Digital Detox: 5 Ways to Help You Disconnect

There’s a growing number of people who rely on the Internet. I know, it seems crazy. The Internet has become so pervasive in our everyday lives that it seems like it was always here. Our jobs are 9-5 in front of a computer. Our commutes are spent on our phones. (Unless you drive; if so, please put down your phone.) Our evenings are spent having hot dates on the couch with Netflix. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for binging Escape to the Country for the 37th time while I finish up work emails at 8:30 with a glass of wine. But there are times where I’ve said to myself, “You know what would be nice? Picking up a real book. How can I go through a digital detox?”

Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt like all of these screens just seem to have taken over your life, and you want to get away from it? Do you feel yourself becoming anxious when you put down your phone?

If this sounds like you, here are a few ideas to help you get away from it all. Be reasonable, as this is a pretty individualized process (but finding a partner helps).

First, as Forbes suggests in their 30-Day Tech Detox, take a day or two and document your behavior outside of work. When you feel the urge to check that notification, ask yourself if you’re checking it out of habit or necessity.

Next, make getting to your technology as inconvenient as possible. Move your technology out of the bedroom. Shut it down and put it in a drawer if you feel the need to. Again, do what is best for you.

Here are a few ideas to help fill your time during your digital detox:

  1. If you’re a parent, why not take your kids to a museum or a park? Or heck, just get outside! It’s almost fall, which means, especially in Chicagoland, apple picking, pumpkin patches, and the simple pleasure of jumping in leaf piles.
  2. What if you have a fur baby? That bundle of cuteness is a built-in detoxer! Go for a walk. Put down your phone and play.
  3. Take a look around your home. Have you swept the floor lately? How about the dust that seems to be settling in on your TV console? (Guilty.) Take an hour this weekend and take care of it.
  4. Go on a coffee date with someone you admire, or someone you haven’t seen in a while. Put away your phone and catch up.
  5. During your commute, look around you and not at your phone, even if it’s just between two stops. Take a moment to observe what’s happening around you, and be present.

Let’s bring back mindful screen time. Let’s take an hour or two this weekend and give ourselves a break. Take a digital detox with me, won’t you? Leave your ideas in the comments below! I can’t wait to try some of them out. Xx

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