bed digital-free will give your mind a chance to rest, focusing more intently on your nighttime self-care routine.
Nevertheless, the constant chiming of notifications can be both a temptation and a distraction. So, consider putting your phone on “do not disturb” or even airplane mode to give yourself some true peace.
If you would like to try digital detoxing yourself, don’t push yourself too hard too fast. The best approach is to slowly cut back on your time spent on your devices – especially in the morning and at night – as these are crucial times for mental preparation and self-reflection.
Take things one step at a time and watch as your mood and stress levels gradually improve. Eventually, you’ll lose the urge to be on your devices constantly and become more naturally removed from the stress of technology.