Ever spend hours scrolling through Instagram without noticing? Or close the Facebook app on your phone just to open it right back up again? Ya me to… Like every day… Multiple times a day… Girl, it’s time to put your phone down, actually turn your computer off for once and do a digital detox!
Why A Digital Detox Should Be at the Top of Your To-Do List
Digital detoxes are all the rage these days and for very good reason! They’re actually life changing!
Any time that I’ve been super inspired or had a crystal clear picture in my head of what I wanted to do and what direction I wanted to go in, I was detoxing digitally.
With the start of a new year this is the perfect time to step up your self-care game and a digital detox can be just what you need to start you off on the right foot.
Kick the Stigma
I feel like there can be a lot of stigma around the word “detox”. Over the last few years the word has been used and abused by companies trying to sell you tea “detoxes” that really just end with you spending your entire detox period in the bathroom.
As a girl boss spending every hour of your day killing the game, you don’t have time for a million bathroom breaks and spoiler alert: those kinds of detoxes aren’t even healthy!
I promise you a digital detox is nothing like those detoxes.
A digital detox can really be whatever you want it to be. It can be as strict as you want it to be, as long as you want it to be, and really involve whatever areas of your life you feel need work.
Why a Digital Detox is Important
We live in a time where everyone is constantly connected. I still reminisce with my friends about a time before we were always connected, before we knew what everyone was doing at all times.
These days you know everything about everyone from what they did last night to where they went for brunch today and everything in between.
You go out in public and everyone is on their phones. You grab coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while and you’re both checking your phones every couple minutes or scrolling through Instagram instead of being in the present moment together.
For all good that technology brings to us, it does a very good job at removing us from the present moment.
Think of how much time a day you spend on social media, or going through emails, or doing anything that involves a screen.
I know for me that time takes up about 90% of my day. I’m absolutely addicted to Instagram. I could literally scroll mindlessly and like all day.
When I’m on my computer I have ten different tabs open and I try to do ten different things at once. I will have a tab open with a Youtube video playing while I scroll through Pinterest in another tab and have my phone in my hand while I scroll through Instagram.
Being so immersed and in constant contact can really bog us down and make us feel like we’re being productive when we’re really not.
Consumption vs. Creation
Lately I’ve been exploring this profound idea that you need to take time to consume and you need to take time to create, but not at the same time.
Whether that be to spend an entire day reading through blog posts and watching videos and scrolling through Instagram, and then taking a day to be silent with yourself and your thoughts and let the creative juices flow.
I know I’ve tried to consume and create at the same time in the past. I would read through blog posts for inspiration and then immediately try to write something.
This usually resulted in me writing a very similar post to the ones I had read and then deleting the whole thing or I would just have too much going on in my head to get anything down on paper.
Practice setting aside time to consume.
Scroll and read and take it all in.
Do this for however long you want. Maybe a day or two, maybe a week, maybe a month.
It all depends on you and your creative process.
Then take time away from the constant connection and mass of information. Disconnect from the Internet, turn off your phone.
Take this time to be quiet with yourself and your thoughts.
As a result, your creativity will flow.
It’s in these moments that I always find clarity. I always get these crazy good ideas that I can’t even believe I came up with myself. One time I even planned an entire year’s worth of blog content in one of these creative periods.
Give yourself that mental space and see what you create.
How to do a Digital Detox
Like I said before, a digital detox is all about you and your needs. Don’t swear off all forms of social media for a week if your growing business depends on it. Create a detox that is going to help you and that fits into your life already.
Maybe your goal for your detox will be to go through your email inbox to clear it out and organize all your messages. Maybe your goal is to spend less time scrolling mindlessly through Instagram.
Whatever your needs are, cater your detox to that. And get creative! This should help you and make you feel good! By the end you should feel inspired and be buzzing with creative energy.
Related: Sign up for the “Take Back Your Mornings” Campaign and get 30 days of positive self talk and daily morning rituals (sans social media) to help you own your mornings.
Try it Out!
Let’s try a 5 day detox
Instead of swearing off everything for 5 days straight, let’s try switching things up and having different guidelines for every day.
Day 1: Clean Up Your Digital Space
Start by going through your email inbox. Clear it out! Read the important emails, delete what you don’t need, and file away anything you may need to keep.
Move on to your social media and go through all the accounts you follow or are subscribed to. Unsubscribe and unfollow any accounts that you’re no longer interested in or that may put out content that no longer serves you.
Declutter your social space to make room for new inspiring accounts to follow or simply to decrease the amount of content you have to go through
Day 2: No Consumption Until Noon
Take your morning to be quiet with yourself and to clear your headspace.
Put your phone on silence and keep your computer off.
Fill your morning with things that you always want to do but never seem to have the time. Maybe some yoga? Maybe some goal planning?
Wait until noon to jump into the digital world.
Only consume if absolutely necessary (i.e. for work)
Day 3: Leave One Social Media Platform Behind
Choose one social media platform to stay away from all day.
Preferably one that you may use too much and that you need a break from.
Don’t choose one that you don’t use – that will defeat the purpose.
I would choose Instagram. I spend so much time scrolling mindlessly that I could be filling that time up with much more productive things.
Day 4: Only Ever Have 1 Tab Open at a Time
Go about your day as usual but keep from opening a bunch of different tabs.
Work with only one tab open at any time.
I know I always struggle when I think of a bunch of different things that I want to look into. To help me out I keep a piece of paper or my notes app open and when I think of something I would normally open a new tab for, I write it down. This way I have this list of things I want to look in to so I can refer back to it whenever I need to.
Day 5: A Media-Free Day
To close off the digital detox, go the entire day without consuming any media.
Put your phone away. Keep your computer off.
I would suggest planning ahead and coming up with a game plan for this day.
What will you do on your media-free day?
Maybe read a book, go for a walk, or grab coffee with a friend.
Give yourself that clear headspace and feel the creative vibrations.
Try out this 5 day digital detox and tell us how you do!
What’s the one social media platform you’re addicted to and would give up for a day?