Practice self-care by Unplugging.
How technology can affect self-care
Taking a step back from the stresses linked to technology is much more vital for self-care than you might think and not doing this can mean that anything else you do from a self-care perspective is a lot less effective.
These days, most of us are glued to our smartphones or tablets and don’t take much of a break from them (or at all, in a lot of cases!). According to research, the average person checks their phone up to 10,000 times a year. That’s 28 times a day, or more than once every single hour. Scary stuff, when you think about!
Have you ever felt stressed or pissed off if you can’t get on the internet? What is this feeling all about? There can be a few factors involved in this, including FOMO on news or notifications and getting a dopamine rush similar to fuelling an addiction whenever our phone pings with something new.
A digital detox of 24 hours (or longer) can have lots of wellbeing benefits. Lower stress levels, sleeping better and a stronger focus are just a few examples of the mental perks you’re likely to gain from switching off completely from your digital life for a day or so on a regular basis. Incorporating a morning routine that doesn’t involve rolling over when you wake up and grabbing your phone will result in a calmer and more productive start to the day.
Just recently I‘ve incorporated the rule that neither my son or me are allowed to use our devices first thing in the morning. Once we are both fed, watered, exercised and ready to walk out the door then we are allowed 5 minutes to indulge. Its working well so far and we are ready so much earlier than we used to be.
At our worst we were running out the door at 9am with only minutes to get to school. Let’s just say tempers flared and nerves were frayed. Not anymore though!!
How to break free from technology
Here are a few steps to make it happen:
Time your check ins: The ultimate goal is to get used to the idea of switching off from technology and not feeling stressed or anxious when you do it. This can be hard to do in reality and you might find it hard to turn devices off completely to begin with. If this is true for you, you might find it easier to try being parted with your phone (or other devices) for 15 minutes before you let yourself check in again. Once you feel more comfortable with this, you can go a bit longer between check ins, but it may take a while to get to this point if you’re super attached to your devices right now. Take things at the pace you need and know that even small wins are a big step towards better self-care.
Go to places you need to unplug in: If you’re going to places where using technology is a no-no, you’ve got no choice but to embrace it. Fitness classes and swimming pools are a couple of examples of this and as an added bonus, you’re engaging in another form of self-care: exercise!
Have a technology free hour: Once you’ve built up to going for an hour without using any form of technology, pick an hour every day where you’ll switch off, step away from all of your devices and chill out. An hour is your first goal but big bonus points if you can work up to having a tech ‘blackout’ for a whole weekend!
So, after reading about how by switching off can have positive effects on your mood and stress levels what is your plan for slowly switching off the tech in your life?
Here’s an example of a goal that you can set to make this happen. You can change the timing the days and the hours!
I am going to switch my phone to silent for 1 HOUR x 5 DAYS A WEEK from 1 PM to 2 PM.
I am going to wait till MIDDAY before I check my phone for emails, messages and social media updates.
You put your own times and days in the BOLD sections. Only you know if you have a problem and if you have read this far, I’m betting that you possibly do and would really benefit from putting a tech free goal into place.
If you need help with this or want to talk more about this subject just click this link to organize a chat!