Detox (noun) a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.
Detox is a word we like to throw around, usually in respect to our food and alcohol consumption. It is a word that conjures up images of abstinence, turmoil and inevitably regret when we spectacularly fall off the wagon into a glass (or two) of wine and all of the tapas. But detox can be a good thing when we change what we centre it around. In this digital age where everyone is highly accessible and things as simple as waiting for a text from a love interest lead to anxiety inducing overthinking – do they like me? Am i too keen? Maybe they’re busy?! – a digital detox could be just what the doctor ordered.
Much like a regular detox a digital detox requires that you refrain, this instance in respect to electronic connecting devices such… your phone! But also your computer, tablet and other such devices, in essence we are logging off and out of the matrix. This unplugging should act as an opportunity to reduce stress, focus on real life social interactions and connect with the physical world around us. So many of us often find ourselves in a virtual bubble where we are faced with the highlights of everyone else’s seemingly perfect life that logging off for a period of time is paramount for your mental health.
Constant accessibility via the digital world is a burden that many of us bare. From social interactions via social channels to the endless stream of emails from work, it can be very difficult to call quits but it is essential. For a nation of ‘internet addicts’ (the average person checks their phone 200 times a day or once every 61/2 minutes), the prospect of putting the devices down can be in itself anxiety inducing but we have some methods for getting into the flow of things.
Make a gadget list
List all of your gadgets and then it will slowly dawn on you how reliant you are on technology. Against this list create a second column with all the things you would like to be doing more of (those things not around technology preferably). What should occur during your detox is that less time on gadgets opens up more time to do the things you would like to do.
Set a small achievable target to begin with. Having a target that is easily achievable means that you are much more likely to stick with it and will be able to increase it over time, as opposed to setting something unreasonable, fail and do away with the detox altogether.
Have tech free zones
The bedroom, the dinner table and in meetings. Create the new normal with those around you. If you benefit from less screen time show them how they can to. This exercise shouldn’t be isolating in fact it should allow you more time with those you love and respect.
Try being present, in the room, you won’t believe how much you’ve been missing keeping up with a screen.