It seems like more than ever, our life is dominated by status notifications, alerts and apps. We love our gadgets. Let’s face it, they make life easier! But they also needlessly clutter precious mind-space that can be used for discovering who you are. If you wake up and reach for the phone, it’s probably a good idea to take a break from technology and do a digital detox.
Plan and prepare
Your first step is ensuring your intentions align with your goals. This isn’t a process you can wing. Your prep depends on which devices dominate your life. There’s no right way to prep, and you can use a combination of techniques and goals:
Establish what exactly you’ll be detoxing from
You might need a tech detox from your TV or your gaming system. Or it might be something more specific, like social media, letting you still use your phone. A tech detox doesn’t always mean shunning your devices completely. And you can still use your phone or certain apps for work or emergencies!
Set a length of time
You should set a specific time period for your detox, that way it’s easier to stick to your goals. You can set specific daily goals, for example, no phones during dinner or in the morning until 10am. You can also do lengthier tech-free sessions, like a weekend or even a week!
Let people know you’re doing a digital detox
There’s no need to make your friends sweat and wonder why you’re not responding to their texts. Let the people close to you know that you won’t be using your phone or TV. There’s also less of a chance they’ll tempt you.
Plan new activities
You’re likely going to feel bored and ready for something to take away the edge. This is the perfect opportunity to try a new hobby or do something you’ve been putting off! It could be some at-home spa time, a hike or a local road trip. Have fun with it! This is a great time to practice activities to boost your self-confidence and enable you to discover who you are and what you enjoy.
You are not alone
Alright, so you laid down the groundwork. Now it’s time to put everything into action! You need to stick to your plan and remember why you wanted to experience a tech-free life in the first place.
Before you think it’s smooth sailing all the way, it helps to know what you’re in for. Nobody said a detox is easy, and just like any addiction, it’s going to come with bad symptoms. You’ll feel restless, aimless and agitated. If it’s uncomfortable, it means the detox is working!
You may experience constant impulses to check your email, boredom, or wondering what to do with your free time. It’s important to know that those feelings are normal. Try to focus on the “relaxing part” of your detox.
You made it! But..
This doesn’t mean you should go back to old habits! It might feel like you’ve been handed back the keys to your life (I sure did!). You’re living a brand, new life, so why give it up now after going through all that hard work?
Make a long-term plan now to consciously integrate your life with the tech devices. Every step should be as intentional as your first step into the digital detox. You can choose the way your relationship with technology unfolds!
Just take small steps, like keeping the phone away from the dinner table or ensuring you’re not distracted by technology on any of your dates. You can build a new routine to take place of the old one, so your changes actually stick. Make sure they’re just as rewarding as the dopamine kick you get from checking your phone or watching TV though! The new habits should feel good and rewarding.