Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.Laura Ingalls Wilder
Spring is here, which means many of us are getting our dustpans ready to do a deep spring clean. But it’s not just our homes that have accumulated cobwebs and build-up throughout the years . . . .our minds need regular maintenance, too.
Read on to learn how four easy digital detox strategies can help you cleanse your mind and prepare for a brighter, more mindful spring!
A digital detox is when you stop using some or all of your everyday technology (like phones, computers, and TVs). If you’ve never tried a digital detox, the idea of turning off for even a few hours can feel impossible. But rest easy! You can adjust your level of detox to suit your needs and lifestyle. Whether you unplug for a few hours or a few days, you’ll feel refreshed.
Studies show that those who use digital devices in the two hours before bedtime are more likely to suffer from stress and sleep issues. If you’re not ready to take on a full day or week of screen-free time, start with a few hours in the evening to begin improving your mental health.
It’s not always easy to turn off our tech habits, but automating your devices can help you stick to your schedule. Use the screen-time settings on your phone to limit your social, email or other app use after a certain time (like 7:00PM). You can also go as far as setting your WiFi on a timer to turn off and prevent mindless scrolling like author Nir Eyal does (Check out his book, Indistractable for more tips on staying productive and present at work and at home).
Ready to take on a full day, or a multiple day, digital detox? You’ll get the most out of your detox if you plan ahead, set the mood, and keep temptations beyond arm’s reach.
First, make a rough schedule of what you’ll do during your day. Fill your time with walks, reading, meditation, journaling and other activities that natural reduce stress and clear your head. Prep ahead with anything you might want to have on hand to enjoy your detox day (such as ingredients to make your favorite recipes, a new book, or a special face mask for an at-home spa treatment).
Then, put your tech away! Turn off the computer and store the TV remotes away. Keep your phone on for emergencies, but turn off unnecessary social media and email notifications. Without constant access to your devices, you’ll be less distracted and more present in your day.
Many people think they’ll be bored during a digital detox. The truth is, you’ll be amazed at how much fun and relaxation you can fit into the day that you thought you didn’t have time for. In fact, a digital detox day is the perfect time to revisit an old hobby you’ve neglected, or take up a brand new one you’ve been wanting to try.
Hands-on activities are the best during a digital detox, as they keep your mind and body focused on the task at hand. Baking, meal prepping, artistic hobbies, reorganizing your home, playing a musical instrument or flipping through a (real paper) book are great ways to enjoy your detox.
Aside from clearing your head, cleaning up your digital files also helps restore a sense of peace and a fresh slate.
After your digital detox, plan a day or two to give your computer a clean sweep, then keep it up once a month. Dedicate this time to clear out old files, emails and downloads from your computer. Every file you keep should have a home! Create a folder organization system to keep all your documents and files in order (and off your desktop). Finally, unsubscribe from any marketing emails or newsletters that you don’t read (either manually, or with a service like CleanFox).
You can do the same for your phone, too. Go through your saved photos an delete the images you no longer need. Delete text conversations from automated messaging systems and contacts you don’t need to follow up with. Maybe even change your background to a fresh and motivating image; it’ll be like you’ve got a brand new phone.
If you’ve been feeling tired, stressed, burned out, foggy-headed, or just blah lately, that’s a good sign it’s time for a mental spring cleaning. Try these digital detox tips to help you disconnect from the stress of the digital world and reconnect with your inner self.
Now, what kinds of tech-free hobbies will we find you doing during your digital detox? Share in the comments!