How to do a daily digital detox

Australian's spend more time scrolling than sleeping. Here's how to take time to recharge yourself.

Do you ever feel as if life is just speeding by and you’re running from one thing to the next, without time to pause and regroup?

You’re not alone. Despite all the technology we have in our lives that in some ways saves us time, it often seems that we are more stressed and time poor than ever before.

This is not ‘news’. A 2014 Medibank study found that Australians are spending an average of nine hours a day looking at computers, TVs, smartphones and tablets. That’s more time than we’re spending sleeping.

Eye strain headaches, posture issues, fatigue at work, lack of sleep and lack of physical activity are just a few possible side effects of our busy, technology-focused lives. We all know it would be good for us cut back on the time we spend on our digital devices. And yet, so many of us are not taking the steps we need to slow down and reboot ourselves each day.

Wellbeing isn’t just about exercise and diet. A big part of wellness is mindset and mental clarity. To achieve this, it’s important to get back to basics with three core pillars of vitality: fresh air, fresh food and a fresh perspective.

Taking regular breaks away from your laptop, phone, tablet and TV can help you to reconnect with your surroundings, create a pause of mental clarity and creativity, and give you a chance to notice your posture and your breathing.

Laptop computer and smartphone

“Australians are spending an average of nine hours a day looking at screens – more time than we’re spending sleeping.”

 

Here are some tips for giving yourself a daily reboot:

During the day

  • Place a sticky note on your computer that says “Take a nano break” and make a point of getting up and walking away from your computer for a few minutes. Go talk to a colleague personally rather than emailing across the room!
  • Stay off Facebook and social media in the morning on the way to work. Listen to music or a podcast or read a book instead.
  • Take a fresh air break at lunchtime, rather than eating lunch with your phone or iPad in front of you.Look up, look around.
  • Head out for a quick break around the office, take the dog for a walk, or do something active at the weekend. Use time away from work as time for you to recharge your mental and physical batteries.

At night

  • Avoid TV, illuminated alarm clocks and other digital stimuli in the bedroom.
  • Read a book before you go to sleep, rather than watching television or working late on the computer.
  • Meditate and concentrate on breathing. Channel your thoughts from worry to a place of peace.
  • Create a regular bedtime routine and a regular sleep-wake schedule.
  • Create a restful environment that is dark, cool and comfortable. Play restful music to help you relax.
  • Keep a diary of things that are on your mind, even if it’s just a list of things to do for the next day. Get them out of your head and onto paper.

Think of a digital detox as recharging your own batteries. If we do not fully recharge our batteries, then we diminish our energy levels and our ability to handle stress and perform daily tasks.

So after you’ve read this, rather than jump on your phone or connect to Netflix, why not lace up your shoes, head out the door or get up and have a chat with your family or a colleague. Sometimes you need to disconnect to reconnect.

Get more wellbeing and lifestyle tips at thevitalitycoach.com.au

Reduce screen time and refresh your mind. Here’s how taking a few minutes each day to reboot can benefit your sense of vitality.

Recommended reading - Stretching guide

Advice

Stretches for runners

These are the best stretches for your back, hips and legs after a tiring run.

Read more
Advice

Nine tips for bouncing back after exercise

Exercise can hurt, not just during a session but also for several days afterwards.

Read more
Advice

Stretches for office workers

These are the best stretches for office workers, designed to relieve stress from idleness.

Read more
Advice

Stretches for the inflexible

Find a more gentle approach to stretching and develop a habit that will benefit you in the long term.

Read more
Advice

Stretches for gym enthusiasts

Relax your muscles after workouts by following physiotherapist Charissa Fermelis' list of stretches.

Read more
Advice

Backward Roll

A stretch for your arms, shoulders and back.

Read more
Advice

Backbend

A stretch for your chest, back, abs and hips.

Read more
Advice

Bridge

A stretch for your neck, shoulders, hips and thighs.

Read more
Advice

Camel Stretch

A stretch for your chest, abs, neck, hips and thighs.

Read more
Advice

C-curve

A stretch for your neck, upper back and ribs.

Read more
Advice

Butterfly Stretch

A stretch for your inner thighs, knees and groin.

Read more
Advice

Candle Stretch

A stretch for your neck and shoulders.

Read more
Advice

Downward Dog

A stretch for your hamstrings and calves.

Read more
Advice

Three-Legged Dog

A stretch for your hamstrings, adductors and calves.

Read more
Lifestyle

Forward Fold with a Twist

A stretch for your legs, hips, waist and shoulders.

Read more
Advice

Wide-Legged Forward Bend

A stretch for your back, hips and legs.

Read more
Advice

Child’s Pose

A stretch for your hips, back, shoulders, knee and groin.

Read more
Advice

Half Pancake Stretch

A stretch for your hips, groin and legs.

Read more
Advice

Revolved Crescent Lunge

A stretch for your legs, hips, waist and shoulders.

Read more
Lifestyle

Pendulum Stretch

A stretch for your hamstrings and inner thighs.

Read more
Advice

Lying Hip Rotation

A stretch for your hips, lower back, waist and legs.

Read more
Advice

Extended Side Angle

A stretch for your legs, hips, waist and shoulders.

Read more
Lifestyle

Side Lunge

A stretch for your hips and legs.

Read more
Advice

Wide Leg Squat

A stretch for your hips, legs and back.

Read more
Advice

Thoracic Extension

A stretch for your arms, shoulders and back.

Read more
Advice

Thoracic Rotation

A stretch for your chest, back and shoulders.

Read more
Health Check

5 ways with a foam roller

How to use foam rollers to keep your muscles limber, especially after running and weightlifting.

Read more
Advice

Stretching for runners

There is lots of conflicting information on stretching. Learn how to stretch for better results.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.