We hear about a variety of ways to detoxify our lives for our own wellbeing these days. Some people go on a juice cleanse or a “detox diet” after a heavy period of ‘dirty’ eating and alcohol, but have you ever considered taking a detox from technology? As we continue to advance into an even more digitally assisted time of life, we are becoming more and more dependent on the technology that surrounds us, and as much as there are benefits to having tech at an arm’s reach it can really be detrimental to our wellbeing in more ways than we know.
What even is a “Digital Detox”?
A digital detox is taking a period of time where you refrain from or limit the amount of time spent on digital devices (smartphones, computers, e-readers, etc.) and social media platforms. It has gained popularity as people are generally tending to waste more and more time staring at screens and disconnecting from themselves and the world around them. Here are some of the key feelings that drive people to consider a detox:
1. Not having enough time
2. Being constantly distracted or struggling to focus
3. Having noticeable neck and shoulder pain
What are the ways Technology Affects us?
Taking a break from technology can help us counteract each of these points above. Think about all of the Instagram or YouTube spirals that we fall into. I bet when you stop falling through the back to back videos and content you ask yourself – “wait, how long have I been here now?” Putting a conscious limit can open up some much-needed free time to get $h*t done!
Psychologically speaking it’s easy to get sucked into the ‘perfect’ world that gets posted on social media. It can give us unrealistic expectations of how people live and look on a daily basis, which more often than not is far from the truth. Getting out of the digital space and keeping aware of the real world in front of us plays a big part in keeping us mentally healthy and conscious. This translates to your fitness in the gym space too! The more distracted you are by the emails and the social media posts the less focused you will be in developing that much needed coordination for the basic to the most complex movements in classes!
Nowadays we are starting to develop something called “text neck” from all the time we spend looking down at our screens in poor posture. This is where we get our rounded shoulders, rounded neck with the head protruding forward and a slightly slumped back. Aside from the sheer stress of the posture itself, this is what limits most of us in our overhead positions in the gym!
How to go about Detoxing
Like any other challenge or detox, you can take an approach that is either gradual or a full-on “radio-silence” approach where you cut all ties for a period of time. Here are a few ways you can meter your digital time.
Set yourself time limits / take an extended break from some things.
Phones are starting to take digital exposure seriously, and some of them now include “Zen Modes” which is kind of like a ‘Do-Not-Disturb” mode that blocks you from accessing your phone, so you can focus on your task at hand. There are apps for this as well, but if you want to train your own personal focus and will power you can set yourself a timer when focussing on tasks to give yourself meaningful breaks.
Delete some apps to limit your access to them
If you find yourself constantly (and needlessly) reaching for an app, consider deleting it from your phone for a while to limit your access to it. Causing that extra bit of friction to access Facebook or Instagram will curb your habit a bit so you’re not itching to reach for your phone as much.
Monitor the time you spend and re-prioritise that time
Take a time audit of the time you spend on apps. On an iPhone, you can use the “Screen Time” function to see how much time per day you spend, which is a nice wakeup call to see how you can repurpose the wasted time that you find!
Play a game – allow yourself media when you do something active or productive
If you do well with giving yourself some incentive, you can make yourself a challenge. Limit your exposure to media unless you do something productive or non-media related. For example, you can gain an hour of Netflix if you spend at least 15 minutes mobilising for the day, read a book, or went to the gym.
For more information or more tips on how to go about your detox, shoot me an email at Dan@CrossFitThames.com!
An Android version of “Screen Time” called “Quality Time”
On The First Day Of CrossFit My Coaches Gave To Me..!
Just because Dave Castro can’t/won’t make you do it doesn’t mean I won’t! 🙂 Welcome to the 12 days! 😛 – Head Coach Milo
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