How to do a digital detox

Written by Sophie Barrow

How to do a digital detox

Do you struggle to switch off and relax? When you're on holiday, does it take you a few days to properly get into relaxation mode? If yes, a digital detox might be for you. 

The digital world means we are constantly in demand from colleagues, friends, family and basically anyone you have in your life. By doing a digital detox, you allow yourself to temporarily remove yourself from communication for a short amount of time. This could really help with some much needed 'me time' in order to unwind. 

A digital detox doesn't need to last an anxiety-inducing length of time. It could be for an hour, an evening, a day or a few days! 

Here are some steps you can take to do a digital detox:

1. Plan your time to detox

Planning your detox is key to a successful digital cleanse. Choose a time that works best for you. Granted that weekdays during the daytime might not be the easiest time to switch off, but the evenings or weekends might be more doable. Your detox moment will likely depend on how long you want to do it for and what your own life is like. There is no right answer, but it might take some trial and error to really know which time is best for you, especially if you decide to make it a routine. 

2. Make plans

A digital detox can be difficult, but it's made 10 times worse if you find yourself bored. Make some plans for your detox, whether that's with friends being sociable, or at home reading a book on the sofa. This is some real you time, where people won't be able to reach you like they usually do. So think carefully about what would make you happy to fill your detox time with. 

3. Switch off properly

It's not unusual to feel anxious when turning off your devices for the first time. While this anxiety will wear off once you get stuck into activities, there are some things you can do to reduce this sense of uneasiness. Make sure you don't leave anything urgent hanging when you switch off. Ensure that any colleagues, kids, friends and family have no need to contact you during you detox. For example, don't leave urgent emails unanswered. This way, you'll be able to relax properly and you won't be tempted to switch back on while you're trying to switch off. 

4. Enjoy yourself 

Most people say that time feels longer when you're offline. Without a constant race to be on time, reply to people ASAP and keep checking your phone for the time, you'll probably find your me time feels slower. This isn't a bad thing - it will likely help you to sleep better, feel as though your giving yourself more down time and giving your mind the space to properly relax. 

5. Switch off, detox, repeat 

Detoxes are done best when they're done regularly. Perhaps aim for 1 evening a month to begin with. If you feel like you could benefit from more detoxes, add some more into your routine. You could even extend your monthly detox from an evening to a whole day and see how that goes. Go with your flow on this!

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