For two whole days I didn’t go on my phone. That meant no texting, no calling, no scrolling. It was liberating. I have never felt so energetic and excited to see my friends, and I had more time than ever. I never liked how dependent I was on my cell phone, I kind of resented the thing. It gave me an excuse to avoid talking to people, it makes me anxious, and worst of all, I find so much comfort in having it by my side. I don’t like that I rely on my phone so much but taking two days off gave me a lot of clarity in what I can do to spend a lot less time looking at a screen. Here are my top 4 ways to do a little digital detox.
I’m determined to figure out how to waste less time on my phone. It’s been this way for years. I want to make time for so many things in my life and wasting time on my phone distracts me. I want to be less dependent on my phone for communication and for something to do. Constantly looking at a screen is exhausting. While I’m filling the dead time that is spending time on my phone, I acquire new, stress-relieving routines.
Top Digital Detox Tips
- Spend half an hour in the morning without your phone. Reply to anything immediate, then leave it upstairs while you have breakfast or just let it be while you get dressed. My morning routine usually includes: get up, check phone, eat while scrolling, get dressed while listening to music, leave. Without my phone by my side, my morning routine took me half the time and I ended up having time to make a really healthy and good breakfast in the mornings. You’ll find that things take much less time when you’re not splitting your attention.
- Deleted your social media vice for a week or two. This is one of my favorite things to do when I get super overwhelmed (see my posts on dealing with overwhelm here and here). I delete the Instagram app off my phone for 2 weeks – a month. If I absolutely need to (best friend posts and it needs love), then I go to the website on my phone, much less convenient.
- Notice when you’re on it most, then fill that time with something else. For me, it’s when I’m watching TV at night. If the plot slows for a few minutes, I pick up my phone and start going through apps. Instead, I brought out my coloring book while I was watching shows so my phone wouldn’t even cross my mind.
- Don’t scroll immediately before you go to bed. This always gets me. I get in bed at 11 and by the time I’m done texting or scrolling through Snap magazines, it’s 12:30. By reading instead, I became more conscious of when I was tired, so I slept better and woke up happier. Also, I appreciated not having that bright light in my face before bed and noticed I slept a lot better.
I detoxed for 48 hours and I think everyone should try a digital detox. Even if you can’t let go of everything your phone provides you with, try deleting a social media app for a week. It will truly open your eyes to what consumes your day and what you fill the time with without it.