Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—you just can’t resist checking them every fifteen minutes. You also feel anxious if you don’t look at your work email periodically, and you rarely put your phone down if you can help it. Even when you get home you can barely resist the social media, and you can’t remember the last time you spent an evening with the computer, TV, and phone all turned off. Face it—you are addicted to technology.
While there’s nothing wrong with using tech in our everyday lives, overuse tends to lead to a lot of problems and can make you into a less mindful person than you’d like to be. It’s time to take a step back and do a little detox, and luckily we’re here to show you how. If you want to rest your mind and escape from the digital world, here are some things that can help.
Realize what the consequences are
One of the worst negative effects of tech overuse is probably the shortened attention span—we become unable to focus on a single task for an extended period of time, and our mind constantly wanders back to our phone screen. There’s also the fact that social media can lower our self-esteem and make us feel stressed, and that constant fear of missing out tends to make us procrastinate and lose valuable time. Our sleep pattern inevitably becomes disrupted if we get accustomed to using our phone before bed, and our memory also suffers.
In moderation, technology is useful—it saves us time, it connects us with loved ones, and it entertains us. However, as with anything, overuse leads to issues that need to be resolved.
Detox through meditation
To begin doing your detox, you must first learn how to be mindful. Nothing helps with mindfulness more than meditation, so take some time for yourself, settle down in a comfortable position, and close your eyes. Make sure all of the devices around you are turned off and resist the urge to keep checking the time. Breathe deeply and remember the good things in your life, remember the outside world that’s completely unrelated to online drama. Learn how to enjoy silence and stillness and live in the present moment.
Get active in nature
If you want to reclaim your time, you have to start thinking about better ways to spend it. Instead of constantly postponing exercise, why not finally get out and start running, walking, or doing yoga in nature? Grab your track pants and your good Nike shoes and go outside so you could breathe in some fresh air and be away from constant distractions as you let your body move. Physical activity can help us clear our mind, and nature heals us mentally and spiritually. If you can’t remember the last time you were surrounded by trees, grass, and earth, then allow yourself to experience it and enjoy it fully.
Consider using an older phone
This is a bit of a drastic step, but if you think your addiction is severe, it can be of great help. Getting an old, basic phone that doesn’t let you do more than make calls and send text messages is a great way to avoid social media. These phones are usually really cheap, so grab one if things started getting out of hand and you want to put a stop to them.
Use organized breaks
If you want to do a mini detox every day, then schedule the exact time you’re allowed to take a break and go online. During this time, you can do anything that you like—browse Instagram, comment on Facebook, Tweet to your friends, check your work email. But once the break is done, you’re not allowed to touch any of it until the next one under no circumstances. Set up alarms and reminders to know when the breaks start and stick to your schedule. This will make you a lot more productive and calm because everything will be more neatly organized.
Introduce no-tech evenings
It’s a good idea to turn off your phone after 9 PM if you want to have an easier time falling asleep, but you should also consider introducing a “no tech evening”. Choose one day of the week and encourage everyone in your family to turn off their phones, computers, and TVs, and then spend some quality time together away from all the fuss. Learn how to be present and focused on people around you because it will help you reconnect and enjoy each other’s company without someone’s screen getting in the way. You can also try out new activities and dedicate your time to a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, or maybe to learning a new skill.
Remember, there’s a whole world out there. It’s important to look up from our phones occasionally and notice the nature around us, so do a digital detox whenever you feel yourself getting overwhelmed with technology and need a bit of a rest.