Today more so than ever, we rely on technology for so many tasks in our daily lives. From logging onto the internet to find recipes, to connect and maintain friendships on social media, or using applications for a variety of tasks including for pure entertainment—technology has an undeniable presence in the world today. What’s more is that technology is available 24/7 and is always turned on; it’s hard to live without it and a downside that can have the opposite effect of what people expect. The more people are starting to realise the exhausting effects of constant digital use; the more popular the digital detox trend is becoming.
If you’re an utterly exhausted mum and let’s face it, we all are, here are a few good reasons to try a digital detox as a way to find yourself some extra time, give yourself a break and slow down.
Damn good reasons you need to get on board the digital detox trend
There is no shortage of evidence regarding the steady presence of technology. However, too much of anything is never a good thing, and this is certainly true when it comes to technology. For instance, consider the number of accidents that are caused by texting while driving or even the number of trips and falls from people who are texting while walking. Technology can be a huge distraction. Therefore, practice digital safety and give yourself a much-needed break.
Hear your internal voice
By being turned on all the time, you are constantly bombarded with external messages that can be overwhelming, drowning out your thoughts and internal voice. Add this to the challenges of parenting, and it’s overwhelming just thinking about it.
By taking a technology detox, you can step away from all of the constant noise and have clearer thoughts, relying on your judgement and intuition to make the best decisions for your life. It’s likely to make parenting and other facets of your life a lot less overwhelming because you’ll have a chance to breathe and focus. In short, you get to recalibrate your mind.
The constant use of technology is stressful. With technology, it’s easy to feel as though you’re missing out on something if you don’t constantly check your email or Facebook feed. What’s more is that studies have shown that too much social media can increase stress because people are constantly comparing their lives to those of others. It’s all too common, particularly with mums, who end up feeling defeated when their lives do not compare to what they see. By moving to reduce the amount of digital use in our life, you are removing these stressors and taking a break to improve your well-being and directing your focus elsewhere.
Improve physical health
We don’t often realise how much time we spend on our digital devices, sitting stagnant for long periods, slouching over the desk or bending our necks to look at our phones, putting a strain our bodies. Extended screen times are often associated with sedentary lifestyles which means you’re getting less physical exercise. What’s more is that staring at bright screens can also put a strain on your eyesight. Therefore, enjoy a successful digital detox that supports your physical well-being.
Improve cognitive capacity
Another downside to too much technology is that it reduces cognitive capacity for other tasks. The average person receives 63.5 notifications per day or about one every 15 minutes. This constant influx of distractions takes you away from the current tasks at hand, diminishing your focus. Therefore, it is important to unplug from your technology so that you can challenge your brain in new and inventive ways and concentrate more on getting things done, improving your productivity, one thing I know all busy mums want to improve.
Spend more time doing what you enjoy
All those times you feel like you don’t have enough time for yourself or like social media is sucking you of your creativity, taking a digital detox may be the perfect break you need to enjoy more of the things you love. According to recent studies people spend nearly half of their waking hours using technology. These are valuable hours that you could be using for more important things such as hobbies, special projects, spending time with loved ones during a week-long holiday without the screen or simply relaxing. By taking a technology detox, you save yourself time by adding it back to your schedule. It gives you a chance to have fun and concentrate on what you love doing the most.
Helps you to be present
On average we check our phones about 150 times per day including when we first wake up in the mornings but also during other inopportune times. For instance, people constantly check their phones during family mealtimes, during business meetings or at family gatherings. The urge to pull out phones during inappropriate times has even been likened to addictive behaviours. Taking a detox helps you to add value back to your life by letting you enjoy the present moment, being mindful and enjoying your time in very intentional ways.
Enjoy meaningful interactions
Human interaction is important, however excessive screen time will mean that you are spending less time out with friends, family and colleagues. It means that you are allotted much less face-to-face interaction and will, therefore, have far fewer meaningful connections with others. In fact, too much technology has been connected to feelings of isolation, loneliness and social anxiety. Reverse this by taking a detox. Instead, talk to more people and create a real sense of community with others.
Better sleep patterns
Taking a digital detox also helps you get a better night’s rest. When you take your smartphone with you to bed, you are being distracted by constant notifications and the bright light of the screen before bedtime will make it harder for you to fall asleep. In short, too much screen time disrupts your natural sleep patterns. What’s more is that such disruptions lead to poor quality sleep so you will feel less energetic the next day. Lack of sleep can also negatively impact your hormones, contribute to poor immune function and even lower your overall life expectancy.
Accomplish more long-term goals
Keep in mind that taking a technology detox will add many hours back into your life, hours you’ve thought you never had in the busy mum struggle. This could amount to additional days or weeks of time that would have otherwise been spent surfing the web or social media accounts. Instead, use this newfound time wisely so that you can accomplish major goals. For instance, plan dream holidays, begin to check things off of your bucket list or plan the next major phase of your career. Your future self will be pleased that you have made such important decisions sans the technological distractions.
The digital detox trend doesn’t mean turning everything off forever, it can be as little as a few hours away from your technology, or it can continue for weeks or month at a time. Give yourself a break, turn your devices off and find a better balance in your life when it comes to technology.
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