Digital Detox: What, How and Why

There has been a few occasions during the year where I have felt overwhelmed and noticed that using social media was dampening my mental wellbeing. Therefore, I wanted to share with you some tips on how stepping away from your phone once in a while is good for your mental wellbeing as well as sharing some tips on what you can do instead of scrolling.


I also wanted to tell you a little bit about a campaign that was launched in September by the Zoella team. They launched a Digital Detox Campaign where on 5th September you switch off for 24hrs, away from social media, to allow chance to reconnect with the 'real' world and with those we love rather than communicating through a screen. On the Zoella blog, the team shared their experience of Digital Detox Day as well as providing more information about the campaign. To read the blog post, click here.


I believe that now more than ever, it is so important to look after our mental wellbeing, so what better way than to start today and lead into the new year with good intentions.


Below I have included some warning signs that you may be using your phone a bit too much, how you can move away from your phone and what you can do instead of scrolling.


Without further ado, let's get into the warning signs...


Warning Signs that You Need a Break:

  • Constant Comparison

  • Screen Time Has Exceeded More Than Usual

  • Fed Up with Social Media

  • Feeling Overwhelmed Using Social Media

  • You Feel As Though You Must Check Your Phone Every 2 Minutes

  • Feeling Pre-Occupied With The Number Of Likes, Comments and Shares You Are Getting

  • Being On Social Media Brings Your Mood Down

There are undoubtedly more warning signs that haven't been listed above but the key thing to look out for is when you're not feeling yourself when using social media.

How To Switch Off:

  • You could put your phone in another room, especially if you are trying to get on with work or important tasks

  • Be brave and turn your phone off or if you don't want to turn it off, then put Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode on

  • On your phone settings you can go into individual apps and adjust what time you can access the app to and from

The important thing to remember here is that you are turning off your phone/social media usage for you, not anyone else therefore don't feel guilty for it. Give yourself permission to switch off and become unavailable to the 'internet' world. You will feel so much better for it!


What To Do Instead:


Phones have become such a 'essential' in our lives, whether we like it or not, so when we're without it we can often feel lost and unsure what to do instead, therefore I have listed below some ideas that might help when you're away from your screen:

  • Read

  • Colour

  • Listen to a Podcast

  • Listen to Music

  • Exercise

  • Write

  • Start a New Hobby

  • Do the jobs you have been meaning to do such as scrapbooking

  • Organise your Space

  • Journal

  • Soul Searching - use meditation to discover what you like and dislike

  • Practice Self Care - pamper yourself

  • Bake

There are so many things that you can be doing that are more meaningful and mindful than scrolling on your device. My advice would be to try and switch off once a week, month or quarterly - whatever works best for you, so you can allow yourself some alone time without being constantly contactable. Trust me, your mental wellbeing will thank you for it.


Also, perhaps understanding what it is on your phone/social media that is bringing you down might help. If it is a certain account then mute them or unfollow them for example.


I really do hope that this blog post has helped you and given you the confidence to know that it is ok to not be contactable 24/7 and that putting yourself first sometimes is essential for your mental wellbeing.


If you are struggling or want someone to talk to then please seek advice from some of the below charities who are there to help you:


Mind

Place2Be

Mental Health Foundation

Digital Detox Day

Mental Health Charities and Organisations - NHS


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