You’re stressed. You’re constantly feeling the pull of your phone — to check notifications, email friends, even tweet about the latest world event. You feel the need to stay on top of everything. And you’re still trying to live your life.
But are you happy?
If not, you might need to look into a digital detox. A digital detox, in the words of the people over at Forbes, is simply removing all digital and smartphone devices for your life for a while. It enables you to spend time focusing on what might actually make you happy and will help you get some rest.
It’s about getting you to learn you can live without your phone. So let’s get started.
Day 1 – Download a Phone Usage App and Limit Yourself to Two Hours a Day
If you’ve never heard of a phone usage app, don’t worry, it’s not tricky. It’s just an app that tracks how much you use your phone and shows you how much you actually use it. It can also help you try to lower the time you spend on the phone.
For today, just try to limit your phone usage to two hours a day total. That means emails, Twitter, Facebook and everything else. It’s not as hard as you think, so go for it.
Day 2 – Don’t Take Your Phone Out While Walking
You do it, I do it, we all do it. We take our phones out while we’re walking. For this day, try to keep your phone in your pocket or bag. Not only will you find yourself actually paying attention to where you are, you’ll probably notice a few cool things about your surroundings.
Day 3 – Don’t Take Your Phone Out at Social Gatherings
Do you know what the Google Effect is? It’s the term used for our society’s growing answer to any question, which is Googling the question, and we often do it in social gatherings. Not only is the Google Effect making our own memories worse, it’s also detracting from face-to-face conversations.
So today, just for today, don’t take your phone out when you’re with friends. Pretend like it’s 1998 and there’s no such thing as Google. Enjoy being with your friends. After a while, you won’t miss it.
Day 4 – Don’t Use Your Phone After 9 pm
Take today and pamper yourself after 9 pm. Run a hot bath, watch a movie or read a book. Take that time you’d normally spend catching up on the day’s news and spend it on taking care of yourself. Trust me, you’ll feel better.
Day 5 – Turn Off Notifications
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of notifications. It instills this idea of urgency within me that I can’t shake. So I’ll join you in turning off notifications today.
This might be hard for you but trust in the process. Your notifications are going to make you feel like the digital world is more important than the real world, and it’s not. Hang in there, your week is nearly over.
Day 6 – Don’t Use Your Phone While You’re Alone
Do you remember when you were a kid and you were bored so you made up your own fun? Let’s go back to that feeling, just for today. Don’t use your phone at all today when you’re alone.
You’ll be amazed at how much time you’ve actually got when you’re not on your phone. You can cook or write that short story or even actually go on a nice, relaxing walk.
Day 7 – Don’t Charge Your Phone for a Few Days
Today will be the hardest day, but I’m right here with you. I’ve done this and I can tell you it’s not as painful as it sounds. Are you ready?
A few days of not charging your phone is going to feel like a breath of fresh air. I recommend doing this but completely recharging with a short staycation or a holiday. Once you come back to your phone, you’ll be refreshed and relaxed, so enjoy the time you have without it.
If you need help finding a phone usage tracker, this is a good place to start. I’d recommend keeping the app after you’re done with your digital detox. It’ll be a helpful tool to keep you on track to using your phone less and living life more.
Did you like this 7-day detox challenge? We developed it on the same basis of this article, which showed us how a little effort each day can lead to amazing results. Share it with your friends and let us know how your detox went!
Featured photo credit: Coastal landscape with a boat ramp, rocks and a moody sky via stokpic.com