February 11, 2022
Why You Need a Digital Detox
Scrolling way past bed time, binge watching an entire TV series, working long hours in front of a screen – all takes a toll on our time, sleep and relationships, as well as having an unseen physical and mental health impact.
Maybe it’s time for a new perspective on how our screen-based lives could be affecting our physical and mental health, find some solutions to help you find balance, and maybe the motivation to take a digital detox this new year!
Our world today requires us to be fully-charged, connected, always available and switched on. While this offers us many benefits like being able to connect with family, friends and colleagues across the world, research is now questioning whether it could actually be doing us harm.
A paper published in ‘Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience’ in 2020 described people exposed to high levels of digital information as having poorer memory function, more impulsivity, less empathy and higher anxiety. While heavy social media users are more at risk of anxiety, have less real-world social interactions, a lack of social skill, empathy and difficulty handling solitude.
Physically, the increasing digital world can lead to eyestrain, poor posture, sleep problems and reduced physical activity, which are just the tip of the iceberg that lead to more serious health problems.
Restore the Balance
So, what can we do to balance the benefits of the digital world and our health?
It’s an emerging idea to unplug and restore our nervous system, brain function and physical homeostasis.
Some of the benefits on offer:
– Reduce your addiction and compulsion to use screens and social media
– Feel less “busy” and lighten your mental load
– Improve sleep
– Better intimacy and relationship with your partner
– Be more present with your family and children
Do I Need a Digital Detox?
If you experience some of these symptoms, it might be time for a detox:
– Taking your phone to bed, staying up way past bed time
– Waking up tired
– Feeling compelled to check emails, messages, apps or FOMO (fear of missing out) if you haven’t checked your socials
– Feeling depressed and low self-esteem after being on social media
– Over spending online
– Preoccupied by reactions to your posts
– Can’t resist the next episode in the series, or streaming for the sake of it
– Feeling pressure from mounting family or household tasks
How to Detox
A digital detox is all about detaching from your devices. For you that might mean going cold turkey for a certain period of time while you invest your attention elsewhere. Or it may be a gentle process with new boundaries in place.
Here are some suggestions:
Set achievable goals.
A digital fast.
Do what’s right for you – a few hours, day or two, set day each week, a whole week. Let family, friends and colleagues know, put the out-of-office on and switch to “emergency calls only” mode.
Plan times to check emails or messages, set boundaries on streaming and viewing, a rule of no devices during meal times, set a household ‘lights out’ time.
Social media spring clean.
Remove excess likes, follows and friends that don’t serve you.
Turn off notifications and Wi-Fi.
During your digital fast and overnight after lights out.
Don’t take screens to bed.
An adult bedroom should be used for two things – sleep and…..well, you know the other one.
Get a good old-fashioned pen and paper and write about your detox struggles, instead of succumbing to the screen.
Plan other activities to distract and restore.
Get out of the house with family and friends. Nourish your body and your mind with proven restorative activities like yoga, meditation, clean eating and regular visits to Float Lab. Floatation therapy is the best way to melt away all techno stress in zero gravity. This relaxation experience coupled with mindful meditation will be the perfect escape and aid in helping you retrain your brain to stop relying on constant digital connection.
Like any detox, it can be a bumpy ride with withdrawal symptoms and anxiety, which is why it’s important to fill the time with restorative, helpful habits. You may even find some of the new rules and boundaries are useful beyond your detox.
So, this year, why not set the intention of digital detox – your mind, body and family will thank you for it!
Take the first step by committing to a 4 week Digital Detox with Float Lab. Find out more, Click Here.