Is your smart phone at your hip like a doctor’s pager, easily accessible and almost as important? Do you spend more time checking your phone than looking at your lunch date? Do you find yourself checking Facebook likes and retweets at frequent intervals throughout the day, and experience anxiety if you go a little longer without clicking those little icons, or heaven forbid if you forget your phone at home? You’re not alone – the Western world is officially dependent on technology, and we don’t go long without checking a screen; computer, phone, ipod/ipad, tv,…and the list goes on.
If we are looking for gadget detox solutions for the every day, how can we make strides towards a relationship with technology that is less dependent?
7 Fun Things You Can Do Instead of Checking Your Email (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Get reading – go back to an original real book and put down the ebook!
- Give your eyes a rest from the screen and treat yourself to a night at the theatre
- Have a good stretch; whether 10 minutes sitting in a chair, or going to a local yoga class, we could all use a little more stretching
- Get some fresh air! Go for a walk, hike or a bike ride – even for just a few minutes, the fresh air revitalizes immensely
- Get creative – accomplishing a creative endeavour not only brings a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, but can be a tangible, beautiful result of a time spent not in front of a screen! This is also a great option for gadgetry detoxing the kids.
- Cooking project – make a big batch of soup for the freezer for ready-meals, or make a bean salad for dinner and a few work lunches. Test out some of the delicious recipes you enjoyed at Mountain Trek!
- Have company – Engage in any of the above with a loved one! Face to face interaction rather than online interactions have been proven to bring up mood, reduce more stress and release more pleasure hormones. So rather than chatting online, go out for a tea or a walk!
Challenge: Try having one day a week of digital detox, where you turn off the computer (no emails, no surfing, no blogging) or turn your phone off. See what fun you can have without being plugged in and how you feel after having that cleanse.
Technology as friend, not foe
After integrating the digital detox practices into your life, you can use them to your advantage to promote a healthy lifestyle (as their use was originally intended, we’d like to think!). Rather than a dependent relationship with technology, we can use it as one tool of many in our pursuit of our health goals.
Health apps: More applications exist for our smart phones than we could ever dream up, but there are a fair few useful tools at our disposal, such as; calorie counting apps for through out the day, pedometer apps, etc.
Alarms and reminders: if you spend the majority of your time on or near a computer, use it to your advantage! Set reminders or alarms to remind yourself when to have that healthy snack, or when to get up and go for a 15 minute walk to stretch the muscles and get some fresh air.
Tip: Use your computer or smart phone’s calendar to organize your week; when you’ll go swimming at the pool, when you’ll go to that pump class, and you can even schedule in the time to go for an after dinner walk with your partner. Treating all these aspects of your health as ‘real’ and important appointments will make you less inclined to ditch them.
Your digital detox, like any detox, is important to cleanse and grow towards more desirable habits in your every day. Learning to use technology as a tool towards our goals, as opposed to an addiction is sure to benefit us in the long run. And who knows, while you’re not online, you may just discover something fun that you love doing, unplugged or not![fbcomments]