As you know, we’re all about detoxing for better health – from the cleaning and body products we use daily to the type of food we choose to consume – but it’s easy to forget something that detoxing the mind is just as important as the body.
We are constantly overwhelmed with content, information, stimulation - whether we have chosen it or not - mostly by that little device that might as well be glued to our hands!
Have you ever considered taking a periodic break from all this screen-time, allowing yourself a little time to stop, breathe and find pleasure in other, simpler things? We can’t remove technology from our lives, nor should we want to, but it is important to remember we also need to take a break from it and steal back some time for other areas of our lives.
How does it help? It can improve your mental health, reduce stress and improve your sleep. Too much screen time can take a toll on our mental health, depriving us of sleep and more productive tasks.
Unsurprisingly, it’s harder than it sounds (we keep trying though!), but here are some ways to try and reduce your screen time – keeping in mind you need to find what works for your own schedule and lifestyle.
1. Make a plan: Not all screen time is bad, so step one should be to assess which parts of it are toxic and detrimental for you, like scrolling social media too often, for example.
2. Set no-phone time boundaries: Schedule tech-free hours every day, like at meal times and try to start your day without grabbing your phone within the first 30 minutes. Store it in another room while you sleep to discourage you from reaching for it. Maybe it’s about time to get one of those ‘old school’ alarm clocks?
3. Use your phone with purpose: When you want to use your phone, consider the reason why. If it it’s just behaviour like procrastinating, become aware of that and ask yourself whether you really need to be on your phone. You’ll be amazed at how many times you pick up your phone on autopilot. Waiting in line, anyone?
4. Pick up other paper-based activity: Try out non-digital media like paper books, brain puzzle books (anyone else love a good sudoku?) or a colouring book for adults. Take that 15 minutes that you would have spent online doing something a bit more mindful and better for the soul.
5. Minimize intrusion: Set a timer for daily social media usage, for example, and try to stick to it. Turn off notifications for all apps except those that are essential for work and keeping in touch with people you care about. Resist the hooks by making your phones less intrusive.
Our phones and screens aren’t going anywhere, but as with everything, moderation is key!