Digital detox: How to unplug and recharge

Taking a break from technology can be a good thing from time to time and can be good for your physical and mental health. Here are some ways you can unplug from your devices (and still stay connected).

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The Digital detox infographic image.

What is a digital detox?

A digital detox is when you stop using your phone, computer, TV, gaming console and other technology devices for a set amount of time.

Why detox?

Switching off from your screens has many physical and mental health benefits:

  • improved relationships with friends and family
  • better sleep habits
  • better eating habits
  • increased focus at school or work
  • boosted self-esteem
  • heightened independence
  • reduced stress and anxiety

How to detox:

When you disconnect from technology, you’ll be able to focus more on the things you may not have the time or energy to do otherwise. Here are a few tips for making your digital detox work:

Pick a time:

decide on how long you’ll be away from your devices. You could try a day or week at a time.

Give notice:

let your friends, family and followers know you’ll be taking a break from your devices. It may be a good idea to provide them with a way to reach you in case of emergency.

Plan ahead:

it’s a good idea to think ahead to how you’ll keep yourself busy during your digital detox. Here are some ideas:

  • spend quality time with family
  • hang out with friends
  • read a book
  • enjoy nature
  • pick up a new hobby or sport
  • catch up on schoolwork
  • write in a journal
  • try something creative like singing, dancing or painting
  • volunteer your time
  • take a nap
  • experiment with a new workout routine

Shut down:

when you’re ready to start your digital detox, turn off your devices and put them in a safe place where they’ll be out of sight, out of mind.

Stick with it:

the fear of missing out can be strong, but it’s important to stick to your goal. You’ll still be able to catch up with family and friends (and build more personal connections along the way).

Get support:

it may be helpful to try a digital detox with a friend or relative so you have someone to go through the experience with. (You can help keep each other on track, too.)

Remember:

If you can’t completely log off your devices, there are other things you can do to reduce your reliance on technology. You can limit the amount of time per day you spend looking at the screen, turn off email/push notifications or reserve your devices for weekend/emergency use only.