How to do a daily digital detox
Reduce screen time and refresh your mind. Here’s how taking a few minutes each day to reboot can benefit your sense of vitality.
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.
"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.
• 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