It’s with us everywhere – in the phones we have in our pockets, the computers that are sat on our desks, even in the watches we wear on our wrists. Yes, I’m talking about digital connection.
Wherever we are, some kind of technology seems to find its way to us, with updates about the current affairs of the world, what friends and strangers are talking about on social media, and how much of our to-do list needs to get done immediately.
There’s very rarely a moment when we are without some form of technology by our side. In fact, and answer honestly, when was the last time you switched off from technology for longer than an hour?
Although the digital world certainly supports our quality of life in many ways and has definitely made things easier, faster, and more accessible, it’s incredibly important for us to take a break from time to time to ensure that we’re not being overwhelmed by our screens and our mental health isn’t being negatively affected by our digital life.
If you’re in need of a break from the tech, you’re in the right place – here is your guide to doing a digital cleanse!
Why Is Doing A Digital Cleanse Important?
Humans are not designed to spend every waking hour using or being around technology and it can be incredibly overwhelming, for both our bodies and our minds, to be in a situation where we are constantly stimulated by technology (or more specifically, the internet).
A lot of people can feel not only overwhelmed by the stimulation that technology provides, but they feel as if they’re expected to be constantly “on”, since technology makes it possible or everyone to be immediately accessible at all times. This is even more likely if workplaces don’t respect boundaries and get in touch with people outside of work hours.
Additionally, regular (or consistent) use of social media may alter people’s reality of life and take them away from living their life in a way that they truly want to.
So, that’s exactly why a digital cleanse is not only important, but often necessary, for many!
A digital cleanse doesn’t mean throwing away your phone and laptop forever, it simply means giving yourself a small break from the digital world and then coming back to it all being more conscious about your screen time!
Your Guide To A Digital Cleanse
Figure Out Why You Want To Do A Digital Cleanse
Before you even start to think about putting your phone down, you should take some time to think about why you want to do a digital cleanse.
Do you feel like your work-life boundaries are difficult to maintain because you use work apps on your phone in the evening?
Do you feel as if you’re missing out on real moments in life because you spend too much time scrolling online?
Do you want to take a break from social media because it has started to create feelings of negativity within you?
Identifying why you want to do a digital cleanse can help you recognise where you want to change and go into the cleanse more consciously!
Decide What Your Digital Cleanse Will Look Like
Seriously, just because you’re planning to spend less time on your tech doesn’t mean that you have to throw away your devices or quit work for a week so you don’t have to look at your laptop!
Each person’s digital cleanse will look different – some people may decide they simply want to turn their phone off when they get home after work to be more present with their family, whilst others might want to take an entire week off their tech whilst they’re on holiday.
Decide what your digital cleanse will look like by asking, “what would work for me?”, figure out the amount of time you want to take away from your devices, and then stick to it.
Delete Apps You’re Tempted By
Even if you’re doing a digital cleanse, it’s probably likely that you will have to use your phone at some point, whether to get in touch with someone, for safety, or even to use an alarm – of course, that’s all fine!
However, the last thing you want to do is get distracted by all of the apps on your phone that your brain will likely be missing. So, take away the temptation by deleting apps that you know you’ll get distracted by and want to spend time on!
If there are certain apps that you can’t delete, at least mute the notifications on them so you don’t get tempted to check-in on them.
Keep Tech Out The Bedroom
Two of the worst, yet most common times, that people spend on their phones are before they go to sleep and upon waking.
The issue with spending time on your phone before bed is that it emits blue light which stops the release of melatonin (the chemical you need to feel sleepy) and reduces quality of sleep. The issue with spending time on your phone upon waking is that your brain doesn’t get time to wake up properly before being bombarded by bright light and notifications.
So, the simple way to get around this, or the temptation to do this, is to keep your tech out of the bedroom!
Prioritise Doing Things You Love During Your Digital Cleanse and Go Outside
Why not swap scrolling for walking, or meeting friends, or reading?
During a digital cleanse, you’re likely to be surprised about how much time you have been spending on tech. So, why not utilize the time you have spare to actually do things you enjoy?
Genuinely go out and smell the flowers – enjoy the small moments of life without your phone!
Reflect On Your Cleanse
Whether you’re doing a digital cleanse for two days or twenty-two days, at the end of it, take some time to reflect!
You will likely notice that you’ve been able to pack a lot more things into your day that genuinely bring you joy, you’ve been more productive, and hopefully you’ve seen an improvement in your mental health too!
Think about how you’re going to take what you’ve learned from this time forward with you in the long run and create long term habits that reduce your screen time and bring you more into the present moment that truly is your life.