Really think about it. When was the last time you went a full day without technology? Especially this year? When was the last time you managed to get a full, glorious 24 hours without instantly checking your phone every time it buzzes in your pocket, or smashing seventeen straight episodes of Friends on your laptop, or following alongside a beauty guru on YouTube and failing desperately at nailing a smoky eye???
Let’s face it, it’s becoming more and more obvious that our lives are somewhat controlled by all the screens in life. For those of you who are like me, and crave the freedom of a digital detox but are painlessly void of the self control to go through with it, we’ve teamed up with headspace to bring you a few sneaky tips on how to actually succeed at a digital detox. Particularly given we are all heading on little inter-city and state trips.
And make sure you check out our headspace Hub for a tonne of extra reads and vids.
Know What You Want Out Of It
Are you hoping to spend less time in front of the TV? Resenting how long you can spend mindlessly scrolling through Instagram? What everyone wants out of a digital detox is different, so set up some parameters for yourself. What exactly are you trying to get out of it? How long can you viably do it, without sacrificing uni/work? Once you know what you want, exactly, write it down for a source of visible inspiration. One week without Netflix. One day a week without my phone etc.
Convince Your Friends To Join You
If you can rally a group of friends who are willing to take the plunge of a digital detox with you, half the battle is won. No need to self-consciously check Snapchat if your friends are having fun without you if they’re there with you, IRL. For those of your friends who can’t detox with you, make them aware of your plans anyway. This way, they won’t tempt you with pinging notifications, and won’t worry about you when you fall off the grid.
Plan Some Activities
Everyone knows that one of the killer impulses to check social media/technology is pure boredom. Nothing like your morning commute and the accompanying numb scrolling through Facebook, right? In light of this, if you’re actively trying to spend less time on screens, having some activities planned will make the journey a hell of a lot easier. Go for a day trip, or a nice walk. Keep that mind and body active.
It’s hard not to be entertained when you have the entire internet in the palm of your hand. Without it, you may find that the constant stimulation that you’re now detoxifying yourself from has left you feeling… bored. Your fingers may itch toward your phone while you’re standing waiting for a coffee, or on the bus back from class. Accept that boredom is a state of mind you’re no longer quite accustomed to. The endless barrage of content can get quite overwhelming to deal with, anyway. Reach for a book instead.
Reintroduce Technology Back Healthily
So you’ve made it to the end of your digital detox. Hooray! But instead of diving head first back into technology’s clutches, like a twelve year old on the pressies on Christmas morning, it’s maybe a good idea to consciously reintroduce it into your life. In today’s age, it’s next to impossible to not be in contact with technology on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean that your interactions with it can’t all be conscious and aware.
You Don’t Have To Turn Your Life Upside Down
Remember, a digital detox doesn’t always have to be a huge, quitting, cold-turkey moment of time. Small tweaks of your habits can make the world of a difference. Using the Do Not Disturb function is a great pushback when you start to feel controlled by your phone: this way, you only see your notifications when you choose to pick up the phone, rather than the Pavlovian instinct of looking at it every time it dings.
If you’re still hesitant to go completely screen-free, things like no TV during dinner or reading a book before bed are just as effective. Good luck, and don’t forget to post about your successful digital detox on all your socials! (Kidding.)
Looking to actually get started on that digital detox you always wanted to do, but never even got close to starting? Or maybe you need some advice on other generally stressful life things? Head on over to headspace’s blog for a bunch of content on everything from dating, to wellbeing, to music festivals.
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