9 simple things you can do today to start your digital detox
Self-care often makes us think of bubble baths and face masks. And while we love a good spa day, one of the best things we can all do for ourselves is… taking a digital detox.
A study found that heavy technology use among young adults was connected to sleeping problems, increased stress levels, and symptoms of depression. But chances are, you don’t need statistics to tell you that there are benefits to unplugging a little (or a lot) more.
We hope these nine ideas will give you some inspiration to reset and clear your mind from the clutter our devices create. Throw on our comfy You Are Enough crew, pour yourself a cup of tea, and let the self-care vibes flow!
9 simple things you can do today to start your digital detox
1. Unfollow (and don’t feel bad about it)
Tired of reading a blogger’s humblebrag #ad captions? Unfollow. Do you roll your eyes at a friend’s friend who manages to squeeze her engagement ring in every selfie? Unfollow. Does it bring you down to see your ex looking happy? UNFOLLOW( (duh!).
One of the best ways to start a digital detox is to sift through your “following” list and remove anyone that makes you feel jealous, negative, annoyed, or simply uninterested. That way, when you scroll, you’ll have a happier experience seeing updates from humans who lift you up.
And try not to feel guilty about it. You’re not causing any physical harm and just because you unfollow someone, doesn’t mean you’re a bad person (or they’re a bad person). It just means you’re taking control of your feed in a way that serves you the most. And if you ask us, taking care of you is WAY more important than worrying about giving others social media validation.
But if you’re super concerned about hurting someone’s feelings — take advantage of that mute button.
2. Delete your apps
How many apps do you have? Probably more than you think. Typically, smartphone users use 30 different apps a month and nine different apps a day.
Since apps make it super easy to open and scroll away, deleting them will make it more difficult to access Instagram, Twitter, whatever. This will very likely translate into less screen time overall. Plus, lots of apps don’t only waste our time, they also can invade our privacy and waste money.
If you’re not ready to delete altogether, try putting time-sucking apps (we all have at least one) on the last page of your phone — so you have to swipe multiple times to get to it.
3. Set limits on your screen time
Detoxing doesn’t have to happen overnight. Setting limits on your screen time is an awesome way to ween off without totally jarring your routine. Consider reducing gradually – perhaps for one month, try for two hours a day on social platforms. Then drop it to 90 minutes a day for the following month.
The Screen Time feature on iPhones/iPads + Androids makes it very easy to monitor and manage your habits. And if you realize you’re spending more time on your phone than you thought, don’t judge yourself! We’re all different beings with different lifestyles — the important thing is to be mindful and make choices that kick happiness levels up a few notches!
4. Make a “no scroll” zone
Whether it’s your bed or dining table, pick one spot in your home to be a “no scroll” zone. And in that zone… make sure you have other enjoyable activities easily accessible, so it doesn’t feel empty.
Here are some things to do besides looking at your phone:
- Talk with a roomie, partner, friend (even chats on the phone are fair game, as long as you’re not also scrolling through Reddit!)
- Bake/cook (Need some meal inspiration? Check out our Wholesome Culture Cookbook!)
- Read a book
- Write in a journal
- Listen to music or a podcast
- Have a dance party
- Drink tea in your favorite mug (like our Live Gently Upon This Earth mug – wink, wink)
- Work out
- Paint your nails
- Make a DIY face mask
- Build a puzzle
- Get started on an organizing project
- Actually watch a movie
- Take a nap
5. Ditch the “smart” watches (even just during meals, dinner dates, yoga classes, etc.)
It doesn’t take an investigative reporter to make us question the potential issues with having a smartphone on our wrists. Hello, distractions and serious hyper-connectivity.
Of course, there are benefits to watches that double as fitness trackers and heart-rate monitors. But maybe consider taking it off and wearing an old-fashioned watch (or even going watch-less), during birthday dinners, coffee dates, and yoga classes. Who wants to be that person texting on their watch during savasana?
6. Get a digital detoxing buddy
Like so many things, it can be easier to embark on the digital detox journey with a buddy. But if no one in your life is on your same page, simply tell a few people what you’re up to. Hearing yourself say your mission and purpose will only reinforce your motivation.
7. Try a one-screen-at-a-time rule
Consider giving yourself the one-screen-at-at-time rule. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but say, you’re watching YouTube turtle videos or updating an Excel sheet on your work computer — the idea is to only look at one screen — rather than have your phone out, while you type on a computer, as the TV is playing in the background.
So yes, no live-tweeting The Bachelor or researching which pet you want to adopt next as you watch dog movies. But it will definitely mean more concentrated focus and improved self control.
8.Schedule “do not disturb” hours
Reduce the interruptions in your life by taking advantage of the “do not disturb” button. You can set it for one hour during dinner or eight hours at night while you sleep. Feeling brave? Make it your default, so notifications don’t distract you at all.
And if you’re worried about missing your mom’s call or a text from your boss, add them to your favorites and select the option “Allow Calls From Favorites” so they can get in touch.
9. Reward yourself!
Hey, it’s hard to create distance with our screens! So celebrate the small wins — like deleting one app or unfollowing 10 accounts — with something that brings you joy. As Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, writes: “If I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself. Self-regard isn’t selfish.”
Read more posts about living with less, here:
- How to channel more minimalism in your life
- 11 Things we’re giving up in 2020
- 9 Simple ways to phase plastic out of your life