How To Do A Digital Detox

For a great number of people worldwide, digital screen-time has significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. In times when social distancing and isolation have become essential, modern technologies have made it possible to work, study, and live remotely.

With the help of the internet and technology; work, education and socialising have all moved online.

While taking advantage of this technology, we can lose track of how much time we spend on our devices and the impact this may have on our mental health.

Why is Digital Detox Important?

Research suggests that non-stop connectivity is linked to stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and other mental health issues. If you spend a lot of time in front of the screen, it is probably necessary to practice a digital detox: take breaks and refrain from using your smartphone, social media and other tech devices for a period of time.

Heavy Device Use Affects Mental Health

Heavy device use can cause mental health concerns, particularly among adolescents and young adults. Different studies showed that passive Facebook use leads to declines in emotional well-being over time by increasing envy in people.

Constant connectivity makes it hard to feel content and happy with your life. The fear of missing out (FOMO), as well as social pressures, may cause you to present yourself in one way online while you actually feel differently. This feeling of “not being yourself” can trigger feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

Under constant pressure from social media to filter and adapt, many young people tend to sacrifice their values, emotions, and needs, just to fit in. Unrealistic expectations, social pressures, FOMO, and comparing ourselves to others make our experiences seemingly gloomy and isolating, triggering feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, and depression.

Detoxing from social media can be a great way to stop comparing yourself to others and focus on more important things in your life.


How to Do a Digital Detox

Taking a break from your devices can benefit your mood, stress levels, and mental well-being. However, a digital detox doesn’t mean you have to completely detach from your tech devices. A digital detox is more about setting the limits when it comes to device and internet use.

  1. Set Boundaries

Limit your device use during some parts of the day and refrain from using them before you go to bed. Turn off push notifications on your smartphone and resist the urge to check your screen every few minutes.  You can use apps like Forest and Freedom to aid you in this.

  1. Mindfully Connect with Nature

Spend time outside whenever you get a chance. Sit on the ground, take your shoes off, and feel connected to nature around you. Practice mindfulness meditation for a few minutes to focus on the present and relax. Taking regular breaks to connect with nature and practice mindfulness can help you quiet down, alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, and think positive thoughts.

  1. Read a book

Reading is a great way to pass the time and stay entertained when staying away from your devices.  Dive into a new book and feel the stresses of the world float away.

  1. Connect with People in Real Life

Spend time with people you love, even if you need to follow the social distancing rules. Have a meaningful conversation with your friend face-to-face, grab dinner with your sister, or cook a new recipe for your partner. No digital relationship can replace real-life interactions with people we love.

Although sometimes necessary, spending too much time glued to your screen can have a negative impact. Taking a break from your devices from time to time can help you feel rejuvenated, less stressed, and happier.

Further reading

Check out our blog on how social media affects your mental health.

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