Updated: Dec 26, 2019
What if there is a free detox program that can help you eat less, be more active, sleep better, feel happier and have better relationships; all without tackling a new diet or exercise regime? A digital detox can deliver all of these benefits and more, making it the perfect post-holidays boost.
Why choose a digital detox?
The time we spend using digital devices has been steadily increasing and, like the proverbial frog in hot water, we may not even be aware of it. Health professionals now recognize internet addiction as a real disorder. Overuse of technology has been linked to poor sleep, vision problems and more frequent migraines. Use of digital technology makes us more sedentary and prone to weight gain. It also puts us at higher risk for anxiety, depression, behavioural disorders and insomnia. Addiction to technology can negatively impact the quality of our relationships, our self-esteem and feelings of connectedness.
What is a digital detox?
A digital detox is voluntarily giving up or strictly limiting the time you spend using digital devices for a specified period of time. Some people choose a weekend while others go device free for up to a month. Just like a dietary cleanse or detox, the goal is to improve our well being and refresh our spirits so that we can return to our regular activities with more mindfulness and satisfaction.
Some people choose to focus their detox on social media platforms while others see the benefit in taking a break from all electronic technology. Experts agree that however you chose to spend time away from your devices, you will reap large benefits in all areas of your life.
How do you do a digital detox?
With January right around the corner, why not choose a digital detox to start the year off right? Pair it with another fitness or dietary challenge for maximum impact.
Let the people in your life know about your intentions before you get started so they know what to expect. They might even want to join you.
Post your intentions on social media platforms. This might encourage followers to try it too and will help to keep you accountable.
Make someone you trust the keeper of your devices. Tell them to release them to you only under specific circumstances.
Plan what you are going to do with your time instead. Make it something active where possible like spending time outside or doing some New Year cleaning.
Get a friend involved. It helps to have someone to share our experience and encourages success.
Be realistic and go easy on yourself if you're not entirely successful. This is hard for all of us!
Not ready to unplug entirely?
Switching off entirely can seem like an impossible challenge. Don’t worry! Even small efforts can make big differences. Here are some smaller steps you can take right now.
Choose certain places in your home to be device-free zones. Your bedroom and dining table are great choices to improve overall well being.
Put a note on your phone with the question ‘Why?’ written on it. Every time you pull out your phone, ask yourself if you are doing something necessary or just killing time.
Ironically, there are lots of apps to help monitor your use of devices. Choose one that works for your purposes.
Go for screen free meals. Unplug while eating and focus on your food and dining companions. You will eat less and enjoy it more.