The average person spends about 90 minutes a day on their phone. That’s around 23 days a year and 3.9 years in a lifetime! Add to this the use of computers, tablets and television and that is a lot of time spent staring at a screen.
This time of year is ideal to reconnect with the world around us, and with each other.
So here is Flourish Yoga’s 7-Day Digital Detox Challenge!
Day 1: Turn off push notifications
When you wake up and check your phone, chances are you’ve got a lock screen full of notifications pining for your attention. You won’t miss anything if you turn these notifications off. You’ll just refocus on what’s important.
Still want to see what your friends have been up to on Facebook? Wondering if your IKEA purchase has shipped? You’ll find out when you open the app intentionally and check.
Day 2: Unsubscribe
You know all those mailing lists you signed up for 5 years ago because at the time that 20% discount offer was irresistible?
Save yourself from the weekly ‘Move to Trash’ routine and unsubscribe once and for all. One great way to do this is with “Unrollme”. This online tool goes through your inbox, finds all those subscriptions and then let’s you unsubscribe or “roll them up” into a single, once-a-day email.
Day 3: Have some old-school fun
Cast your mind back to what you did in your spare time before you had a mobile phone, leave the phone at home (I mean it!) and do something social with friends or family—completely disconnected from the online world.
Day 4: The bowl by the front door
We’re about to trial a new detox technique – the bowl (or box) by the front door. In my house, we’re going to put our phones in the box when we get home and spend the evening connecting with each other rather than sitting next to each other on the couch looking at our phones. This is a wonderful way to use your phone as a phone again.
Day 5: Limit yourself
Its hard to get to sleep and sleep well if you’ve been staring at a screen in the hours before bed time. Challenge yourself not to look at or post on any social media after a certain time in the day. Personally, I try to have computer and phone free time after 8pm each night. I do watch TV after 8pm because it gives me an opportunity to snuggle on the couch with my husband after my son is in bed.
If willpower is a problem, enlist the support of one of the free blocking tools that prevent you from accessing certain sites at certain times. I use StayFocused to block Facebook after 30 minutes each day.
Day 6: Enjoy the moment — without jumping onto Facebook to share it
Do you share every little thing that happens? A gorgeous bowl of granola turns into an Instagram post. The sunset on your evening walk has to be carefully photographed and shared on Facebook.
This can be a nice way of connecting with friends but it means we’re more mindful of capturing the images than really enjoying the experiences. Leave the phone in your bag and notice the world around you.
Day 7: Move your Body
When we’re free of our mental and emotional connection online, we can focus on our body again. Research shows that overdoing it on social media can make depression and anxiety worse, and there is overwhelming evidence that exercise can improve mental health.
Spend half an hour of the time you would have spent online doing exercise like walking, swimming or yoga and notice the difference in how you feel. It might take some time to adjust, but once you disconnect online and reconnect offline, you’ll get parts of your life back that you didn’t even notice were missing.
Let me know how you go!