(Digital) Detox this Holiday Season

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In the modern world where we’re pushed to go, go, go, scroll endlessly, hit “reply,” and double-tap to like, we may not even realize that our sleep issues, stress, and anxiety may be a result from our screens. Looking to screens for constant distraction allows us to become dependent on the burst of serotonin we get when we receive likes on photos, make impulse purchases, or watch hours of cat videos.

            Ever wonder why you can drift asleep on the couch, but the moment you get in bed and take one last look at your Instagram feed you feel wide awake? It’s because screen time heavily affects the way the mind treats sleep. The blue light that radiates from digital devices disrupts our sleep patterns by tricking our brains into thinking the sun is still out, which means it doesn’t start producing the sleep hormone melatonin.

            Going on a digital detox may help you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, feel less pressured to buy material items, and feel less stressed overall. You’ll be able to tap into your creativity again by finding new ways to entertain yourself during down time. You’ll find time you never thought you had to exercise, walk the dog, delve deeper into hobbies, and even take a nap!      

You may need a digital detox if you:

  • Have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or restlessness throughout the night
  • Frequently make impulse purchases from browsing apps
  • Pick up your phone any time you feel bored or need a distraction
  • Experience less in-person connection and communication with friends and family
  • Feel pressure to respond to emails even past work hours

            If possible, try going up to a week with no screen time. If that’s not realistic for your lifestyle here are a few that might be:

  • Turn phones on Do Not Disturb (or off) from 8pm to 8am
  • Collect cell phones at the dinner table
  • Keep phones outside of the bedroom
  • Allow yourself just one TV show a day
  • Push yourself to pick up that book
  • Buy some paints or take a cooking lesson

 

By releasing your addiction to screens, you can take back your freedom, focus on real life, live more in the present, and spend more time doing things you love.

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