Take a Digital Detox

Thursday January 03, 2019

Digital detox

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that we are spending too much time in front of our screens. Be it TVs, computer or the most frequently used – cellphones, we could all agree that a digital detox would be beneficial to everyone. In 2017, it was averaged that adults had over 5 hours of screen time daily, which likely is much higher for those that sit at a desk all day. Of that screen time, we’ve seen mobile usage increase substantially over the last year. On average, we check our smartphone 85 times a day. This not only affects our eyesight and neurological function, but it can also affect our social skills. Here are a few ways you can reduce your tech time.

1. Set a limit. If you’ve updated your iPhone, you may notice there is now a screen time tracker. With this you can see your daily average use and you can set time limits on certain apps. In my house, we’ve all agreed it’s phones away at 8pm. That means no texts, Instragram scrolling, or checking emails past 8pm.
2. Leave your phone at home (or in the car). You would not believe how many times I’ve gone to a restaurant and looked around to see everyone on their phones. Why go out for a meal with a loved one when you’re on your phone the whole time? Leave your phone at home or locked in your car when you go out. This will avoid the temptation to pull it out once you’ve sat down.
3. Keep devices out of the bedroom. Once it’s lights out it should stay that way. Having your phone nearby or the television on while you’re in bed may disrupt your brain waves and keep you from going to sleep. If you use your phone as an alarm, keep it on the other side of the room or buy an alarm.
4. Take your lunch break for an actual lunch. Do not eat at your desk! When we do this, we generally eat faster than we would if we were sitting at a kitchen table. When we eat fast, we may not produce enough digestive juices to breakdown our foods which can lead to constipation and/or bloating. On top of that, it takes up to 20 minutes for our stomachs to tell us we are full so if you eat everything in a few minutes, you may not know that you were full before that last night. Take time to eat your lunch at an actual table with actual people. If time permits, go for a walk outside to get some fresh air and stretch you legs.
5. Don’t text and drive. For starters, it’s against the law and it can distract you from your first priority when you’re behind the wheel (which is driving if you weren’t aware). Make sure your phone is completely out of reach while you’re driving so you aren’t tempted to reach for it (including when you are stopped at a red light). Put it in a bag in the back seat or in your passenger side cubby.

Taking a step back from your tech devices may sound easy but it will be a struggle for some. So take one small step at a time but checking off one of these tips at a time rather than all at once.