The New Year is coming, and you’re hoping to make some changes in 2022. If one of your top goals is to put down your phone and do a digital detox (and focus on your resolutions!) then this is for you! However, if you’re like most people, it will be difficult to put your phone down.
That is why a digital detox is a fantastic idea for your new year’s resolution. This blog post will cover what a digital detox entails, the benefits of breaking your phone addiction, plus 15 helpful tips for doing an effective one this year, and some resources where you can find more information about digital detoxes for any time of year!
What is a Digital Detox?
A digital detox is the act of avoiding digital media from phones, laptops, and tablets for a certain period (or permanently). This can mean strictly avoiding social media. We’ve heard of celebrities ditching social media for their mental health, so why not us?
Regular social media users report less life satisfaction and more loneliness than those who don’t use social media. In fact, research has shown that time spent on social media is linked to anxiety, depression and sleep issues.
A digital detox can also be about taking a break from technology in general (e.g., laptops). It can be very difficult to put your phone down and get away from your devices altogether. We feel that when we’re attached to our devices, we’re doing something productive. Checking our email makes us feel good. Replying to a friend on Instagram makes us feel good.
It’s an illusion. The reality is that devices are huge distractions from real and important things in our lives. We also know that the blue-light from devices can disrupt our sleep, and the constant notifications and distractions can put us in a negative mindset.
A digital detox can also be done for mental health, or to put the phone away and focus on what’s really important in life. This may involve going cold turkey with social media or simply limiting our time spent on devices each day. It is a good way to put down our phones and focus on what matters most, like spending time with loved ones, living intentionally and achieving goals.
Why is a Digital Detox Necessary for Your New Year’s Resolution?
You should do a digital detox for your new year’s resolution because it will help you focus on the present moment. You can do this two different ways:
1) You can make your New Year’s Resolution to put down your phone.
2) You can put down your phone in order to help accelerate your success for other New Year’s resolutions you set.
Whichever you choose, the benefits are plenty.
13 benefits of doing a digital detox include:
1. Stress Reduction: put down your phone and you’ll lower stress levels.
2. Unwinding: put down your phone for an hour or two every day, and it will help to unwind from the stresses of work life.
3. Catching up with loved ones: put down your phone when talking to friends or family, and you’ll notice more of the details in their lives.
4. Improved memory: put down your phone before bedtime and it will help to improve memory retention.
5. Healthier relationships: put down your phone when you’re with friends or family members, and they’ll feel less like connections are being missed because of a device.
6. Increased empathy: put down your phone and you’ll increase the chance of having an empathetic response to those around you.
7. More relaxed and refreshed: You’ll be able to put down the device, take deep breaths, and give yourself some time to think about what’s going on in your life without being distracted by notifications or updates from friends.
8. Less Anxiety: put down your phone to get a break from the constant anxiety put on us by our phones.
9. More time for self care: put down your phone and put your hand on your heart. Take a deep breath, think about what you need to do for self care this week (for example: exercise, call mom).
10. More time with friends or family members: put down your device when you’re spending time with loved ones.
11. Less frustration from digital distractions: Ads, suggested posts that aren’t relevant, friends with questionable taste in anything, friends who have differing political opinions… these are all things that are incredibly frustrating.
12. More time for your goals: obviously, when you’re not mindlessly scrolling through facebook, you’ll have more time to put toward your goal
13. Boost in confidence.
If you can’t already see it, when you put down your phone, you set yourself up for all kinds of success and additional happiness, wellness, and intentional living in your life.
16 Tips to Break Your Phone Addiction as Your New Year’s Resolution
1) Keep track of how many hours you are in front of screens each day, or take a break from electronic devices for 15 minutes every hour to reconnect with nature (or co-workers if you like them)
2) Decide how long your digital detox will last. I recommend at minimum 18 days (or more): this is how long it takes to develop a new habit.
3) put down your phone completely or limit its use to certain times of the day (e.g., only checking email first thing at work, but not when you first wake up)
4) put it away at mealtimes, bedtime, when you’re spending time with family/friends
5) turn off notifications on your phone.
6) set limits on your phone’s screen time.
7) give yourself other fun and appropriate breaks that don’t including your phone.
8) don’t text and drive (this one should be obvious. There’s nothing that’s more important than your safety while you’re driving.)
9) realize that it might take some time before you feel comfortable. You may feel like you’ve cut off a limb if you can’t check your phone every few minutes.
10) wear a watch so you don’t have to carry your phone with you at all times.
11) keep your phone stored in a bag or purse.
12) get rid of games on your phone and devices.
13) have other mindful activities planned, like reading with your kids, taking a nature walk, or going to the gym.
14) put your phone in airplane mode.
15) shut your phone off for a few hours each day.
16) take advantage of apps that help you track your time and stay off social media
In order to put your phone down, you need to put in place a digital detox for yourself so that you put your phone down by limiting its use. A digital detox can help with many different things: put downs your phone when spending time with loved ones, more time for self care, less frustration from digital distractions, and improved memory retention.
Use those 16 tips to help yourself rock your New Year’s Resolution to put down your phone and successfully complete a digital detox in 2022!
What other tips helped you complete a digital detox in the past?