But with this much power comes responsibility. Technology can mess with mental and physical health, from social media addiction to intense headaches when spending hours glued to a screen. This is why one of the best things you can do for your mental health this year is to try a digital detox. Whether you stay away from social media for a monthor set your own app timer, there are many ways to do a digital detox and to reap the benefits for your mind and your body.
What is a social media addiction?
A social media addiction is the constant need to check your social media accounts. Analyzing your life through how many likes you get, who has liked your content, and not really being present IRL all can contribute to negative self-talk and image, not to mention affecting your school, work, friendships, and family. It can also hurt the perception you have of yourself, causing negative comparisons to others, and making you feel like you’re missing out or somehow aren’t good enough. With the help of a digital detox, you can find out how to break social media addiction and combat screen addiction.
How To Do a Digital Detox
OK so you’re probably thinking this is easier said than done. But once you try one of these methods and give your brain and body a well-deserved break from devices you can get into healthier routines and start to refocus on the things that truly matter to you.
1. Delete social media apps off your phone
One of the biggest digital time-sucks is social media. It’s easy to open your phone mindlessly to scroll through apps like Instagram and TikTok. And, it’s likely that the majority of content you see doesn’t make you feel great about yourself either. Try deleting your apps for a day and see how you feel. If you can handle a day, try a week. If you can handle a week, try a month.
Once you finally re-download those apps, you’ll have a better idea of what you’d like to see on your social media feeds. You’ll start to clean your follower count by only following accounts and people that make you feel good and confident. You can also control who follows you by making all of your accounts private.
2. Use apps to limit screen time
For iPhone users, Apple has a section of settings called “Focus.” When you set up “Focus” on your phone, it will allow you to be on “Do Not Disturb” for however long you need. This means all of your notifications will be silenced, and you won’t be notified of any texts or any other alerts.
If you’re looking for other alternatives, you can look to apps like Space, Flipd, Forrest, and Offtime. These apps will either lock your screen for some time or remove any notifications from your phone. Some alternative apps cost money, while some are free. You can also set time limits to certain social platform apps to avoid spending hours doom-scrolling.
3. Come Back To the Real World
Look outward from your device and back into real life and find activities that you enjoy that don’t require a smart phone. Enjoy the fresh air by taking your Field Pack and going on an adventurous hike. Throw on your Half Pint Mini Backpack and head to an outdoor park for a fun in-person hangout with friends. Start a book you’ve been meaning to read. You can practice self-care on a budget and have your own little spa day. Take on a creative activity like painting or writing. You’ll realize how many fun things you can do without technology and how much better they make you feel too.
4. Physically remove your phone from sight
Sometimes the apps that lock your phone aren’t enough. Sometimes you physically have to remove your phone from your sight. Try to find a unique location to place your phone that’s hard to reach. You can set the phone in your Essential Carryall and hang it in your closet or have a friend, or family member put it on a shelf.
5. Ask friends and family for support
Talk to your family and friends about your digital detox. They might offer you suggestions on how to limit your screen time or help support you in the process.
These are just a few of the many ways you can do a digital detox. Whether you do a day, a month, or permanently remove certain apps from your phone, be kind to yourself and listen to how the digital world is making you feel, you won’t miss out on anything you can’t experience IRL.
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