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Taking a Digital Detox

By sophiebk 19 Aug 2020

For many of us, our current situation will mean we are spending a lot more time on our phones. This increased screen-time, as well as the constant onslaught of news, mean it is more important than ever that we look after our mental well-being by taking a Digital Detox...

Social Media is full of stories, memes and articles about Coronavirus, and consuming all of this 24/7, is not good for our mental wellbeing. With this in mind, we recommend following some of the below steps to take a Digital Detox - simply committing some time and awareness to how much you’re on your phone / gadgets, and trying to ensure a healthy balance. A Digital Detox doesn’t have to mean coming off everything all at once, it’s about recognising where you are using your phone too much and making adjustments to re-balance your time - here’s our top tips on how to do this...

1. Monitor your screen time

Use Apple’s 'Screen Time' feature to monitor how long you're spending on your phone and set some realistic limits to how much time you’re on certain apps. If you’re a non-Apple user you can just as easily set time limits using alarms or reminders – anything to make sure you're having regular breaks. It can also be helpful to remove apps , such as Facebook, so that you actively have to search for them and log-in if you want to check them.

2. Notifications No More!

One of the easiest ways to get better control of your screen time is to turn off your notifications. This way you will only check your phone when you want to, not because your phone is demanding attention!

3. Be Picky

It may be that you're spending a lot of time on Twitter or news apps, keeping up to date on what's going on around the world. Pick one news outlet and make that your go-to-site once a day, for a set amount of time. Likewise, if your Twitter feed is full of politics, stats and news updates, try unfollowing some of these accounts and replacing them with other things you're interested in - follow some new musicians, craft accounts or whatever floats your boat.

4. Social Free Sunday

Think you could go without your phone for a whole day? What about a couple of hours? Try dedicating your Sunday (or whatever day works for you) to self-care! Turn your Wi-Fi / data off so that you’re still contactable in an emergency, but unable to access Social Media. Just taking a bit of time out regularly is sure to have a positive effect on your well-being.

5. Make a List

Well actually, two lists. Firstly, list all of your gadgets / apps you use regularly. This will show you how dependent you are on technology. Secondly, make a list of all the things that you enjoy doing, but aren't doing presently. Every time you go to pick your phone up, check your ‘things you enjoy’ list and see if you could do one of those things instead.

6. Be aware of the New Normal

Our current situation means that many of our conversations take place on laptop or phone screens and it's important to remember that this is still time in front of a screen! If you have a long Houseparty or Zoom call, take some time away from the screen afterwards. This could be going for a walk, reading a book, or even seeing friends or family (dafely) in real life!

Some other Digital Detox Quick Wins:

  • Keep tech out of reach: light from screens stops production of the hormone melatonin, which is vital for getting to sleep, so leave them to charge somewhere you can’t reach when you go to bed.
  • Make sure you get out and about at least once a day. Not only does it get you away from your screen, it stops you from sitting down too long – also very bad for you.
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