Have you ever looked at your daily screen time and felt shocked? Or do you find yourself reaching for your phone without knowing why you even grabbed it in the first place? Firstly, us too. And secondly, you are not alone.
Our smartphones help us to run so many aspects of our daily lives from banking to emailing to keeping up with friends and family.
But it’s no surprise that research suggests it’s having a damaging effect on our health and emotional wellbeing.
That’s where digital detoxing comes in: a short break to switch off devices and enjoy a real break from digital demands. An intentional way to disconnect from distractions and reconnect to what nourishes you.
As part of our month of micro rituals series, we invite you to join us each Sunday this month to unplug and notice the impact it has. Still not convinced? Read on to discover why taking a mini digital detox might improve your feelings of wellbeing.
What is Screen-Free Sunday and How Does it Work?
Screen-Free Sunday is a chance to take an entire day away from your smartphone and laptop - by either turning it off, or putting it into airplane mode and out of sight. No quickly logging onto Instagram or responding to an email request. A Screen-free Sunday is about taking real time away from your phone and notifications in order to reduce stress levels, focus on real-life relationships and activities away from screens.
According to research, the average person checks their phone a whopping 200 times a day - that’s more than once every six and a half minutes!
It’s well-documented that overuse of technology leads to increased anxiety, feelings of comparison, poor sleep and low-mood. Intentionally limiting use is a proactive way to help reduce its impact and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
Tips for Screen-Free Success (on Sundays, or otherwise)
OK, we get it, it’s not easy at first to fully switch off from technology - but you can help set yourself up for success.
- Set boundaries. Let your friends and family know your plans if you feel anxious at the thought of unresponded messages. Even better, encourage them to try it with you. Give them a landline number or person to contact in a true emergency if it helps to put your mind at rest.
- Put an email signature on your emails or status on your messaging apps to let people know when you are offline and what hours you’re available to respond.
- Create designated phone-free rooms - such as your bedroom. Leave your phone in the locker on the way to a workout class or at home when you head for a walk. Keeping your phone out certain situations will remove temptation to check it. Need an alarm - we love Lumie Lights - it uses light therapy to wake you up naturally and gently.
- Find yourself checking social apps too much? Delete them off your homescreen. You can still access them if you need to but you’ll have to search for them and it creates an additional barrier to access.
Sunday Doesn’t Work For Me, What Else Can I Do?
Sunday for many is traditionally a restful day which makes a great choice to try a digital detox, but if it doesn’t fit in with your current lifestyle there are still ways to implement more phone-usage boundaries into your day. Begin by excluding phone-usage at certain times of the day. For example, no phones during dinner or no phones in the bedroom while you sleep. Perhaps no phones for the first and last hour of the day. While a full day of no phone usage may not be available to you right now - try allocating times throughout the day to disconnect.
Each Sunday in January 2023 we’ll be going Screen-Free as part of our month of micro rituals series. Head to our Instagram to discover more mini-mindful practices including breathwork, meditations and sound-therapy