Digital Detox: 3 Step How To + What To Expect
When was the last time you went a full day without technology? If you can’t remember, it may be time for a digital detox!
It’s fair to say we live in a world buzzing with information and status updates, where almost anything is only a few clicks away. And while it’s a pretty darn amazing time to be alive, it can be hard to hear your own inner voice amongst all the external noise.
If you’re looking to turn down that volume, get clarity on an issue or simply up-level your wellbeing, you may want to consider a digital detox. In fact, setting some time aside to unplug could be just what you need to recalibrate, get back to your roots and refocus on cultivating the life you want.
In this post, we’re diving in to how to prepare for your digital detox, what to expect (it may surprise you!) and how to consciously reintroduce your tech on your terms.
Step #1 – Prepare For Your Digital Detox
Like they say: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Well…perhaps it’s not that dramatic, but you get the idea! 💡
Setting clear intentions and preparing for your digital detox is key to getting the very most out of it. Now, exactly how you prep for your tech-free time will depend on how much you use your devices, but could look like any (or all) of these:
- Establishing what exactly you’ll be detoxing from, e.g. all tech, just TV, social media, or turning off your phone. Hint: Go with whatever level you’re comfortable with – you don’t need to be 100% tech free to reap some benefits!
- Setting a time period, whether that’s half a day, a whole day, weekend or week +
- Informing those around you (e.g. significant other, family, friends, or even colleagues) if you’re going offline or staying off the TV. This way they’ll know not to tempt you, and won’t be left wondering why you’re not responding to calls and texts!
- Planning some activities to do in your tech-free time. You’re likely to have some extra time on your hands once you ditch the devices, and the significant decrease in stimulation can be like bringing a speeding car to a screaming halt! Planning some low-key activities to keep your mind busy or your body active can help ease the transition. Think: what’s something you want to do, but have been putting off? It could be some at home spa time, a hike or local road trip…have fun with it!
Step #2 – Digital Detox (+ Know What To Expect!)
You’ve made your plan and set your intentions for the digital detox. Now the rubber hits the road! All you need to do here is stick to your plan and remember why you wanted to experience life tech-free in the first place.
Now, before you start expecting smooth sailing all the way, it helps to know what you’re in for…because they don’t call it a “detox” for nothing! A digital detox is just like any other: it comes with some uncomfortable symptoms, and things tend to get worse before they get better! So if your detox isn’t feeling like rainbows and daisies, don’t fret. Nothing has gone wrong here, in fact you’re exactly on track! 😛
FYI, you’re likely to run into some of the following “uncomfortable symptoms” on your digital detox:
- Constant impulse to check email and social media accounts
- Emotional outbursts
- Repeatedly wondering “what do I do now?”
Having some activities planned (see Step 1) will help here, however don’t seek to push these thoughts and feelings down completely. Moving through them consciously is actually an important part of the detox. If you approach these “symptoms” with curiosity, you’ll get some valuable insights into how you depend on technology in your day-to-day.
For me, my most recent digital detox (100% tech free) revealed just how often I turn to my iPhone for entertainment and escape from unpleasant tasks, thoughts and emotions. The dopamine rush from checking email and Facebook was REAL, and I missed it!
See what comes up for you while the “buffer” of technology is gone. This is the time to really notice and acknowledge anything you’ve been avoiding. It’s not a bad thing! In fact, while you’re unplugged from social media and other external messages, this is a chance to reconnect with your own inner wisdom.
Step #3 – Consciously Reintroduce Your Tech
Hold up…this is not the time to go back to the old, clingy relationship you had with your devices! If you managed to move through the digital detox, you may feel like you’ve been handed back the keys to your brain (I sure did!). You’ve gained some serious new perspective, and it’s time to make some conscious decisions about how you want to move forward.
Taking the time to reflect and consciously reintroduce your tech can be the most fun, empowering part of the digital detox process. Think about it – now YOU get to choose the kind of relationship you want to have with your technology!
Reflect on the positives that came out of the detox. After the initial discomfort of the detox, there’s likely a bunch of things that you really started to enjoy. What were they? Better sleep? More time for creative pursuits? Meals with your loved ones where you really see and hear each other?
With some conscious tweaks to your routine and habits around technology, you can decide to keep these benefits going forward. The magic often happens when pen hits the paper, so make sure to write your new habits down.
And remember – bigger isn’t always better. Small tweaks like staying device-free in the morning, or switching off the TV during dinner time are powerful. They’re also surprisingly difficult to master, so just one or two small tweaks is perfect!
Have you done a digital detox? Share your experience below!