When we were designing our 6 day winter retreat program, we decided to offer a digital detox as part of the program. I had recently completed a 10 day meditation retreat and found immense value in temporarily disconnecting from my online life. I wasn’t sure if people were going to see it as some sort of punishment or that we were unnecessarily isolating them from the outside world. Fortunately, we were able to explain some of the benefits and people went along with it. I want to share some of those benefits with you, and how you can bring your digital life into balance with your analog life.
Benefits of a digital detox
- Reset your relationship with your digital life. When we’re honest with ourselves, our reliance on our devices borders on addiction. Taking time away from our devices allows us to come back with a healthier, more balanced relationship with them.
- Lower your stress. When we’re constantly online, our task list and stress levels grow with every notification we receive.
- Gain more time in your day. On average, we spend 415 minutes online each day. Yikes! All those times you said don’t have enough time in your day? You do have time, you just spend it online.
- Get to know yourself better. Oftentimes, we pick up our devices when we’re bored or otherwise uncomfortable. The drawback of this is that we never truly learn how to exist with these emotions, only how to cover them up. Sitting with the discomfort gives us a deeper understanding of who we are instead of just distracting ourselves from peeling back those layers.
If you can come on retreat with us and experience a true digital detox, great! If not, here are some questions to ask yourself to find a healthier balance for you.
- How do you feel when using your device? Certain apps? Are you getting triggered by what you’re consuming? Does time just fly by when you’re on those apps? If so, limit your time on them.
- Which apps draw you back in unconsciously? Turn notifications off and you’ll be less likely to check your device without thinking about it.
- What boundaries make sense for you? That could look like no devices before or after a certain time, putting them away at meal times, or making sure your work colleagues/boss know that you will not be responding when you’re away from the office or work hours.
- If you had an extra 30 minutes or an hour every day, how would you use it? Instead of checking your phone, put it on airplane mode and go do what nourishes you. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish and how great you’ll feel when you do more with your day.
Those are my tips for your do-it-yourself digital detox at home. And remember, if you can’t manage this on your own, just fly over for a retreat with us and we’ll be happy to lock your phone in the safe! Take care of yourselves everyone. Until next time.