5 ways to Digital Detox from your phone Every Day

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In this post I shared about a day trip I took this week to a castle outside of Paris ( Chateau de Maintenon if you want to check it out ) and how it made me realize that I needed a digital break from everyday life and how technology and social media are playing a role in making me feel anxious and wired all the time.

Don't get me wrong, I love social media in particular Instagram and the creativity of it and the incredible chance of connecting with people everywhere while expressing myself. It's a big part of my life and I couldn't be more grateful. 

But I do feel like my energy gets incredibly depleted by answering to friends and family messages , interacting with new people and most importantly being notified all the time about what's going on outside of my bubble. 
 

Have you every found yourself refreshing your email box or your social feed waiting to be entertained or "informed" by whatever news is out there? 


It's distracting and addictive and it has become almost an instinctive reaction to grab my phone and check what's been going on, even when I don't really care!

My day trip on airplane mode :


So going back to my day trip, I was really tired of all this visual and background noise happening everyday, so I made a promise to myself to keep my phone on airplane mode for all the trip. From getting out of my house in the morning to getting back home in the evening. 

If I needed some information about arriving to destination or finding a place to eat I would simply read a map or ask someone, like good old times! 


So how did it go? 


I had a VERY strong craving to turn the airplane mode off when I got on train. Even if I knew my brain needed peace as I’m VERY sensitive to notifications, I still had the addictive instinct to check what IG or people on Messenger were telling me. But I resisted and it felt so ... FREE! ( and let's be honest, I didn’t miss much life changing news in the meanwhile ! ) 

I still took photos with my phone and little videos for my Instagram Stories, all offline. 

When I was on the train almost back in Paris I turned my internet on again, shared on the Stories all the photos and videos of the day because I had lots of fun taking them and love the creativity of telling a story . I also answered all my messages, Watsapp, texts of the day, all done in 15 minutes time! 


Moral of the story :

  • Being constantly connected is addictive and it's an almost unconscious body reaction when I see my hand grabbing my phone for no reason, like a kid would grab his teddy bear for comfort!
  • Being notified all the time is stressful especially because it’s very rarely urgent.  
  • We can use social media in our favour and not be slaves of it . All we need is healthy boundaries to protect our precious mental space and give it ...space to breathe and make sense of what's in front of our eyes. 
  • We can also overcome the artificial fear of missing out because whatever is happening will still be there few hours or days after. And you can trust that whatever *important* information has to come to you, it will at the right divine time. All the rest can wait.  


I’ll definitely use this practice more often, not only when on “holiday” but daily to get in the zone of my work or to take actual breaks in the day. 


Other tips to digital detox daily : 

 

 

  • Put your phone on airplane mode before going to sleep.  

    Even better decide a time in the evening after which you regularly don't check your phone anymore. for example from 9pm you set your alarm and put the phone on airplane mode until the following morning. And when you wake up turn it back on after 30 min/1 hour so you have time to truly wake up and answer to your body needs first. it seems like a long break but trust me, the world will not fall apart and you will feel fresh !

 

  • Set an alarm of timer for tasks. 

    Another tip if like me your don't wear a watch and you’re afraid of loosing touch of time and forgetting appointments if you don’t look at your phone all the time is to put an alarm or timer.

I do it when I want to slow down and have a little tech detox when I’m doing something at home like cooking or cleaning up or accomplishing a task but I know I only have 30-45 min ( or a limited time in general) to make it happen before hopping out of the house again . 

So I put away my phone in silent ( or airplane mode) and set an alarm so I know that I don’t have to stress about checking it for that time and can enjoy being focused on what I'm doing. 

For example in this very moment my phone is on airplane mode and I put it on a 90 minutes timer to write this post and do other writing without distractions, and honestly, if I hadn't used this trick I wouldn't have made this post happen today because my mind was all over the place before sitting down on my chair. 

Or yesterday I wanted to tidy up the house because I was trying to do some work and was very distracted by my messy kitchen and bedroom ( hello working from home issues ;-) . So I said to myself "It's time for a cleaning break". Usually I do not enjoy cleaning up, and I find it a painful waste of time, so I used my little trick and set the phone on airplane mode and set a 20 minutes timer. I didn't care how much I was able to get done and I didn't focus on ticking off my to-do list. 

I simply decided to do whatever I could in that 20 minutes and then stop when the timer went off. 

And without worrying of the time, I did all my dishes, made my bed, put out the laundry and a couple of other things, all before the alarm went off and without rushing! Magic ?!? 

  • Turn off ALL your phone notifications. 

    This may sound like a basic one, but turn off ALL your notifications. Every time I download a new app I regularly choose the option to turn off the notifications ( maybe the only one I keep on is Uber to know when my car is arriving ). And I know that when it will be time to see what's happening in the world , I will just open the app and check my messages. That's it! It feels like a breathe of fresh air and I can "batch my answers" in one time slot so I'm also more efficient. 

 

  • Keep your phone in silence to reduce noise pollution

    Keep your phone in silence. Again this may seem obvious, but especially if you're sensitive ( and an introvert ) you'll find the noise of your phone ringing like a source of stress. It almost makes me jump every time, even if it's just vibration mode. So I keep it on silent most times, unless I'm really waiting for an important call.

 

  • Meditate ( or take 10 deep breathes ) 

    And the very last tip, it's meditation. When you feel that you're overwhelmed by technology , the best way is to put everything away and just close your eyes and breathe. I like to sit on the floor next to my window in these cases, or going outside on the street, because changing environment really helps. And breathe for 5-10 minutes. It's the most rejuvenating and energizing thing you can do for your brain and body. I know, meditation is pretty much the answer to anything , but it's because works !

So here you have them! I'm constantly experimenting on myself what works and what doesn't and at the moment these tricks truly make a big difference in my daily life, so I hope they help you too. 

What are your personal tips for digital detoxing ? Do you have ways to cope with this kind of stress ? Which kind of situations affect you the most ? Please share your comments below, I'd love to continue this conversation with you . 

Helping women find more flow and focus to make their big dreams come true, both in practical ways and the deep inner work are parts of my work as a coach, so if you feel like you have personal projects that are really meaningful for you but you never make them happen because you don't find "the time" and are always putting more urgent things first, reach out to work together as I'm opening spots for November. You have all the details of working with me here or simply send me an email at alessia@followyourinnerlight.com. 

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Alessia Gandolfo