Why you need a Digital Detox

Sarah Brown is the founder of Pai Skincare. Entrepreneur, mum and sensitive-skinned soul – trying to find time to practice more of what she preaches

How much of your time is spent staring at a screen? If you’re anything like me, your eyes are glued – or continuously flicking between electronic devices, throughout the day.

The capabilities of smartphones have signalled the end of “me time”.

Forget the papers or a good book; with the arrival of Wi-Fi on some tube platforms, even the London Underground is becoming another switched-on zone that makes our email inescapable.

The benefits of switching off

While technology is great, there is a growing feeling that it’s gone too far in connecting us with the wider world 24/7.

We’ve become eternally accessible, and the pressures of continual interaction (and the general expectation that we should always be available) could be damaging our health.

Adrenal burnout, high stress and insomnia are just some of the related health issues caused by a lack of ‘down time’.

Aside from the mental fatigue it causes, high stress is also bad news for people with sensitive skin – read more about why here.

Indulging in a digital detox is an emerging trend, people are turning their backs on technology and embarking on a gadget-free break for a couple of hours or even days.

The results? Mental clarity ensues, leaving participants refreshed, renewed and feeling far more creative.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tempted by the concept of a specially designed detox holiday!

In the meantime, here are some tips I’ve been following to create my own mini breaks from gadgets – no matter what my time constraints are.

20 minutes

Hailed as the optimum nap time, a twenty-minute switch-off from digital works well, too.

To break up your screen-time, ditch your phone, iPod and headphones and head outside for some fresh air to clear your head and boost your mood.

A brisk daily walk is a great for your health too – just twenty minutes can make a real difference.

An evening

I try and stick to no-screens past 9pm rule a couple of nights a week, I find this especially refreshing if I’ve had a tricky day.

On digital-free evenings, away goes the laptop and the TV is turned off. Instead, I’ll listen to some music or get stuck into a book on my (ever growing) must-read list.

Overnight, I charge my phone in another room – rather than placing it inches away on my bedside table. After an evening like this, I always feel more relaxed and find that I’ve slept far better.

A day

The Sunday digital detox is something I’ve heard about more and more.

Our digital world hasn’t spared any generation; young people aged 8-18 in the UK are now thought to spend in excess of 7.5 hours daily in front of a screen.

With that statistic in mind, I’m thinking a digital detox at the weekend could be especially beneficial for families – if you can tear the kids away from Sunday cartoons!

It’s an excellent opportunity to head outside for an adventure – be it a picnic, a day at the beach or exploring some inner city attractions you’d otherwise miss.

Are you already a convert of the digital detox? Have you noticed its benefits? For those newly inspired to give it a go, let me know how you get on!

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