In fact, recent research shows that social media have greatly influenced us to become ‘unhappier’ by comparing our lives to others based on what they post they are. If you are looking for a breather, a time to cultivate ‘real’ationships, and take a break from the fast-paced technological world, here are some tips that we have compiled on how to disconnect to save ourselves.
1. SLEEP WITHOUT YOUR PHONE
Sleep plays a very significant role in revitalizing our bodies after a hard day’s work. Using light-emitting electronic devices such as phones or tablets before bedtime may contribute to or aggravate sleep problems. A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine Exposure revealed that exposure to blue-wavelength light, particularly from these devices may affect sleep by suppressing melatonin and causing neurophysiologic arousal.
By putting your device away from the bed, it can make our brains switch off, relax and drift off. Having quality sleep allows us to recuperate and fill our energy cups for tomorrow.
2. SET UP SNOOZE POINTS
Setting up a time for snoozing notifications and other reminders is one way of unplugging from the digital world. Turning notifications off and checking your email on a set schedule will not only allow you to be mindful of boundaries but also creates a healthy work and life balance.
3. STRIKE A BREAK WITH NATURE
When was the last time you hiked, jogged, or even walked around the neighborhood? Taking quick nature breaks allows us to meditate, reflect, and experience the calmness of listening to the chirping of birds, the swaying of trees, or the sound of dried leaves crashing on our feet. Disconnecting from our devices makes us discover more about ourselves and our loved ones. A simple picnic in the park, a quick beach getaway, or just simply driving around the mountains will allow us to retreat and rejuvenate.
4. START A NEW HOBBY
One of the best ways to successfully disconnect from the high-technology world is by starting out a new hobby that you really like. Whether it’s trying out a new sport, learning a new craft, reading books, or going to concerts and theaters, a little distraction to break the monotony of the digital world can bring about great changes.
5. SPEND MORE TIME WITH REAL PEOPLE
Sometimes we are too busy looking at our screens, chasing time, deadlines, and reports that we forget to actually look at the people we deal with every day and give smile. The store assistant who got your coffee, the cashier who handed you the napkin, the utility worker who cleans the office every morning, or the old lady who always keeps the driveway clean. Interact with them, and actually look at them instead of just nodding.
Take time to have lunch or a night out with colleagues, friends, or family. Disconnect from all notifications by switching to airplane mode, and instead talk about how good the food is, or anything else under the sun.
6. STAY OFF THE GRID ONCE IN A WHILE
Switch off all your devices and internet connectivity at certain times and tell people that to do not make an attempt to contact you unless it’s an emergency. Do minor repairs at home, tend to your backyard or garden, enjoy home-cooked meals, watch your favorite movie at home, or just simply spend the day in bed with nothing to worry about.
7. START READING - AGAIN
Do you remember how excited you were to read a book when you were little? The smell of newly-printed inks on the crisp pages of a book, and how carefully you flipped each page? Relieve that moment by setting up a reading nook at home and actually start reading again.
Reading allows us to stimulate our brain cells in a natural manner, and use our imaginations which digital books cannot provide. Every page we flip either arouses, excites, or angers us. Either way, we process and regulate our emotions at a pace that’s not too fast to overstimulate our senses and allows us to disconnect from the fast-paced digital world.
8. SCRAPE OFF UNNECESSARY APPS
What’s keeping you awake at night? Is it watching TikTok videos, or perhaps browsing through Amazon looking for what’s on sale? How many hours do you spend scrolling on these apps and what have you gotten out of it? If your answer is none or a purchase that’s totally unnecessary, then it’s time to scrape off that app and leave the most essential ones.
Essentially, most of our time utilizing technology is spent in one of two categories: consuming or creating. Creating involves providing solutions to problems like writing articles, providing learning, or contributing to new knowledge. But did you know that most of the time we spend in front of technology is spent consuming? Like playing video games, listening to music, watching movies, and, yes, buying stuff from the web.
By deleting unnecessary apps, we reduce consumption and help to prevent screen time addiction by disconnecting.
9. STRIVE TO OPTIMIZE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
As a last tip, we know that we cannot completely cut-off technology from our lives. However, we can optimize it to work to our advantage. Scheduling apps can help us in prioritizing the most important meetings, and follow a timetable to respond to emails.
Strive to keep your communications in your business separate from friends and family, and use different platforms so that you don’t get bombarded with notifications and feel overwhelmed.
Indeed, the world has become so connected and has brought us closer than ever before, but technology has also slowly replaced human interaction with automated devices and machines. Undeniably, it has brought convenience and comfort, but with a steep price of addiction and anxiety among its users. Remember, it pays to disconnect, and you’ll reap improved relationships, better mental health, and a ton of contentment and gratitude.