The Best Detox Is Digital.

business woman holding ipad

Take a vacation from cell phones, social media, websites, twitter, TV, and any other form of digital entertainment.

I strongly recommend  a digital detox- a vacation from cell phones, social media, websites, twitter, TV, and any other form of digital entertainment.  If this sounds like a shocking idea—something impossible to actually do – then that’s a great indication that you may desperately need one.  Ironically, if you feel that going without all these devices for a week would be a piece of cake, then you may not need a digital detox.  This practice is gaining popularity in crowded and stressed-out cities like Tokyo and Korea, where “forest bathing” (spending time in forests) is actually prescribed by some psychologists for their patients. And the research is building that social media overload has negative effects on mental health.

Try it for a few days over a weekend, then for a week.  Stop using the Internet, social media, and the rest.  (You may want to post a status message saying that you’re taking a week off from the Internet so people don’t worry that you were abducted.)  If your work requires email access, limit it to one session of reading and answering emails per day.

The first thing you’re likely to learn is how hard this can be.  You may initially get a new appreciation for how much you were hooked on digital device stimulation.  However, after a week of adjusting to an existence less fraught with constant pings and buzzes, many people report feeling less distracted and more productive.

After you’ve completed a digital detox, you may want to keep up your regained focus with a weekly digital day off.  A digital day off is a one-day mini-digital detox without any devices or email.  Saturdays and Sundays make terrific digital days off.  This lets you set aside the constant hum of digital life to focus on what is really around you.  For me, a digital day off each week lets me retune my focus.