Can you remember the last time you left the house without your phone?
Went a week without binging a new TV show?
Closed down your laptop before 11pm?
If you’re struggling to recall a recent moment without screen time, chances are you could use a digital detox.
A common phrase used to describe a period of time away from tech devices, like smartphones and computers, a digital detox is a great way to reconnect with the physical world and find a healthy balance between technology and the present moment. And although it may seem like an impossible challenge to unplug for a couple of weeks (or even just a weekend!), once you wean off the habit of grabbing your phone during moments of quiet, or turning on the TV at the end of a long day, you’ll find yourself more present, with fewer distractions, and the feelings of stress will start to fade away.
From focusing on your own self-growth to reconnecting with loved ones, here are five tech-free ways you can make the most of a digital detox.
FOCUS ON PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Stepping away from your phone, laptop and TV means freeing up time to focus on the most important person in your life: you. Use those hours you would’ve spent surfing the web to reignite your love for reading, and dive headfirst into some personal development books.
Whether you’re looking to grow spiritually, explore ways to boost your confidence or improve your communication skills at work, carving out 30 minutes of unplugged time each day for self-development reading can increase happiness and success in both your personal and work life.
Some of my favourite personal development books:
START YOUR DAY WITH GRATITUDE
When was the last time you woke up and didn’t immediately check your phone? This monotonous habit is a tricky one to kick, thanks to the FOMO we feel when we’re out of the loop (what did I miss when I was asleep for the past seven hours?) but it can also lead to negative feelings of self-doubt and anxiety.
Rather than mindlessly scroll through social media with eyes barely open, ditch the screen time and reach for a journal for some early morning gratitude time instead. Whether you use the Five-Minute Journal for a quick reflection or prefer a full journaling session in a fresh notebook, starting the A.M. with intention and positivity will boost your mood and set the tone for the rest of the day.
TAKE TIME FOR MEDITATION OR MOVEMENT
The most successful entrepreneurs rarely disclose that hours spent on social media or binging reality shows are a mandatory part of their day. Instead, the majority share that it’s their hours of time spent unplugged with regular exercise and mindfulness training that are key factors in their achievements (and no, scrolling through Instagram doesn’t count as a workout!).
Make the most of your digital detox by integrating a regular routine of movement and mindfulness into your day, exercising both your mind and body without the aid of technology. Hit up a yoga class for a good stretch. Go for a run to sweat out the stress. Meditate for 15 minutes to clear your mind. Walk to work without music or podcasts and let your creative thoughts flow.
SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH FRIENDS
Remember the days when checking in with friends meant more than just a quick text conversation back and forth? Let’s be honest – a funny birthday meme of a cat doesn’t really show how much you care. Use your digital detox days to reconnect with pals, family and even the four-legged friends in your life, taking the time you would’ve spent head down in your laptop and using it to be present instead.
Initiate a weekly coffee date with your sister, start a book club with a group of friends, or make a habit of going on long hikes with your dog before work. These quality moments of connection will likely serve as a reminder of how much you miss out on when you’re distracted by your devices!
CATCH UP ON SOME MUCH-NEEDED SLEEP
Truth: most of us aren’t getting the recommended amount of zzz’s each night, and our screen time definitely has something to do with that. With your devices on lockdown, create a bedtime routine that you can stick to beyond your digital detox, integrating aids like an eye mask to block out the 5 a.m. sunrise, lavender spray for your pillow, and a weighted blanket to help soothe any anxiety and stress before bed.
Not only will your mind feel refreshed and your body be reenergized, but a good night’s sleep is also known to decrease anxiety and improve skin’s appearance. Where do you think the term beauty sleep comes from?
This post was created in partnership with Indigo.
As always, all words, opinions and images are my own.
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