Are you ready to digital detox or are you still thinking about why and how you should do it?
Our technology has so many benefits. We stay connected to people we’ve met on travels, can work from all over the world and quickly find all answers to our questions (e.g. you can read blogs like this one). If we look for relaxation, we can just listen to whatever music we feel like, watch a movie that suits our mood and get inspired by others on social media. Nowadays most people (except maybe out grandparents) can’t live without their phone, computer or TV.
Even if there are many good things about digitalization, it can keep us from living our life. What I mean by that and how to start with your very own digital detox challenge, you can read below.
1. reasons to do a digital detox
Most of us know the situation of being on the phone/ Laptop/ TV for several hours and feeling really unhappy or “bäh” at the end of the day. If this happens every now and then it’s totally find, but if you can relate to this on a weekly or even daily basis, this is a sign to start with your challenge now!
Here are 10 more reasons to start doing a digital detox:
- You check your phone right after you wake up.
- You compare yourself to others on social media or TV.
- You randomly scroll though social media without noticing how many hours have passed.
- You always check your phone, even when having dinner with friends or family.
- You feel the need of sharing everything fun (concert, nice dinner, travles) on social media.
- You miss parts of a movie/ series because you’re staring at your phone.
- You use your TV / Netflix most of the times to relax after work.
- You cannot spend time alone without using your phone/ TV or Laptop.
- You constantly check your emails or inbox on social media, to feel productive.
- You never turn off your phone or put it into flight mode, not even at night.
These are just some of the reasons, but I think you get the point. So if you want to stop comparing yourself to others, invite more self-love and finally start living in the present moment again, digital detox is the right thing to do. So let’s get startet.
2. step by step: starting your detox challenge
a) Find your why
Before you start with your challenge, make sure you know WHY you do this. What is your goal? If you do not know your ‘why’ it’s quite possible that you quit before you even start or postpone the challenge all the time. Your goal could be, to stop comparing your life to the life of others, to finally see the opportunities you have. Or maybe you want to feel more relaxed and have better sleep, since you always feel so stressed out.
Whatever it is, write down your why or whys and keep it somewhere close, so you can always have a look at it, when you start to struggle.
b) Decide What you want to detox from
A lot of times we tend to put too much pressure on ourselves, because we want to do it “right”. In terms of digital detox this means, no more TV, no more using the phone and no laptop outside of work, all at once and preferably for a whole month. But is this really necessary? NO!
Ask yourself what you really want to detox from. Maybe you don’t have an issue with watching too much TV , but only like it every now and then. But at the same time, you can’t stop looking at your phone for new messages, posts on social media or emails. In this case it makes sense to detox from your phone. Of course watching TV should not be the thing you do instead of looking at your phone now (;
C) commit to a timeframe
How long do you want to do the detox for? Committing to a timeframe can help to stick to the challenge, as you know it has an expiration date. In the next step I will also explain, how the challenge works best (at least for me), so maybe doing it for a month can even be easier than a week (;
D) Start small
Start by not using your phone, or whatever device you decided to detox from, during the first 30 minutes after you wake up and the last 30 minutes before you go to bed. This might seem super easy, but can already be very challenging.
If you find yourself looking for excuses like “I just remembered something really important and quickly need to look it up” , find another solution to not forget about it, where you don’t have to use your phone! This could be writing it down in a notebook, to look it up later or the next day. If it’s your TV you want to detox from and your excuse is to just be too exhausted to do something else before going to bed, try to think of something that does not cost you much energy, like taking a bath.
Whenever you feel ready, try to have more “no screen- time”. Another 30 minutes during your lunch time for example. After that maybe a whole evening with no phone or TV. At the end of your challenge try to have a whole day, you are not using the device you wanted to detox from. This can feel super hard, getting out of your comfort zone, but if you stick to it, you won’t regret it! (:
3. things to do while digitally detoxing
This is perfect to do some selfcare. Use the time you now have, to try out different things and get creative. To get inspired, here is a list of the things that you can do:
- taking a bath with music and candles (especially before going to bed)
- meditation (try out different types to find the one that suits you best: HERE you’ll find my top 6 tips for beginners)
- move your body with yoga, dancing, fitness or other activities
- try out something new (how about a pottery class or painting workshop)
- go outside (for a walk, SUP on a lake, hiking, biking)
- read a book
- go to your favorite cafe and start a conversation with someone you don’t know
- cook yourself some fresh and healthy food (print out/ write down a recipe before you have your whole day of detoxing, if you need to look it up online)
- spend quality time with your loved ones
All of those activities help you to better connect with yourself and everyone/ -thing around you. This brings mindfulness into your life, helps you to feel more relaxed and brings a lot of joy. Try it out!
4. after the challenge is over
After you’re done with the challenge, try to not go back to your ‘normal’, but rather take the time to make a list of the things you enjoyed most about the detox. For example: being in the present moment and having very deep conversations when meeting with friends, feeling very relaxed after some quality time with myself, feeling energized and happy after my workout, better sleep when not using the phone 30 minutes before going to bed, …
Then take a look at your list and think about what situations/ times you want to keep on not using your phone / Laptop/ TV and what of the things you did instead you want implement in daily life.
Long story short: Try to keep doing digital minimalism instead of a constant detox, or using your digital devices excessively, to invite more self-love and mindfulness into your life.
5. final thoughts
Digital Detox can be very challenging and I know this, because I’ve been there many times. And one thing I always realize, when I pay attention to my phone consumption (that’s my biggest ‘issue’) before detoxing: A lot of times it is just a stupid habit.
I feel tired, but don’t want to fall asleep, because I think my baby boy is gonna wake up soon anyways > scrolling trough instagram. I don’t feel good health-wise or because I’m in a bad mood > looking for solutions on the internet, rather than resting…. I think you get the point.
But when I consciously try to not use my phone and really be present in the moment, life feels so much better! I feel less stressed, REALLY use the time I have to spend it with my loved ones or myself and feel more balanced overall. I am not perfect at this whole digital detoxing, but I am aware of my consumption more than I used to be and get better at minimizing it (most of the times). So don’t be too hard on yourself, look at this challenge as a help to be more present and celebrate the little steps (: