How to Do a Digital Detox – 5 Tips for Managing Anxiety
In the age of social media and instant gratification, it can be tough to go on a full mental detox. For many, the struggle is between tuning out the noise online and fear of missing out on important news. The benefits of being always connected, though, are wearing thin—most people report feeling anxious and depressed from being online all the time. If you feel like a digital declutter is what you need to ease your worries or anxiety, here is where you could begin.
Set your intentions at the start of the day
Mindfulness is the point of any digital detox. Remember why you wanted to cut back on your online activity in the first place—involve your intentions in all your tasks. For example, at the start of the day or before going online, you should keep your detox goals in mind. Remembering why you’re doing something strengthens your resolve and builds habits.
Get out of the house and stay active
Being away from your typical environment helps you detox. Try staying in your yard or sitting outside to feel connected to nature. Moving your digital declutter to the outdoors also helps you stay healthy. Going on a brisk walk, exercising, and other similar activities gives you higher energy levels and reduces stress and anxiety.
Cut down on your use of technology
Social media has become a toxic environment—it is responsible for many people’s shorter attention spans and inability to organize thoughts. Technology and social media encourage users to seek attention and continuously perform for their contacts. As a result, people on these platforms are wired to look for the next “hit” of validation. When you’re doing a digital detox, it makes sense to avoid the source of anxiety.
It is easier said than done, though—it can be challenging to learn how to deal with emotional triggers, especially if you get these through the internet. One thing you could do is to uninstall social media apps from your phone and use site blockers on your laptop. If you make it difficult to go online, you could get through the initial “cravings” for online activity.
Meditate or pray when on a detox
Mindfulness through prayer and meditation helps you center yourself and teaches you to be present in your detox. If you find the discipline to stay in the moment, you can stay calm and keep at bay the intrusive urges to go online. Learning how to meditate or pray gives you the tools you need to approach all sorts of emotionally-charged situations with peace.
Reflect and vent as much as necessary
When going on a detox, it’s vital to evaluate what objects, activities, and relationships have emotional weight for you. Going on a digital declutter will not have lasting effects if the sources of toxicity in your real life are still feeding into your consciousness.
You should also let a trusted confidante or family member know about your feelings as you go through the process. Expect to not be 100 percent in, especially if you’re going on weeks- or months-long detoxes.
Going on a detox will help your mental and emotional health, especially in today’s turbulent digital landscape. When you’re intentional about the declutter, you’ll do more than refrain from going on your social media sites—you will build these practices into your routines. Remember to seek help, too; consulting a licensed therapist can help you stay on track and gain a deeper understanding of yourself.
When you feel like there’s too much to deal with online, it’s okay to take some time off. Go on a digital detox with the help of our online therapists at Emote. We screen our therapists to verify that they’re licensed to practice in your state, and our HIPAA-compliant system encrypts all our patients’ and therapists’ interactions. Sign up today to get your first week for $10, or get in touch with us to learn more.