There’s no denying the amazing benefits that technology brings to us all – we can connect with communities on the other side of the world, use robots to help with major surgery and some clever clogs has even taken a picture inside a black hole :O.
Trouble is, people are no longer using tech as and when they need it – with a worrying amount of us finding it hard to go an hour let alone a full day without our smart phones or social media. Read on for ten healthy habits to reduce your digital dependence!
1. Darken Down your Evenings
It may be impossible to get through a working day without your phone or laptop but once you are home, dinner’s eaten and you’ve had a soak in the bath – try not to reach for your devices. Phones, tablets and laptops all emit a blue light that messes with our production of adenosine and melatonin – two hormones which regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Avoiding unnatural light in the evening will help you to drift off easier.
2. Set a Time Limit
Whether it’s 15 minutes at a time, 2 hours per day or 1 hour in the evening – putting a cap on how long you use a device for is a good way to stay in control. All it takes is a bit or willpower to know when enough is enough, going by the clock can be a good motivator to stop that aimless and endless scrolling!
3. Practice Sleep Hygiene
Aside from darkening down your evenings, there are plenty of other things you can do to promote good sleep hygiene. Most of this is centred around other things you can do with your evenings besides getting hooked on digital devices! Getting some evening exercise, eating the right foods, having a good soak and avoiding stimulants is a good place to start.
4. Use an App to Monitor Use
Use an app to digitally detox?! Bear with us! Not all technology is bad for us and there are some great apps out there that actually help us to refrain from using our phones too much. Whether it’s temporarily blocking apps, limiting overall screen use, locking the screen during certain hours or simply monitoring how much time you do spend on your phone altogether, apps have the potential to be both friend and foe!
5. Adjust your Phone Settings
Phones are designed to be as addictive as possible – with bright lights, familiar audible alerts and visual notifications that can have us hooked if we’re not careful. The good news is that switching off these stimulating settings can make your phone so much less addictive, going from being a fascinating fairground to a perfectly practical good old phone!
6. Go Back in Time
OK so we’re not talking chasing a hoop down the back lane with a stick! It’s more a case of thinking about the good old days and what was used in place of technology before it was invented. So before kindles there were books, before smart phones real cameras and before news apps real life newspapers! You never know, you could fall back in love with the traditional alarm clock, the real-life cookbook or the classic pen and paper!
7. Get Outdoors
We despair at the thought of healthy young people stuck indoors watching boxsets or scrolling aimlessly through social media when there’s a whole world out there! We’re just getting set for summer and with nicer weather on the way (everything crossed!) it’s a good opportunity to get outdoors and explore the world. Whether you go near or far – get back in touch with nature and embrace your inner wild child – climb a tree, go for a paddle, or engage in some outdoor primal play!
8. Take a Digital Holiday
Spend your time off stuck on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Netflix and you could be anywhere in the world! Use your holidays as an opportunity to down tools and make the most of rest and relaxation. The last thing you need during your hard-earned holidays is a bombardment of texts, emails and notifications. Try leaving your phone in the accommodation or – better yet – take the plunge and leave it at home!
9. Make a Day Sacred
Picking one day of the week to stay away from technology altogether could do you the world of good. Not only will it get you used to the idea of surviving without your digital vices, but it also gives you a whole day to dedicate to something else entirely. Who knows what you’ll be able to achieve in the absence of constant digital distraction – soon enough you’ll find yourself ticking things off the list that have been lingering un-done for years!
10. Live in Real Life!
The most important take-home message from this article is that by putting down our tech we can experience life in real time. Making memories with our own mind, seeing the world through our own eyes and building relationships face-to-face with real people! That’s something technology can’t recreate. There may be ‘an app for that’, but if you ask us there’s something just wonderful about nature, communities and our amazing planet that no screen can quite capture!
What are you Waiting For?!
Believe it or not there was a time when people existed quite happily without technology – really! Learning to live without apps, social media and smart phones for even part of your day could help you to live a healthier, happier and far more productive lifestyle.
There’s no denying the necessity of technology in the modern world but limiting your use of digital devices when they’re not necessary could be the key to staying in the real world and reaping the benefits! Like all good things in life, we enjoy them more when they’re used a treat instead of a crutch. Incorporating these ten healthy habits into your everyday will help you to do just that!