How To Realistically Do a Digital Detox

March 6, 2024

We are so connected. In this day and age, everything is stored in your phone. You can order anything you need online and being social while sitting alone is easier than ever before. To simply put your phone away and not engage with it is not really a practical answer to spending less time on your devices.

Lately, if you find yourself scrolling, more out of compulsion than need, you might need to look at engaging with your phone or laptop in a healthier way. Time away from the screen has both physical and mental health benefits that can’t be ignored. Some of these can include:

  • Less stress
  • Increased focus and mental sharpness
  • Improved sleep
  • Better interpersonal communication and relationships
  • More time in your day

Like everything, moderation is key. When you’re too busy photographing your restaurant meal to post it to your followers instead of really taking part in the interaction with the server, the initial sight and smell of the dish before savouring the flavours, you’re really missing out. If your online life is vastly different from the behind the scenes reality, then you’re probably too busy curating a tale, rather than being the main character in your own story.

Taking some time away and doing a realistic digital detox might help get some balance back.

Here are some tips:

Schedule Breaks

Simple right? But you really need to set some boundaries and stick to them. No phones at the dinner table or during meal times. This has a compounding advantage. You get to switch off from the digital noise. If you’re dining alone, you might even take the time to chew your food or notice whether you did or didn’t enjoy the meal. If you’re in company, interacting and having a conversation will make that meal much more memorable.

No Night Scrolling

Apart from the disruptions to your circadian rhythm and interruptions to your sleep patterns, your phone’s blue light is bad for your eyesight. Scrolling before sleeping can certainly rob you of necessary wind-down time, by spiking brain stimulation and keeping your mind engaged well into the wee hours.

No Pushing

Turn off those pesky push notifications from apps that alert you to sales, offers and updates. These just disrupt your day. If there’s something you’re looking for, you’ll find it. Keep your alerts to only those that are necessary.

One Screen at a Time

Are you guilty of playing a game while watching a TV show? Barely paying attention to either? If you’re sitting in front of the TV, then watch the TV. If you’re fidgety and need something to do with your hands, fold some clothes or darn those socks that have had holes in the toes that you still haven’t thrown out yet.

Go Old School

Love a game? Buy some good old-fashioned crossword, word search or sudoku books to keep your brain in top shape. Need to be entertained while sitting around waiting for a train or having a lazy Sunday? Get a good book. Paperbacks still exist, and is there anything quite like the delightful smell of a bookshop? If you need help organising your days, invest in a good daily journal or diary.


It might just take a little bit of readjustment and self-control, but once you put these simple boundaries in place, you might start to get some balance back in your life and perhaps a few minutes back in your day.

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