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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Ibelema, MD

Why A Digital Detox May Be What You Need




It's easy to find ourselves constantly connected to our digital devices. We check emails, scroll through social media, and respond to messages, often without realizing the toll this constant connectivity can take on our mental and emotional well-being.


The constant flow of breaking news can be overwhelming, and the headlines can make you feel powerless. You may find yourself doom strolling online or watching the 24/7 news coverage.


How do you find the balance between being aware of current events and making space for yourself? A digital detox is a way to hit the reset button, unplug, and find balance in our lives.






How A Digital Detox Helps


The media has a way of pulling you in. The constant stream of sensationalized information can have you glued for hours a day, but that's not healthy.Spending too much time on social media or consuming an excessive amount of televised news is bad for your health. Unplugging from your devices or can help improve your health and quality of life.


Here are a few benefits of a digital detox.


Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Constant exposure to news, especially negative or triggering stories, can lead to a sense of "information overload" and contribute to elevated levels of stress or anxiety. We also know that excessive social media use is associated with poor sleep, anxiety, depression and isolation.


Improve Sleep Quality: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep. By disconnecting from your devices, especially in the evening, you can improve your sleep quality. Poor sleep has negative outcomes for our physical and mental health.


Improve Focus Our digital devices,can also be a source of distraction. A digital detox allows you to concentrate on tasks without the constant interruption of emails, social media, or notifications. This focused work can lead to increased productivity and a sense of accomplishment.


Authenticity: The pressure to curate a perfect online persona and the constant comparison to others on social media can take a toll on your mental health. A digital detox can help you rediscover your authentic self and promote self-acceptance. It can also reduce feelings of inadequacy or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).


Improve Physical Halth: Excessive screen time is often associated with a sedentary lifestyle. A digital detox can motivate you to engage in physical activities, such as exercise or outdoor adventures, which contribute to improved physical health.


Balance Perspective: Both social and news media can create "filter bubbles" where individuals are exposed to information and viewpoints that align with their existing beliefs. This can limit perspective and lead to a sense of polarization and isolation. Also, misinformation and sensationalism in the news media can foster fear, confusion, and mistrust. This can lead to increased stress and anxiety.



How To Unplug For A Digital Detox

Get Real IRL: Step away from the screens, and connect in real life. Instead of scrolling on instagram (or whatever platform holds your attention) , try to reach out to a friend to make plans. Or maybe you could spend a little extra time talking to your neighbor or co-worker. Try to make small efforts effort to connect to real people in real life.

Create A Plan: Will you fully abstain from all social media and traditional media or will you limit your consumption? If you choose to full abstain, how long will you stay unplugged? If you plan to limit your use, it's helpful to set at time limit or even create a schedule. You may decide to watch the news for 30 minutes a day in the morning, and limit social media to 20 minutes a day.

Set Limits: Try to set a daily limit for yourself around your social media use and around your consumption of traditional news media. Take advantage for the automatic time limit reminders in Facebook and instagram. This will help with accountability once you set a daily limit.


Curate Your Feed: Customize your social media feed to prioritize content that promotes positivity and well-being. Unfollow or mute accounts that consistently produce negative or distressing content.

Remove temptation: It helps to remove these apps from your cell phone. When you feel the impulse to check social media, the absence of the app with serve a reminder of the new boundaries you're developing with social media. And with time you'll find yourself desiring to check less often.


Disable social media app notifications: If removing the app is too challenging, consider disabling the notifications associated with them. They're distracting, and prevent you from being efficient with your time.



 

A digital detox is more than just a temporary break from screens; it's a commitment to your overall health. By unplugging from the digital world, you can experience reduced stress, improved sleep, increased productivity, and enhanced mental and emotional health.


If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or struggling with the challenges of our modern life, consider seeking out professional guidance and support.


Don't hesitate to take that step and prioritize your mental and emotional health. Schedule an appointment today and discover the tools you need for a healthier, more mindful, fulfilling life.







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