This month’s blog post focuses on the importance of unplugging from daily stressors and digital devices to restore energy, passion, and relationships. Taking breaks from technology can rejuvenate your well-being and provide the mental and emotional reset needed to thrive.

The Need for a Digital Detox

A digital detox is a conscious and intentional break from excessive technology use. It involves stepping away from screens, social media, and the digital noise that often consumes our lives. Whether it’s a complete break or a gradual reduction, a digital detox can have profound benefits:

  • Improved Mental Health: Constant exposure to digital devices can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression. Taking a break can help reduce these negative effects and improve your overall mental well-being [source].
  • Increased Productivity: Without the distractions of notifications and social media, you’ll be able to focus better and be more productive in your daily tasks [source].
  • Better Sleep Quality: The blue light from screens can disrupt sleep patterns. Disconnecting before bedtime can improve your sleep quality and help you wake up feeling more refreshed [source].
  • Enhanced Relationships: When you’re constantly on your screens, it’s easy to neglect those around you. A digital detox gives you more time and attention to devote to your loved ones, strengthening your relationships [source].
  • Increased Self-Awareness: Disconnecting from the digital world allows you to reconnect with yourself, reflect, and gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and desires [source].
  • Being Present and Living Intentionally: There’s so much we miss when we aren’t fully present. By taking our eyes off the screen, we open them up to all the blessings around us. If technology use is keeping you from living a life of intention, it’s time for a digital detox [source].
  • Improved Brain Function: Screen time can degrade the quality of our brains. Research shows that heavy media-multitasking can impair cognitive control and lead to socio-emotional difficulties [source].
  • Reduced Depression: Multiple studies have confirmed links between heavy internet use and depression. Taking a break from social media can help reduce feelings of envy and depression, especially among teenagers [source].

The Parent Perspective

Phones and digital devices are not inherently bad. In fact, they can provide significant support for parents. According to a study of 296 parents of children ages 3 to 6:

  • 75% of parents use their devices to find in-the-moment parenting strategies.
  • 79% use devices to think of activities to do with their child.
  • 58% find that device use helps them calm down when they’re at their breaking point.

For parents of infants, 97% sometimes use media while feeding their baby. This can offer distraction, relief from boredom, and connection to family or other mothers. It can also help with productivity and access to parenting resources.

However, there’s a downside. Technoference, a term for interruptions in face-to-face parent-child interactions caused by mobile devices, is a real issue. When parents are distracted by their phones, they’re less responsive to their child’s needs. This can lead to delayed responses, less interaction, and potentially impact the child’s language development and the parent-child relationship.

The Impact of Technoference

Research shows that parents who frequently use phones during interactions with their child report more child behavior problems, lower feelings of connection, and greater stress [source].

Strategies for Unplugging

  • Use Devices with Intention: Plan how much time you want to spend on activities like social media and stick to it. Apps like Self Control and Break Free can help manage and limit your online activity.
  • Find Alternatives: Use a watch or alarm clock instead of your phone to check the time. Bring a camera to social events instead of relying on your phone for photos.
  • Plan Regular Unplugged Time: Choose specific times to disconnect, such as putting your phone away during meals or before bedtime. Apps like Digital Detox can assist with this.

Remember, “Almost everything will work better if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you” (Anne Lamott).

Self-Care Ritual: Evening Unplugging Routine

  1. Light a Candle: Choose a calming scent like lavender or vanilla to signal that it’s time to relax.
  2. Read a Book: Pick up a light, feel-good read instead of scrolling on your phone. Reading for just 10-15 minutes can ease your mind and prepare you for sleep.
  3. Prepare and Enjoy Calming Chamomile Lavender Tea: Follow our simple recipe to unwind:
    • Ingredients: 1 tsp dried chamomile, 1 tsp dried lavender, 1 tsp dried lemon balm, honey to taste.
    • Recipe: Boil water, pour over the herbs, steep for 5-7 minutes, strain, add honey, and enjoy.

By incorporating this unplugging ritual into your nightly routine, you can enhance your overall well-being and enjoy more restful, rejuvenating sleep. Disconnecting from the digital world allows you to reconnect with yourself and your loved ones, restoring energy, passion, and relationships.

Let’s make this summer a season of rejuvenation and connection. Embrace the power of unplugging and rediscover the joy of being fully present in your life.

Find your Calm today!

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