In an always-on, hyperconnected world it pays to put away the device, for happiness sake.
There are signs that the information age has a real downside when it comes to our wellbeing.
Global health organisations, GPs, and community leaders are increasingly concerned that a combination of constant digital connection, and designed-for-addiction devices, are contributing to a depression and anxiety epidemic. The solution, it seems, is to disconnect. When the Oxford dictionary adds ‘digital detox’ to the vernacular, you know we have a problem.
The rise of the machines
Smartphones and other devices have become our constant companions; in our bags, our pockets and beside our beds. These “helpful” tools bombard us with information 24/7, ensuring we don’t miss out on a single thing happening with our friends, our work, and the world at large.
The globe’s largest corporations have started to request employees leave their devices at work when going on holiday, while community centres such as sports and gym facilities are enforcing digital-free zones, encouraging patrons to “check in” their phones before working out. While each of us has our own habits when it comes to technology, there are a few tried and true methods to help you digitally destress.
Switch off at night
Try switching off your wifi router and turning off mobile data on your phone while you sleep. Don’t worry – those work emails won’t expire overnight.
Spend time with nature
Many of us now live in hyper-urbanised environments. A walk through a park or along a lakeside (without the smartphone of course) can help you de-stress and refresh the mind and body.
Turn off notifications and alerts
One of the more annoying features of apps and devices is their ability to distract us with push notifications and alerts constantly. Try switching off both for apps that are either not essential, or you don’t need to look at that often.
Limit your device time
Many of us use devices as part of our daily work, however you can limit the time you spend on devices outside of work hours during the week and on weekends.
Clean up the desktop
A messy desktop can cause stress just by looking at it. Set aside the time to clean up your computer’s desktop and put everything in its right place.