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Digital Detox

In the spring of this year, I had a break in Wales and decided to cut down on my digital devices and ‘detox’ from the tech world.

Mountains

Two things surprised me:


- I didn’t find it easy

- I really needed it


I know that technology and blue light exposure can stress the nervous system and have multiple physical health impacts. I personally have noticed how messed up my own circadian rhythm gets when my screen time increases, I need to watch for my EMF sensitivities too! It is hard to strike the balance though, especially with those that have chronic health problems.



There have been times when my phone and the social media apps on it have been a lifeline. Speaking and connecting with others that are going through similar health journeys can make your world seem a lot less lonely. Additionally, it can be a beacon of hope, there are so many people out there that inspire you to not give up, and keep fighting for better health outcomes


I felt like my screen time and time spent on social media apps have been having a detrimental impact on my own wellbeing for quite some time now. I walked away from it for a prolonged period during lockdowns and wow, I felt so much better, more present, connected, and freer somehow. Going for the reset again in Wales, I realised that I needed to strike a balance. It is so easy to get drawn back into the continuous scrolling…before you know it, your screen time is >3 hrs. Where has that time even gone!? These are hours that could go towards health/healing and could be so much better spent. I found it hard to switch off my technology; it can be addictive, but it has made me more determined to set screen time boundaries.


View of the sea

The physical impacts are well highlighted. You might want to check out this 2021 systematic review on the correlative pattern between social media usage, sleep quality and mental wellbeing in adolescents, it really is an eye opener:

But what about mental health?


I didn’t even realise what a profound impact it was having in this area for me personally. With some detachment, I became aware that when using these social media apps, my self-esteem plummets and I start comparing myself to a blurred reality online. In the past it has resulted in introversion and overwhelm. There is so much more I want to say about this, keep an eye out for a follow-up blog post delving deeper into this area and all things EMFs too. It is such a vast and important topic area as it can impact everyone in different ways.





Inspired to keep up this trend for both my mental and physical wellbeing, here are a few things I am doing/ implementing:

  • Reading digital minimalism by Cal Newport. I picked up a copy from my local library! If you haven’t heard about it, check it out. It highlights how to use technology more purposefully and has useful action steps to make positive changes

  • Setting more boundaries with technology. I am going more ‘old school’. I have never been known amongst my friends to be the tech savvy one but there are still things that I want to do to prize myself away from tech. Pens and paper come to mind. Also, turn off those notifications! It has made a huge difference to me, so long may it continue. I feel in control of technology by doing something as simple as this. I hated it when I felt like technology controlled me

  • I am aware that it is difficult to avoid tech these days, my business is currently online focused! So, what am I doing when I do have more screen time days? Blue light filters on my screens, blue light blockers, plenty of breaks away from the screen and making sure I get outside for a lunch break whatever the weather brings


It doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes you just need a week away from it all to get some perspective and ideas of how to get the balance right!


Beach

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