Have you ever left home only to realize that you don't have your cell phone with you? It can feel as though the world has immediately stopped, and there's nothing more important than going back to get it. What if someone is trying to reach you? What if there's an emergency and you need your phone? Or maybe we simply can't imagine functioning in our lives without our devices right next to us at all times.
The digital world has revolutionized the way we live, work and connect with others. Need to convert a recipe from ounces to grams? Ask Siri. Looking to connect with old high school friends? Jump on Facebook. Want to watch a movie? Download it from Amazon. Even at work, technology makes it so much easier to book appointments, manage supplies and keep track of expenses. And while technological advancements have brought undeniable convenience and progress, they've also introduced new challenges to our well-being. Finding balance amidst the constant stream of information can be a daunting task, but learning how to turn off your devices from time to time helps foster a healthier relationship with technology and ensures that you're taking care of yourself.
The biggest problem that most of us face with constant technology use is information overload. Our phones, in particular, are constantly binging and buzzing, alerting us to emails, text messages, phone calls, updates, reminders and more. The internet bombards us with a constant flow of information that makes it challenging to disconnect. What's more, the never-ending notifications combined with the pressure to always be available can lead to burnout. Oftentimes, we're not even aware of these effects, rather blaming sleep disruptions, stress, anxiety and even depression on other outside things. But the truth is excessive screen time is often to blame, as it can cause a host of physical and mental health issues.
That's why it's so important to make yourself take a digital detox — even if you don't think you need it or want to. Putting away your devices on occasion is vital to finding balance with mind, body and soul. Setting digital boundaries can help reduce stress and improve focus, leading to better mental clarity and emotional resilience. So, are you ready to ditch your device? Follow these five tips to find better balance in your life.
Establish Digital Boundaries:
Set specific time limits for daily device usage and consider implementing tech-free zones in your house, like your bedroom or at the dinner table. It's also a good idea to periodically take breaks from social media to reduce information overload and gain a fresh perspective.
Prioritize In-Person Connections:
Make a concerted effort to spend quality time with friends and loved ones in-person. While there's certainly a place for digital friendships, there's nothing like being face-to-face with someone to help foster more meaningful relationships and restore quality connections.
While there are countless apps to help you sleep, meditate and de-stress, it's important to nurture your mind and body on a regular basis away from screens. Incorporate yoga, deep breathing techniques or meditation in your daily life to reduce stress and increase awareness. And don't forget to move your body! Take a walk, go to the gym or just dance in the kitchen — physical movement benefits your body, inside and out.
Unplug Before Bed:
If you don't already have one, it's a good time to create a bedtime routine. Unplug from your devices at least an hour before going to sleep to allow your brain to decompress. And then read, write in a journal, listen to music, take a bath — anything that will help you unwind.
Learn To Say No:
Probably the hardest part of our overly-stimulated, always-connected lives is saying “no.” This includes setting boundaries with digital commitments, whether they're work-related obligations, social media tasks or online engagements. Practice saying “no” to those who demand your attention outside of your screen time. It can be difficult in the beginning, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes!