The pressure to always check our smartphone or computer is unrelenting. Imagine if you were to count how many times you check email, text, social media, just to name a few. I think we all would be very shocked to learn how high the number is. Some apps are specifically designed to keep you coming back. The expectation is that you are always available, always on. A social media study done by Melissa G. Hunt from the University of Pennsylvania shows a causal link between time spent on social media and increased depression and loneliness. Which can lead to mental and health issues. You’re overwhelmed, tired, and trying to keep up. Fortunately, there’s a better way to find balance in your life. Here are 5 ways to unplug from technology. Or at least strike a balance.
Try these strategies to coexist with technology and still have inner peace:
- Focus on creating a healthy relationship with technology. Between work, family, and friends, you may be online frequently. Your job may require you to use email, or your kids may text you updates. How do you find a balance amid the technology? Craft a relationship that is based on intent. Mindless checking of our technology can lead to “Fear of Missing Out or FMO,” which can lead to a compulsive concern that you are missing out on all the fun.
- Set a schedule. Create a schedule for how many times per day you will check social media, email and texts. This allows you to focus more on the task at hand and slowly reduce your anxiety of FMO. It also helps create a set time of day that you will catch up on what’s happening in your world and reduce your stress.
- Turn off notifications. Turn off visual and aural notifications for emails, text, and social media. Only exceptions are when you are waiting for a critical, timely email or text. I can’t think of anything that might be critical in your social media feeds. Can you? Remember that old technology called a phone call? It may be hard to believe or you’ve never used, but it does still exist. They can call you if it truly is important.
- Manage your connections. Do you really need to keep up with every person from your old school days? How many times do you need to check your social media accounts for new messages? It’s important to find a balance between keeping up to date with your connections and always being available. Of course, you want to stay in touch, but it doesn’t have to be an hourly issue. Try limiting the number of connections in your life to those that are important to you. Do what you can to maintain a stress-free social circle.
- Partake in activities that reduce stress. Schedule some time alone each day. The solitude will give you a chance to reflect, plan, de-stress, and re-energize. Try yoga, meditation, journaling, or keeping a diary. Pursue activities that make you feel peaceful and calm. Whether you hike in a park or dance in your living room, relax and disconnect from the world for a moment.
Using these 5 ways to unplug from technology not only helps to reduce stress, it also helps you strike a better balance between work and life. You can discover inner balance despite living in a hyper-connected world. Make these strategies daily habits and enjoy greater peace.
If you would like help setting boundaries around technology, please reach out.