Did you know that the average person in the UK spends on average 6 hours 12 mins connected to tech, EVERY day according to ‘We are Social’. That’s roughly 40% of our waking hours. Of that nearly two hours is spent on social media (110 mins) or 5 years and 3 months of our lives.
Although there are great reasons that we use tech for work and recreation and it’s been a brilliant way to connect during the pandemic, it can also have an adverse effect on both our physical and mental wellbeing. Studies across the globe have pointed to links to increased stress, poor sleeping habits, depression, loneliness and increased body mass index.
Like millions of others, you may be unwittingly addicted to your phone or social media and couldn’t contemplate life without it. Cold turkey is not a realistic option for most people but you could try a digital detox.
A digital detox is simply time out from using tech devices such as smartphones, computers, screens, and social media. It is consciously setting boundaries and making sure you use technology to benefit and not harm your emotional and physical health. By reducing time spent online or in front of a screen gives you more time to focus on your real life, here and now.
Below are a few simple things you could try for an evening or a weekend digital detox. Give some or all of them a go and monitor how it makes you feel:
Turn off push notifications
Set aside phone-free times such as family meal times
Only watch one screen at a time
Unfollow any social media accounts that evoke negative thoughts
Don’t take your phone or device into the bedroom
Put your phone on aeroplane mode
Check your social media at specific times or for a limited set time
Disconnecting with technology will give you time to reconnect with reality and ground yourself. That is so important for good mental health. A great way to reconnect is to get outside and submerse all your senses in the living world, wherever you are. You don’t have to see the best sunset, the brightest rainbow or the most awe inspiring landscape that someone else has posted, you just have to see the miracle of where you live. Forget FOMO, nothing can replace conscious experience; learn to see the joy in the things around you.
For us, sitting outside around a flickering, dancing fire, and being mesmerised by the flames is our reconnection. Fire is ancient, alive and unbounded. Around it is our most instinctive and natural place to find comfort and spend time with loved ones. It is calming and relaxing and has many health benefits (check out our blog here for more information ) and we believe is the perfect way to spend a digital detox. Try it this weekend.