How unplugging can help you unwind

We’ve all been there – a five minute Instagram break turns into a social media black hole leaving you distracted, overwhelmed and wondering how your friends can afford another fancy vacation. You try and focus, but the neverending notification chimes draw your attention back to your phone. If you’ve noticed that digital overload has you feeling stressed more often than not, you’re not alone. According to Dr. Traci Bank Cohen, licensed psychologist and co-founder of Westside Psych, “When we’re mindlessly scrolling through social media, we tend to forget that we’re comparing our life (in this current moment) to someone else’s highlight reel – it’s no wonder that social media has been proven to increase depression, heighten anxiety and negatively impact sleep.”

Ready to take a digital detox? With the new year just around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity to reevaluate your relationship with your phone and put some new habits into practice. We have some helpful tips to cut down your screen time and cultivate a healthier relationship with technology NOW.

Download Your Way To A Detox:

It may sound counterintuitive, but there are ways that your phone can actually help you spend more time offline. For example, adjusting your phone’s display to Greyscale (which is under your settings on both Android and iPhones) can help make visual apps like Instagram a little less appealing. 

Apps like Offtime and Breakfree help you set limits on apps and communications, so you spend less time scrolling and more time IRL. We also love the Forest app, which lets you grow virtual trees on your screen while blocking other applications so you can focus on the task at hand. Once you’ve built enough trees on the app the company plants a real tree to help fight deforestation. NOW that’s a good reason to put down your phone. Monitoring your usage and setting realistic time limits can help you find a better balance in the new year.

Get Moving:

Whether you’re taking a hike and getting back to nature or putting in time at the gym, connecting with your body is a great way to remind yourself that there’s more to life than social media. Exercise also releases endorphins, which can help replace the satisfaction you get from spending time online. 

As a compliment to your workout routine or simply on its own, there’s no better way to reset and stay in the moment than making time for a regular massage! Book a 25, 50 or 80 minute service to feel refreshed, body and mind. Remember, unplugging is the key to unwinding, so be sure to turn your phone off before, during and after your treatment to maximize the benefits of your massage. 

Make A Trade

Another way to spend more time away from your phone is to ask yourself why you’re using it in the first place. Looking to connect with people? Schedule a standing date with friends or families to check-in and chat in person. Taking time to swap out the keyboard for pen and paper and writing a letter is also a great way to stay in touch and show that you care. 

If you typically use your phone to unwind at the end of the day, why not make that time meaningful with some meditation? We love an end of day soak with a few drops of the Nourish by The NOW Classic Body Oil to recharge. Pop on a Refresh Eye Mask (we keep ours in the fridge for an extra cooling boost) and spend 15 minutes journaling or meditating. Take some deep breaths and appreciate being in the moment.

Dr. Cohen also recommends replacing your phone’s alarm with an analogue alarm clock and sleeping with your phone in another room. “This way, you aren’t going to bed staring at an artificial blue light or waking up and automatically reaching for your phone,” she says. “You can begin and end your day in a more mindful, present way which sets the tone for your sleep and day ahead.”

You don’t have to break up with your phone completely to have a healthier relationship with technology. Practicing these tips throughout the year can help you reset, relax and find a healthier balance NOW and for the future.