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Digital Detox: Why We Should Disconnect and How to Do It

Digital Detox sounds like an oxymoron, right? We live and breathe our digital lives. Our phones are attached to us like a second appendage, and we can’t get enough of friendly Facebook messenger and Twitter notifications. However, it turns out that all of the social media alerts and emails we receive every day are causing us mental exhaustion. Even worse, many of us are unaware that we are actually suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

How long would you last without checking your phone? If the thought of missing out on one “important” text or tweet makes you break out in a cold sweat, you might be due for a digital detox. Studies show that overusing technology is bad for sleep, productivity, relationships, and self-esteem. Here are some tips that will help you get away from the digital world and enjoy your life more fully.

What Is a Digital Detox?

During digital detox, a person refrains from using all forms of technology for at least one day. While this might be nearly impossible for some, it can still help. Taking regular breaks from technology can lower stress associated with constant use and the physical effects of it such as eye strain.

Signs You Might Need a Digital Detox

  • You feel anxious or stressed out if you can't find your phone

  • You feel compelled to check your phone every few minutes

  • You feel depressed, anxious, or angry after spending time on social media

  • You are preoccupied with the like, comment, or reshare counts on your social posts

  • You’re afraid that you'll miss something if you don't keep checking your device

  • You often find yourself staying up late or getting up early to play on your phone

  • You have trouble concentrating on one thing without having to check your phone

How to Do a Digital Detox

There are many ways to take a break from screen time, and all of them work because each of us is unique. Use these five methods to detox your digital life:

1. Set time boundaries

Every day, take a technology-free hour. Put your phone away while you eat or schedule technology-free activities into your day, like classes.

2. Use your phone with purpose

When you’re about to reach for your phone, try pausing to consider why you feel the need to use it. Are you avoiding an activity or situation, or are you looking for a distraction from the present moment? If so, you can think about how to handle the situation in a healthier way.

3. Set physical boundaries

If you’re in the habit of picking up your phone every time you have a free moment, try storing it in another room or keeping it turned off so you won’t be tempted to use it.

4. Enjoy more paper media

Make an effort to experience life outside of a screen. Enjoy books, newspapers, and comics. Pick up a pencil and paper to write or draw.

5. Take advantage of your phone’s apps and features

Your phone has tools that can help you limit your technology use. For example, you can turn off notifications for certain apps or turn off your phone entirely for a while.

Digital Detox Tips

Giving up your devices may come naturally to some, but for others it can feel like an all-out assault on their individuality and sense of self.

To ensure that your digital detox is more successful:

  1. Let your friends and family know that you’re going on a digital detox, and ask them to respect your decision.

  2. Stay distracted with other activities, and keep other activities on hand.

  3. Think about deleting social media apps from your phone so that you are less tempted to check for updates.

  4. When you feel the urge to check your devices, leave the house and enjoy the company of friends or go for a walk.

  5. It can be helpful to keep a journal of your progress and to write down your thoughts about the experience.

Benefits of Digital Detox During Addiction Recovery

As you Recover from Alcohol or drugs, avoid the temptation to use digital devices so that you can live a healthier lifestyle. Some of the specific ways that digital detox can boost your Recovery include:

1. Improve mental health

Addiction to technology can cause symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. A digital detox can reduce the symptoms associated with excess technology use and help make recovery from addiction a little easier.

2. Reduce stress

In Recovery, many people find that stress from social media and technology contributes to drug or alcohol cravings. By limiting these things, you can better control any withdrawal symptoms that arise.

3. Enhance sleep

The evidence clearly shows that frequent device use can disrupt your sleep schedule and make it harder to sleep. However, by improving your sleep patterns through a digital detox, you can better rest your body as it recovers from addiction.

Adding Digital Detox to Your Recovery Strategy

Learn more about recovery strategies that work for you by taking steps to include digital detox habits in your recovery. If you need support while you find recovery strategies that work for you, contact John Corbett to get the support you need.

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