By Natalie Jean
As we start to emerge from winter, there are so many options for things to do! Going for a walk, camping, trips to the seaside, opening the windows to air out your home, enjoying the few extra hours of sunlight, going to a drive in, etc. The list goes on!
Jumping out of the winter slump to do these things can be a little tricky, however. Especially if all winter long you were glued to your phone, tv, and laptop screens. There isn't much to do over the winter months, so it only makes sense that Netflix, Twitter, and Instagram are your go-tos.
I personally have found myself constantly checking my phone, even when there aren't any notifications. Its become quite the unhealthy habit if I'm being honest. So, how do we break the cycle that we've created this past season to move healthily into the next?
There are many ways to break a habit; rewards, reminders, discipline, limiting distractions, distancing yourself from said habit, the list goes on. Today I wanted to share the ways I have found to be the most helpful to cut that pesky little tie we all have to our screens.
1. Delete some apps.
When I was trying to break the habit of always grabbing my phone when I was bored and endlessly scrolling, I decided to delete the Facebook app off of my phone. It was like a breath of fresh air! It wasn't there for me to mindlessly scroll through, it wasn't screaming at me with every notification, and honestly I felt better about myself because I wasn't always checking up on what other people were doing or reading through political facebook arguments and getting sad from all the negativity.
2. Turn notifications off.
My email, instagram, and twitter used to "ding" and have little red badges with a number on them every time I got an email, like, or comment. Not anymore! Go into your settings and turn off notifications. Your distractions will decrease significantly. Set aside a time each day, maybe mid morning and after dinner to check your apps. Get everything caught up all at once so you aren't constantly grabbing your phone to see whats new and who needs what.
3. Put your phone/laptop on charge in another room, or at least across the room from your bed.
Having your phone bedside is so unhealthy because it trains you to be on it the second you wake up right up until the moment you fall asleep. I use the alarm on my phone to wake up each day, and surprisingly I find that if my phone is across the room I have to get out of bed to turn the alarm off and I am less likely to hit snooze and go back to sleep. So its not only helpful in breaking an addiction, but it also can help you wake up the first time you hear the alarm!
Sometimes these tips may not seem like enough, in which case I would recommend a complete detox. Try to take a whole weekend where you stay off your phone and laptop. Instead of netflix or tv, read a book or make something! Get outside or meet a friend for lunch. Be intentional with your time, only really going on your phone if necessary. You'll feel great once Sunday evening rolls around!
If you're like me and need to be on your phone and computer for work, then I highly recommend taking time each weekend to detox and reset so that you don't continue to feed a habit that you may not even know is there. Taking a digital detox to start the spring season is such a great idea! Fresh mind, fresh attitude, and perhaps even a burst of inspiration!