With our professional and personal lives becoming more and more dependent on technology, gadgets and apps, health and lifestyle experts are increasingly prescribing a digital detox to reduce stress and anxiety and increase our mindfulness to the people and environment around us. Wikipedia defines a digital detox as “a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic connecting devices such as smartphones and computers.” While there are many ways to go about a digital detox, taking the Unplugged Challenge either solo or as a family, can be a great way to embark on a digital detox plan. The whole idea of a challenge is both exciting and competitive and can propel us to want to win.
Read on to find a few useful tips to ensure that your unplugged experience is a success.
Start small: It is best to start with small time frames, which you feel can be easily accomplished. While most experts agree that a minimum of 24 hours is needed to reap the benefits of a digital detox, ask yourself what will work best with you or your family. Maybe you could try going without digital gadgets on a Sunday for 12 hours from 7 am -7 pm. Alternatively, you could switch off tabs, smartphones and all things digital every evening during dinner time, for a whole month. The possibilities are endless, so explore and find out what suits you best.
Get everyone involved: If you are planning for the whole family to take the unplugged challenge, it is vital to get everyone involved. Prepare yourself in advance for stiff opposition from all quarters. (No one willingly likes to switch off his or her smartphone!) Arm yourself with the various benefits that a digital detox can bring and explain gently. Take everyone’s opinion into consideration before deciding on the time and duration of the challenge.
Plan for your ‘time-off’: Getting your kids and spouse to turn off their gadgets is just one part of the challenge, deciding what they are going to do with the free time can pose to be a bigger hurdle. Kids can get bored and your spouse can get grumpy! Then best way to successfully overcome this issue is to plan ahead. Ask everyone for their ideas. Maybe you could plan a trip to the beach or to an amusement park. If you wish to remain indoors, why not settle for some old-fashioned board games like scrabble, chess, or Monopoly or you could get the whole family to cook a fun meal together.
Reward yourself: While the biggest reward of a digital detox is the many benefits it brings with it, be sure to include small rewards for yourself and your family members. You could order in pizza for your kids or treat yourself with a spa visit as a reward.
Repeat periodically: Like with all things good regular doses of a digital detox is important. Make sure that you take the unplugged challenge, every week (the most ideal), every month (the most practical) or at least quarterly (better than nothing!).
Returning back to the digital world can be overwhelming at first, with a barrage of missed calls, emails, WhatsApp messages and so on. Take time to redefine what’s important, what needs to be addressed and what doesn’t even need to be done. Make use of the new perspective you have gained.
Take the unplugged challenge, and give us your feedback in the comments box below!
About the Author
Mabel M. Jesudian
Mabel M. Jesudian, was teaching Communicative English at a city college, when she discovered the joys of writing for the web. A writer from her school days, she has now turned her hobby into her profession, and specializes in writing blogs and other website related content. With her husband being an avid traveler, she chronicles all her travel escapades, and a few have been published in magazines and newspapers such as Lonely Planet, Outlook Traveller, AutoCar India and Deccan Chronicle. Apart from travelling and writing, her other passions include quilling, crocheting, cooking, baking and most importantly, being a hands-on mom to her teenage daughter.