Stay Fit, Wellness

The complete guide to digital detox

An average adult may spend an average of 4 to 10 hours daily in front of their screen (The same amount of time it would take to finish an entire novel!).

Contradicting the initial belief about computer, and mobile screens being a mode of entertainment, they have now become a necessity in our lives. This was something we all realized and were thankful for during the Covid-19 lockdown when technology was our only connection to the outside world.

However, work from home left us so indulged in the virtual world that many of us now struggle to look outside towards the real world. The pandemic brought with it various problems, and one of them was an unhealthy amount of screen time and as a result, a screen addiction.

If you’re someone who thinks that you too might have fallen prey to unhealthy screen habits, here are a few signs you need to look out for :

•Dry eyes, blurred vision, strained back or neck, and headaches are the most common symptoms which may amplify to turn into “cyber sickness”.

Cyber sickness is a computer vision syndrome which occurs in the absence of the physical motion. It is similar to the phenomenon of motion sickness.

•Your screen habits may be interfering with your essential daily activities such as taking proper meals, sleep, exercise or general productivity.

•Other effects of unrestrained usage of digital media are obesity, sleep problems, and anxiety/depression.

If any of these boxes tick for you, we would strongly suggest a digital detox. A detox suggests getting rid of toxins from your body, and when it comes to technology – a digital detox gets rid of your complete screen usage and restores a healthy balance for the future. It’s almost like taking vacation!

Here are a few ways to go about a digital detox :

  1. Turn off all social media

Have you ever started watching reels for a while and accidentally spent an entire day on them? Well who hasn’t. Social media can have the biggest role connecting and disconnecting you with the world. For the majority of people, social media apps take up most of their screen time. Be it scrolling posts, viewing stories, glancing at short lasting reels or watching full-fledged videos, it is the most addictive application on your phone. So, deactivate your accounts, uninstall your social media applications, and connect with yourself!

  • Get rid of distracting apps

Other than social media, remove any other distracting applications. We have all found ourselves stuck in a YouTube whirlpool once in a while. One minute you are searching for music and the next minute you’re watching a video of a weasel that is an insatiable serial killer. So, get rid of any applications that dissolve your productive time in hours that feel like seconds. Or if you’re a gamer, say goodbye to your gaming buddies for the month and uninstall.

  • Turn off your internet/phone connection

If you’re someone who constantly gets calls or messages from work or personal connections, set a specific time during the day when you can cut everyone off and just turn off your connection or switch off your phone.

Although complete disconnection may be difficult or even impossible for those who have their work lives connected to their phones, but at least the extra hours can be reduced by certain moderate practices.

  • Use the old fashioned cellular device

This may be the best trick in the book.. and the most extreme. We all know that our older generations didn’t struggle with their screen time, right? Well, that was because they did not have a screen that compelled much usage. Replacing your modern technology with a dated cell phone might just be the best decision you ever make. Phones are more accessible than laptops or computers, and therefore the most responsible for your screen addiction. So, instead of making your current device less distracting, you could just put it aside for a while as you replace it with something from the simpler times!

  • Start using a pen and paper

Taking about traveling back to simpler times, a shift from typing to pen and paper will make a huge difference too! As strange as it may sound, using pen and paper has the ability to ground you to reality and away from the convenience of a screen. In addition to that, you can start maintaining a to-do list on a notepad to refer to throughout your days.

  • Start a recreational activity

Let’s face it. Once you look away from the screen for an entire day, you’re going to realize that you have a surprising amount of time in your hands. As delightful as that discovery is going to be, you will need something which rewarding and therapeutic to dedicate your time and keep you busy. Pick up an instrument, decide on a daily morning walk, start journaling, read a novel, cook a fancy meal, start decorating your house, or anything that interests you. The options are unending!

  • Install a phone blocking application

This is a tricky one, but it might work for some people. There are applications designed to increase productivity and reduce screen time. They will block your other phone applications for however long you assign them to do so, and you cannot turn back.

The complication lies in the fact that they are yet more applications designed to cure their own kind. However, if you can resist the urge to waste your time in organizing and setting these up only to try to look for loopholes to break into your phone later, we will suggest you try the “Forest” application in android which even let’s you grow a real tree after a time period of successful usage!

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