STOP The Time Thieves and the ‘ping, dings’ of notifications. Unplug, and EnJOY a Digital Detox and Cleanse. Update Your Settings, Delete Apps, and Prioritize your digital world for your mental health and physical wellbeing.
Recently many of us have turned to social media for entertainment and as our main ‘personal’ interaction. For this reason, it’s more important now than ever for us to do brief ‘check in’s’ to see how we’re feeling while using these platforms. A couple quick questions to ask yourself, “does it feel uplifting, inspiring and educational?” and ‘Is this online application, show, meme, and information fostering my growth and the world around me?’
Life right now is constantly ebbing and flowing, like and ocean, we’re often experiencing tumultuous waves of stress. During these times of constant changes and challenges, many of us were, and are, on the verge of a total breakdown. Honestly, for me, I’ve broken down, multiple times. And I’m okay to admit this. I felt better after releasing my emotions as I discovered what I needed, what was off! One thing I realized during a good cry, was how intensely my digital lifestyle was contributing to my stress so I shifted my lifestyle and I immediately felt relieved and more peace.
Thanks to my break down, I became aware that I needed to delete certain apps I felt glued to, possibly addicted to. I loved watching the dancers and the people supporting one another on TikTok, AND I realized over time, it was a time suck and left me feeling empty.
I also deleted myself from group chats I felt hostage to, and ensured my phone was turned off 1 hour before bed. And I was able to BREAK a bad daily habit as my phone no longer was the first thing I looked at upon waking. Now my phone is charging in another room before I go to bed.
Have you ever heard the saying, “If you’re numbing yourself from pain, you’re numbing yourself from joy”? Essentially, if you ignore pain, you also ignore and stop yourself from letting JOY into your life. Emerging ourselves in the online digital arena is a fabulous TEMPORARY distraction from negative emotions.
Even if you’re not online socially and staring at apps, we’re living in the age of UNREST and change. So, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the constant waves of information. Unfortunately, the negative messages tend to speak the loudest and land hard. I remember going down a rabbit hole of breaking news while I was supposed to be working on an inspirational blog :). It felt like I was catatonic, sitting there for over an hour. In reality it was no more than 20 minutes. All of a sudden, I had back and neck pain. My body ached and I felt tears welling up. I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face. At the time, I didn’t realize I was stressed, but clearly, my body was telling me otherwise. I listened…
Since then, I’ve overcome a lot of personal challenges, each difficult in their own way, and while I would’ve loved to power my phone off, grab a blanket, a bottle of wine, and binge-watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (again), I knew that wasn’t going to be the best way to heal. I want to help create real change in this world, as I’m sure you do too. I felt overwhelmed with news and the digital world. In order to continue to stay focused on our goals, stand up and fight to help others, we have to prioritize our personal mental, physical, and spiritual wellness.
I understood that I needed to learn how to properly manage, restrict, and disconnect based on what my mind and body were telling me. I underwent a social media detox, but not the kind of social detox you’ve come to know where people disappear on a vacation and don’t post for a week, or detox by deactivating all of their accounts.
Instead of shutting the world out, I chose to use technology to my advantage. I needed to alter the way I used it by disconnecting from certain aspects of social media in order to reconnect with myself and the world around me. Social media platforms are not bad, but how and when you decide to use them determines whether they’re toxic or revitalizing. I wanted to share my process of adjusting social media to become what I need it to be in order to serve my current goals.
Creating these healthy boundaries (although they will feel like restrictions at first), gives you a better opportunity to achieve what you want. Focus your energy on the best resources for your journey of optimal health.
Here are 8 GREAT WAYS I cleansed my digital lifestyle;
Protect your body – The average American spends nearly half of every day staring at a screen, and our bodies pay a price. To combat digital eye strain, which can cause dryness, blurred vision, and headaches, follow the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes you look at a screen, look up and at an object 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds. Also, don’t forget to blink! To fix “text neck,” skip the bent neck and hold your phone higher so you can look at it straight on.
Notifications – Receiving constant updates on what’s happening in the world is informative, AND distracting AS HECK! If you’re allowing yourself to get interrupted five times in an hour, you’re never actually focused in the moment, nor able to be efficient in your tasks. One easy fix is to turn off as many notifications as you can. A QUICK Google search will show you how.
Switch background and color theme – One reason our devices are so alluring is that they’re vibrant. Go retro, or black background. Many smartphones allow you to make the entire phone be in gray scale and with a less ‘attention seeking’ vibe.
Designate tech-free hours. Take breaks from technology and we often times feel naked. That’s all the more reason to DO IT. That tech-nakedness can do wonders for our well-being and spirit. Start by designating a certain time each day that’s tech-free. I designate lunch time and before bed. See how you feel after a week or so. Most people feel happy with the change, and they expand it.
Use paper – If you’ve ever noticed that reading a book feels more satisfying than reading a tablet, you’re not imagining things. Not only do books offer fewer distractions, but research suggests that when we read on paper, our minds process abstract information more effectively.
Focus on one screen – One screen at a time so our brains don’t haywire For example, when we’re attempting to work (or, say, watch The Bachelor) and we start scrolling through Instagram, our brains go a little haywire. Multitasking is really bad for us. Seriously, feel into when you’re focusing on a task and you get distracted—like, ‘oh, I’ll just click over to this other window’ or ‘I’ll just look at this text message’ — it takes several minutes to recalibrate on our task, right?! Our brains don’t bounce back to the original task effectively. You can focus and make a habit of only looking at one screen at a time to improve concentration and most likely enJOY your task that much more.
Make a no phone zone – Make your bedroom and food time, the ‘no phone zone’. In fact, it’s best if you can leave your phone outside the bedroom at night. It’s a common sight at restaurants: a gleaming smartphone next to the bread basket. And yet, research shows that, even if we’re not checking our phone, simply having it on the table during a convo can reduce the quality of the interaction. Subconsciously, our brains are just waiting for it to light up, and as a result, we are not fully present. The more energy we direct toward our devices, the less energy we’re directing toward whoever is in the room with us.
Spring clean – Time to spring clean your social media accounts. FB and Insta help us to connect with people in unprecedented ways. Research shows that the more time we spend on social media, the worse we feel, EVEN if it’s gratifying in the moment. That’s not surprising, given the fact that we see only a heavily curated version of friends’ and celebrities’ lives, which can be toxic for self-esteem. How to decided when to UNFOLLOW and DELETE:
- Is the content that they’re sharing triggering you?
- Do you feel overwhelmed by their content or constant posting?
- Are you just straight up annoyed by them? It really can be just as simple as this. You don’t have to justify your decision to “Mute” someone if they are getting under your skin.
Personally, it’s really easy for me to get caught up in the dangerous rabbit holes of media content, but luckily there are a lot of people out there using social media for good. The key is to be proactive about who and what you’re exposing yourself to.
Think about the topics that make you feel amazing. From there, delete the ones that don’t make you smile. Go for it – clean house and don’t be afraid to delete, pause, block, mute, and unfollow until you’ve created a list of connections who make you laugh and smile and fill you with happiness. At least then it will be less intrusive to your psyche and you’ll feel more at peace.
Please write me to let me know how you do. If you want support, I’m an email or phone call away.
Learn Pure, Live Healthy