8 Ways to get better at staying unplugged

 
 
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A 2016 study estimated that we tap, swipe and click on our devices 2,617 times a day.

Whether we like it or not, our phones are addictive. We’re checking notifications before we’re even conscious of the action itself and we worry how we’re going to find our way home when our batteries die. But sadly, the companies that build the devices and apps that are feeding our addictions will never stop, so it’s up to us to change our habits for the sake of both our physical and mental wellbeing. 

Here are 8 simple things you can try to start unplugging more often: 

  1. Don’t take your phone in your bedroom

    Although it’s tempting to use the ‘I use it as an alarm clock’ excuse, it’s best to leave your phone out of the bedroom altogether. By leaving your phone in another room you won’t feel tempted to reach over and start scrolling the minute you wake up.

  2. Turn off notifications

    If your phone is constantly ‘pinging’ and you find you’re being easily distracted try turning off all notifications, or at least customising your notifications so that anything important can still make it through.

  3. Set a time in the evening to turn off all technology

    If you live on your own, set your own rules. If you live with others, agree on a time together that you’re all happy with and turn off all technology. It’s a good idea to do this a couple of hours before you go to bed so that your body knows it’s time to sleep.

  4. Delete unnecessary social media accounts

    There are so many social media platforms to be on these days – if we were on them all we wouldn’t have time to breathe – so the most important thing is: do the ones you use add value to your life? Take a look at the accounts you’ve got, really think about whether you actually need them and if not, delete them.

  5. Don’t check your emails before you get to work

    Turn off your email on your phone when you leave work and don’t turn it back on again until you arrive at the office. Go to your settings, then to "mail," and switch off the green toggle button to stop the flow of emails. In fact, if you can, delete your email app completely. We understand this isn’t possible for everyone but it does remove temptation.

  6. Leave it in your bag/another room at dinner

    Having dinner with your family or friends is a time to talk, share stories and enjoy each other’s company. Meal times are a time when phones should be a long way away.  

  7. Leave your phone at home

    It might sound scary but leaving your phone at home is a great way to cut yourself off completely and get back to a simpler way of life. Whether it’s visiting your local café, going out for dinner or even going to work (if the boss is happy with it),

  8. Go analogue

    Whether it’s listening to music on a record player, navigating a country walk with a This Way map or capturing your holiday on film, going back to a simpler time is a great way to stay unplugged.

We’re not saying start all 8 right away, but we are staying start somewhere. It’s the little changes we make to our everyday habits that make the biggest difference. Unplugging not only disconnects us from the digital world, it also aids reconnection with the natural world.

If you give any of these a go do let us know how you get on, we’d love to hear about your experiences.

 
Katherine Heath