Digital detox is a concept of switching off technology and screens to rest and regain a healthy balance of good digital wellbeing. The term is mainly related to planned more extended periods of time; however, for people actively working today, running businesses or staying in touch with their support networks during physical isolation, a long time offline might mean a lot of stress and anxiety.
When I talk to my clients about a healthy balance of online and offline time, even if we simplify our reality to those two realms, I often notice that they are already taking care of their wellbeing quite a lot. Maybe sometimes we don’t realise that digital detox does not have to cost us a lot of time and money.
Here are few ideas on how digital detox is present in our lives already:
- Weekend trip to an outdoor space – enjoying a walk in nature, at sea or alongside a river, or even a longer woodland walk is something we all love to do, life-permitting – notice how nature and being outdoors can inspire us to switch off (mentally), relax, breathe, leave our phones in our pockets, chat with our fellow hikers
- Lunch-time dog walk – or any other activity that involves your pets, especially if you maintain eye contact with them
- Evening family walk – anywhere, really, as long as it involved movement, conversation, and a real-time connectedness and attunement with fellow human beings
- Morning yoga or mindfulness session – making time for ourselves is a bliss, reconnecting with our mind but also our body pays tribute to this incredible vehicle that carries us in this world, daily
- A moment of physical activity – it’s a myth that we all need to run or go to the gym; gardening, walking, even getting shopping done can be an activity that involves a bit of movement and effort; the effort that we choose, at the right level with a small sense of achievement makes us happy – to it’s worth looking our for small pockets of that in our daily routine (yes, I am one of those people who enjoy re-potting plants and house cleaning for that very reason;))
- A good cuppa – for me, it is my morning cup of coffee, in my favourite sofa chair, staring out of the window, watching kids on their way to school and letting my thoughts drift in their own ripples, restfully
- Lovely meal with a friend – personally, I do not mind devices at the table if they facilitate connection, but it’s worth allowing our digestive systems to process the nutrients and pay full attention to the person who is sharing the space with us – eye contact, body attunement, smile – get those mirror neurons working!
- A date with yourself – candles on, vinyls out, comfort blanket out – sit down comfortable (I love to stretch on the floor, next to my dog), close your eyes and let the music heal your nerves (I will also add a note on alcohol – be careful, too much alcohol burns out the Vitamin D – so you might end up feeling low, but I guess we are all unique)
- Finishing work on time, aking time to transition and BEING – I type with word BEING because it is a verb; it stands for just simply allowing yourself to be – instead of doing, having to do, or being expected to do – JUST BEING. I do my best to get work done (I wouldn’t say I like to-do-lists nor leftover commitments, I let go of tasks that have to wait too); sit down, take a moment to arrive home (even though sometimes my office is exactly in the same physical space) and enjoy whatever it is you want to do.
You see, some of this you are probably doing already. If you are able to let go of the automatic thoughts of getting on the phone to check Facebook or your work emails to enjoy…well, life…you are doing so many forms of digital detox already.
I hope this list will inspire you to re-think your habits in the context of your entire life – not just offline, online, screens or technology. And maybe you will realise that you are already taking care of your digital wellbeing, or – if not – can make very simply adjustments to do so.