Take a minute to think about the last time you spent 24 hours completely disconnected from your devices. Can’t remember a time? Neither could we…
This pandemic has made one thing clear. The digital age is here to stay and we are more connected now than ever.
Don’t get me wrong, the “digital age” has changed the world, connected people, and made our lives better in many ways. But, it’s also taking over our lives and sometimes it’s important to disconnect, and focus on your bigger picture.
A Digital Detox challenge is becoming popular as more and more people find their days consumed by technology. Taking on this challenge is difficult, no doubt, but could be just what you need to refocus and energize yourself for what lies ahead.
Let’s explore this in more detail including an examination of the benefits, how to plan your challenge and what it takes to be successful.
The Digital Detox Challenge is exactly what it sounds like: challenging oneself to take a break from their device for a set period. The period of time can be 24 hours or a week. You set the rules.
You know when you need a break. It can be more difficult to accomplish at home, so we recommend planning your challenge during your next vacation. It’s the perfect way to rest, relax and reset your brain – to focus on what’s really important – YOU!!
Here is a list of the top 7 benefits you can expect when you complete the Digital Detox Challenge on your next vacation.
Your daily routine revolves around various devices and your brain has become accustomed to this. Taking a break can help you reset your brain and gain motivation to focus on other activities/hobbies you want to pursue. Disconnecting from work while on vacation can be especially beneficial.
Spending time on your smartphone before bed can impact your overall sleep (learn more). By taking on this challenge you are forced to disconnect hours before sleep and this benefit could have an immediate impact. If you are having issues sleeping when you travel here are 7 tips to avoid insomnia when traveling.
Do you have goals you are not pursuing such as taking up a new hobby, like a sport or reading? This challenge is the perfect time to try out new things and find something that sticks.
Poor sleep, spending hours indoors, poor posture are all factors that lead to negative mental health. Disconnecting can release a lot of the stress built up throughout the day and lead to a happier life.
Find ways to distract yourself throughout the day by taking up a sport and your body will thank you. Try an at home workout routine to spend less time on the computer.
Plenty of studies have gone into the effects of prolonged screen time on our eyes. This much-needed break will give your eyes the break they need. Don’t forget to pick up some blue light filtering glasses if your device doesn’t have a filter built-in.
Constantly being glued to social media can have a negative impact on your mental health while also demotivating you to be physically active. This is a great way to break out of a negative cycle and try something new. Even a short 30 min walk every day can have a compounding impact on your overall health.
To best prepare for the Digital Detox Challenge, you should come up with a plan, don’t just launch into it on a whim.
Create a list of the reasons why you want to complete the challenge. Write them down (ex. Improve mental health, focus on being active).
You may find some negative thoughts popping into your head and doubts start to creep up. Many people fear taking a risk or change. Be strong and focus on the outcomes.
You know why you’re doing it, now come up with some goals that will help you be successful. Goals could include: the number of days or hours in a day you will disconnect.
Think about how much good this challenge could bring to your life. You’ve always wanted to take up running, so use this as a time to start and think about how great your life will be if you start running (or find another hobby).
Mark it in your calendar and commit to changing your life!
Ok so now we know what the challenge is, we know the benefits! Here is how you actually go about succeeding in it:
Will you do this challenge on your next vacation? Where will you go? How long will you do it for? These are just a few of the important questions that come up when planning to complete the challenge.
Find someone who will hold you accountable and wants to see you be successful. This could be a close friend, a spouse, or a family member. They will have your back the entire time and motivate you to get through it.
What will be the penalty you place on yourself if you fail? Focus on the end result whenever doubts arise or you get that itch to endlessly scroll social media.
It’s very easy to get lost in a moment. A buzz of your phone can trigger an hour of scrolling through Instagram stories. If you are on vacation… have your champion lock your devices away so you don’t have access to them when moments of weakness arise.
If checking your emails or work is absolutely necessary during the challenge don’t feel guilty. That’s totally normal and acceptable. When you commit to the challenge, set boundaries such as an allotted time of the day or limit it to the max. 1 hour. Don’t beat yourself up but set boundaries such as no social media.
Overall, the Digital Detox Challenge is highly recommended and a great way to break out of the cycle of daily use of electronics. If you are someone who is feeling drained because you are spending all day on your laptop and checking social media every 10 minutes, then this challenge is right for you.
Many benefits help you both physically and mentally. While the challenge can be difficult it really is possible if you plan and set goals. If you are interested in seeing what a 40-day social media fast can do you for, don’t hesitate to pick up the book by Wendy Speake
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you cave early on… just refocus, read out the reasons why you are doing this and get back to it! Book a vacation and commit!