How to detox your mind by staying away from your phone
It feels great when every new smartphone claims to do something to make your life even easier. However, little do we know that with all that mobile usage comes a bigger responsibility - the need to detox your mind and stay away from your phone. But, do you do it enough?
- How many people in the world have a smartphone? The number of global smartphone users is about to cross 5 billion in 2019.
- How much time do we spend on our smartphones? About 90 minutes. While that might not seem like a lot of time, those 90 minutes actually add up to 23 days a year!
- Is blue light exposure from phones harmful? Blue light can lead to some types of cancer, heart diseases, and so much more. Here’s how it can affect our quality of life.
Considering there will soon be 5 billion smartphone users in the world, it’s imperative that we use our smartphones responsibly. Being a digital marketer and blogger myself, it’s tough because I literally spend my entire day on my phone. And, surprisingly, I don’t use it to make calls as much as to use WhatsApp or Instagram. I never thought about the downsides of having such a smartphone-dominated lifestyle until I started going through a phase of insomnia. That’s when I realized smartphone addiction is a thing! And, if we don’t start taking action now, smartphones are going to overpower our senses and make us less humanlike in the coming years.
Does that mean you shouldn’t use a smartphone? I don’t think so. Smartphones have made our lives better in so many ways. Whether it’s connecting with distant friends and relatives via social media or setting reminders and alarms or even managing your smart home devices, our smartphones do it all. However, it’s important to not let their abilities consume you. I did a lot of reading online to figure out some ways to reduce phone usage and surprisingly, I did get a lot of help. Right now, I am trying to find that perfect balance.
Here are my tips to help you detox your mind and better manage your time on your device. Because –
Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. – Charles R. Swindoll
Quantify your screen time
One of the best ways to get started with the detox routine is by quantifying your phone usage. Thanks to the new iOS 12 feature called ScreenTime, you can now see exactly how much time you’re spending on your phone as well as in each individual app. Accordingly, you can also set a timer on specific apps and regulate your usage, thereby reducing your reliance on your device. For example, if you’re spending an hour on Instagram every day and you want to bring it down to 15 minutes, you can do it with a few taps on ScreenTime and get notified when to stop using the app.
Keep your phone locked up
Yes, that sounds brutal for your smartphone but it’s actually pretty effective for you and your family. When I think about my childhood, I remember the days when my mother used to turn off the TV at a specific time every day so we got enough time to talk at the dinner table. I used to hate it at the time because it made me lose out on some of my favorite TV shows.
Today, when I look back, I understand why that was important and why it should still be important now. But, turning off the TV isn’t going to make your family come together. You have to go a step further and put your phones away. Thanks to devices like TechDen™, screen-time management for families is just as important as anything else. Simply put your devices inside and enjoy your quality family time.
Learn to go off the grid
For the past two years, I have been taking a week off every year to simply detox my mind from my phone. Have I been able to keep up with it? Not entirely. I’d like to and I am slowly getting there. It really shows how deeply addicted we are to our devices that we can’t stay away from them even for a day. Going off the grid doesn’t mean you need to buy a tent and head to the woods (although that sounds delightful). You can go off the grid by simply turning everything off. Go for a walk in nature, explore the world without GPS at your fingertips, and enjoy the people around you without constant beeps and vibrations.
A great place to start is to decide on a timeline, even if it’s just a day, and keep your phone aside to relax your mind. Live the moment by yourself and leave the selfies and social media stories for later. If you are really desperate to not miss out on capturing any moment, a camera like Roader can capture moments in the background while you stay in the present.
Read a book the old school way
I am a born bookworm. The smell of books around me used to keep me happy. But ever since I started reading online, my attachment to physical books has reduced drastically. I didn’t realize I wasn’t reading books like I used to because I was always reading online. However, a few months ago, I decided to set aside 45 minutes of my day for reading a book. Since then, I have been reading close to one or two books each week. It helps me feel more connected to the real world and makes me more productive at work. As a result, I feel less dependent on my smartphone.
Never wake up with your phone
The one thing I’d highly recommend to everyone is to not wake up with your phone. This is a habit I’m still trying to break, but I can feel the changes already. We all use our phones to set an alarm. Although it’s a useful feature, it tricks you into picking up and using your phone the first thing in the morning. From there, your mind is filled with the latest status updates and anything you missed while you were asleep.
Experts say that the first few minutes when you wake up are some of the most valuable – so why waste them on catching up on everyone else’s lives? Instead, use a smart alarm clock to help you have a more productive start to your day.
I’m still on a quest to find more ways to use my phone less. We’ll have to wait and see where my device-life balance leads me in the coming months. As for you, do you have better ways to detox your mind from your phone? Feel free to share with me in the comments below.