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Research shows that we are increasingly engaged online at all hours of the day.  Millions of people routinely give up sleep in order to read comments on their Instagram posts or respond to an interaction from others. After the pandemic year we have all had, it’s time to take that digital detox. Here’s how.

Goodbye hyper-connectedness… just for a while

Nowadays, its considered perfectly normal to wake up to an alarm ringing on your phone and to check your notifications before you even brush your teeth.

But is this level of hyper-connectedness doing us any good? Do we really need to know whats going on and be able to take part at every moment of the day, or night, for that matter?

Were losing out on mindfulness, on meaningful moments, and on good quality productivity. We’re also getting more stressed by what we read and the expectations created by social media.

Not only is this causing unnecessary stress and disrupting our sleep patterns – but due to the high levels of blue light constantly were exposed to – it’s also shortening our attention spans.

If youve been feeling like your mind is struggling to shut down, or you feel you cannot live without checking your phone, then perhaps its time to undergo a little digital detox. Naturally, its not always possible to abandon all forms of screen time. However, there are myriad ways to practice healthier device habits.

With the festive break approaching, its the perfect time to disconnect, take some time for yourself, and come back to a healthy mindset.

Here are 6 smart ways to take that digital detox you sorely need!

1. Make your bedroom a device-free zone

It might be hard at first, but you need to make this a priority. Your sleep and mindfulness depend on this. As long as your phone is always next to you on your bedside table, youre going to have a hard time switching off the way you need to. No laptops, no smartphones, no smartwatches. Then make sure you get to bed at a certain time each night and enjoy at least an hour getting ready for bed with some relaxing routines, such as reading a book, journaling, or listening to soothing music.

2. Stick to one screen at a time

If youre working on your laptop, dont be on your phone periodically, checking in between work. If youre watching a movie or documentary, focus on doing just that. Multiple screens are wreaking havoc on our attention spans and causing us to have trouble with productivity.

3. Curate your social media feed and your phone settings

For times when you are going to be online, make sure youre being exposed to positive, healthy content. Unfollow accounts that do not uphold this type of messaging. Then make sure your phones settings limit you to a certain level of screen time each day. You can also download apps that help you keep track of how much time you spend where, like The Moment (iPhone) and Off-Time (Android).

4. Think about why and how you are busy

In the same way that going without sleep gets glamorized, being busy all the time is often seen as a positive thing. This is not true. If youre constantly connected and multitasking you may find it difficult to focus. You will make more errors and actually be even busier. It can be easy to use as an excuse for not making your goals or not getting to the things you should be prioritizing in your life. Take the time youre saving on social media to think about what you want to focus on important tasks. If you dont make the choice, the world will make it for you.

5. Turn off  push notifications

Lets be honest those beeps, buzzes, and alerts we get from our phones are simply irritating. Not only do they distract us from important moments and steal focus, but they disrupt your ability to focus. Unless you really want to know about whats going on, or if its for emergencies, turn them off.

6. Dont allow your phone to become your security blanket

How often do you catch yourself looking at your phone while standing in line or even while the kettle is boiling? Why do we do this? Perhaps its a habit or even a way to push down anxiety or to distract us from our emotions. Instead of doing this and engaging in yet another mindless scroll, focus on what’s happening in and around you. Just be present for a while and practice mindful breathing while you wait. You’ll find this improves your state of mind, and you will feel calmer and happier.

Final thoughts

Realize that as a consumer of social media, you, your time, and your attention is the product being sold. How much, then, is your attention and time worth to you? By taking time off your devices you will place a greater value on your own time and can focus on doing more of what you love, and with whom you love.  You’ll discover that you will sleep, be more present with your loved ones, and enjoy your life more.


Em Sloane

Em Sloane

I am an introverted nature lover, and long time contributor to My role is to publish the information in a consumer friendly format, which we receive on the latest medical news, press releases and general information on the latest longevity related research findings.


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