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Unplugging to Disconnect for a Digital Detox

Provided by CBIZ Wellbeing Insights


A digital detox refers to a period when an individual purposely disconnects from digital devices, online platforms and social media. The purpose of a digital detox varies from person to person, but common reasons include reducing stress, improving sleep quality, increasing productivity, fostering mindfulness, promoting mental wellbeing and reconnecting with offline activities and relationships.


Doing a digital detox doesn’t mean you’re abandoning technology forever. Instead, it’s about taking a break to adjust your relationship with digital devices and develop healthier habits for long-term technology use. It can also serve as a valuable opportunity for self-reflection, relaxation and rejuvenation.


A digital detox typically involves limiting or eliminating the use of digital devices or certain social media platforms, often setting specific timeframes or boundaries for unplugging. This may involve turning off notifications, deleting certain apps or even going completely offline for a designated period, such as a day, the weekend or longer.


Here are practical tips to help you disconnect in our hyper connected world:


Set clear goals. What do you want to achieve? Whether it’s reducing screen time, increasing productivity or reconnecting in person with loved ones, having clear objectives will keep you motivated.


Inform others. Let friends, family and colleagues know you’ll be taking a break from digital devices. This will manage expectations and can foster support and accountability.


Designate device-free zones. Create specific areas where digital devices are not allowed, such as the dining table, bedroom or living room. This encourages face-to-face interaction and relaxation.


Establish tech-free times. Set aside blocks of time when you’ll be completely offline, for example, during meals, before bedtime or first thing in the morning.


Find offline activities. Rediscover hobbies that don’t involve screens, such as reading physical books, exercising, cooking or spending time outdoors. This will help to reduce the temptation to reach for a device.


Use technology mindfully. When you do use digital devices, be intentional. Set specific tasks or time limits and avoid scrolling social media or news feeds.


Unplug gradually. If you’re not ready to go cold turkey, start by gradually reducing screen time. This could include deleting certain apps, unsubscribing from email newsletters or turning off notifications.


Replace habits. Identify the triggers that prompt you to reach for your device and find healthier alternatives. For example, if you habitually check your phone when bored, keep a book or journal nearby.


Remember, the goal of a digital detox is to find a healthier balance between technology and real-life experiences. Experiment with different approaches to find what works best for you.

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