How many times a day do we check our devices? I’m def guilty of picking up my phone constantly throughout the day, checking email, hopping on IG, texting ridiculous memes to the fiancé. I immediately notice if I’ve left the house without it and might have a slight mini-stroke if I can’t track it down…and then feel dumb because it’s in my pocket. I’ll admit it: I need a digital detox. We’re constantly tethered to our devices, mostly because it’s become a mindless habit. It’s a way to escape from reality or procrastinate. Whatever the reason, we all need a break from technology. Scratch that – we DESERVE a day of WiFi-free activity.
Take a yoga class, find that book you’ve been wanting to read, get some meal prepping in. Start your journaling practice or have drinks with gal pals on a patio. Go outside and enjoy some fresh air, especially if you’re working remotely right now (hello, Coronavirus). Hell, even if you’re working from your office, it’s a good idea to go outside for an hour, away from germs and blue light.
While one day is a great start, there are some easy ways to “unplug” on the reg, and I thought I’d share some ideas for doing it.
1. Sleep with your phone on the other side of the room.
Better yet, sleep with your phone in a different part of the house. It’s not as scary as it sounds, I promise. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks, and I swear I’m falling asleep faster and sleeping better. AND when I wake up, I’m not tempted to waste the first 10-15 minutes scrolling through IG. There are some really nice charging stations on Amazon that look great in any room and will get rid of all the unsightly chords next to your pillow. Extra perk – you HAVE to get out of bed to turn your alarm off. Goodbye evil snooze button, you temptress!
2. Set limits to your screen time on your phone/tablets.
On iPhones, you can do this through your general settings, but there are also lots of great apps – Freedom, ZenScreen, or Moment. You can limit your hours on certain apps, decide when you don’t want to receive calls or texts, and establish your overall “downtime.” You can even share the downtime settings with your family so that everyone is getting time away from their devices.
Challenge: check out your screen time for this week…scary, huh? Time to take a break?
3. Find someone that you can share your new tech timeout practice with.
Ask your significant other or sibling or bestie to join you in unplugging and hold each other accountable. Grabbing for your phone/tablet is a HARD habit to break…you might need a wingman/woman!
4. Take a mini-tech break.
Take a break from technology. Take the weekend off social media (gasp!) or leave your phone at home during certain times. Obviously, choose appropriate times to do this (like, not when you’re going wedding dress shopping). But maybe an ice cream run, or a walk around the neighborhood or to the grocery store…wait, never mind – the grocery store is a Phone-Necessary location. I’m lost without the “Our Grocery” app. I feel liberated while out and about without my phone…especially when it’s intentional and not because I left it on the charger when rushing out the door.
5. Be present at dinner.
No phones and no TV. Enjoy the company of those at the table without any distractions…the only exception: “Alexa, play [insert fave chill artist].”