As this is one of my final blog posts for the year before I embark on my own annual two-week digital detox over Christmas, I thought I would share my top tips for you on how to make the process easier. As much as I am a digital champion and very much #TeamInternet, I do think it is important to switch off from the digital world occassionally in order to appreciate family and friends in real life, and engage in some more 'old-fashioned' pursuits.
It can cause us more stress than we may realise to be constantly switched on and contactable- by worrying about not getting the latest updates from Twitter or about how many hits our blog posts have had that day, or trying to make our real-life special moments suitably Instagram-able. Over Christmas and New Year, every year, I like to be non-contactable expect by close friends and family members. I like to read books, read magazines, colour in colouring books, craft and bake. The only exception I allow to the digital detox rule is the television.
It helps to plan a digital detox in advance to make sure that you have lots of offline activities to occupy yourself and to use up the time that you would usually spend pinning images on Pinterest. I buy in all the ingredients for things I would like to bake, all the materials for craft projects I have forever been procrastinating about and I arrange firm diary dates with family and friends. I also collect all the books and magazines that I want to read too. Doing this means you will never be bored and be tempted to switch on your phone or computer.
If you do have to stay connected to a certain degree, there is a great digital detox app to help you limit the time you spend on your device. Digital Detach App was set up by someone who still wants to remain in contact with people, but without the distractions that an internet-enabled smartphone brings. With this Android app, you can temporarily turn your smartphone into a phone that only has a call and text function for a time that you specify.
If, however, you lack no self-control at all when it comes to keeping offline, there is such a thing as a digital detox holiday. Time To Log Off run special retreats in beautiful locations such as Cornwall and Italy, where all digital devices are banned. No screen-based tech is allowed and instead, you are encouraged to practice yoga and mindfulness, talk about yourself, eat good food and do real-life activites such as art or surfing.
I've found that when I do a digital detox I am a lot less stressed and anxious as I have nobody to answer to and no demands on my time. I also sleep a lot better that I do when I've been staring at a screen all day. Have you tried a digital detox before? I really encourage you to do one this Christmas and remember what it was like before Apple took over the universe.
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Image Credits: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo