Digital Detoxing: Taking a break from technology for a happier life

Digital Detoxing: Taking a break from technology for a happier life

Face-to-face interaction (the ideal friendship, hey?). Technology has brought about remarkable advancements in society, but it's important to acknowledge its flip side: a noticeable decline in mental well-being, increasingly dwindling attention spans and a heightened sense of isolation in our interconnected world.

If you’re searching for tips on minimising your screen time, here are 5 ways to limit technology so you can feel happier, healthier and more present with the people around you. 

Avoid checking your phone when you first wake up 

Many of us are familiar with the adage, yet we choose to ignore it. Here’s the science behind it: When you wake up to your alarm, your brain transitions through different stages of activity. Initially, you move from deep delta waves to lighter theta waves, which indicate a semi-conscious state. Then, as you fully awaken but remain relaxed, your brain produces alpha waves. However, if you immediately check your phone, you skip these crucial stages and jump straight to full wakefulness, known as the beta state. This abrupt shift can lead to feeling stressed if you encounter distressing news or work emails, as it triggers your stress response and creates a sense of urgency for the day ahead.

The solution? Allow yourself at least 30 minutes of tech-free time after you wake in the morning. Instead, you can mindfully brew yourself a tea and read, shower and complete skincare rituals, or start a morning meditation practice before you tackle the day (and the emails!).

No phones in the bedroom… or the bathroom.

The bedroom should be a place for sleep, relaxation and intimacy – not a home office. Aside from this actually being safer (Apple has recently asked users not to charge phones near their beds), leaving the phone in another room while you sleep minimises your exposure to blue light right before you sleep. It’s also worth cutting your phone time out of the bathroom, too (and don’t even get us started on the many germs you’re exposing your screen to)!

Worried about sleeping through your alarm in the next room? Switch up the smartphone alarm for an actual clock. (Remember clocks? That old thing!) 

Adjust your screen time settings

No one likes to overstay their welcome – even if it’s just on the apps. You can set daily timers for your favourite (or most addictive) apps, and receive gentle reminders that it’s time to log off and do something else. Instagram or TikTok are great examples of apps where you can doom scroll forever and end up in some strange digital timewarp, where before you know it, it’s 4am. (Nope. Not today, tech gods.)

Consider TV-free nights

The cinephiles among us are not gonna like it, but consider taking TV out of the equation – just for one to two nights per week, if you can. You can substitute it for board games night, invite friends or family over for dinner, or catch up on some reading before bed. (With so many of us on our screens for work all day, it is kinda strange that we log off and switch off work by watching another screen for 2 or 3 hours, don’t you think?)

Make ‘Sleep’ mode or ‘Do Not Disturb’ your friend

A great way to calm the noise before bed is to switch your phone to ‘sleep’ mode. Set a tech curfew for a realistic time, like 8pm, or 9pm if you’re a night owl. This will give your brain a little time to unwind and power down for your date with your (very comfy) pillows.

Tip: Some people prefer to put their phone on airplane mode overnight, so they’re not overwhelmed with notifications in the morning. However, if you’re worried about sleeping through emergencies, simply update your Favourites on your smartphone. If any of these contacts call you while your phone is in ‘sleep’ mode, your phone will still buzz!

Where to start

Now that you’ve read our 5 tips for taking control of your digital consumption, it’s time to make a plan of action! 

Step 1: Identify your biggest pain points. 

Are you feeling worse when you use certain apps? Are you mindlessly scrolling late at night? Or, are you finding it hard to remain present with your loved ones and feeling an urge to check your phone often? This will help you figure out your top priorities… aka your game plan.

Step 2: Make a plan.

Adjust your screen time settings. Decide on your tech-time curfew. Tell your family and friends that you won’t be taking calls or replying to messages after 8pm. These small changes will help you create healthy habits that others will respect.

Step 3: Start following your plan, and keep at it!

As with anything new, there will always be an adjustment period. You may find yourself tempted to check your digital devices as soon as you wake up, or before you go to bed…  and you may feel guilty for doing so. Remember that it’s okay to deviate from your plan, should you need to. However, if you’re finding it impossible to stay on track, it’s time to go back to Step 2 and set more realistic goals for yourself.


Now that you’ve read our top tips on how to limit technology in your everyday life, discover 8 Steps to a More Conscious Lifestyle.