April Intentions - Digital Detox

Hi friends and happy, sunny Monday!  I'm back in DC for a few days and have been enjoying the warmer weather here.  I hope its as sunny where you are too!

As I've mentioned before, this year I'm setting monthly intentions.  In case you missed it:  

January - I revamped my morning routine.

February - I added in daily meditation.

March - I officially launched my business!

This month my goal is to better manage my use of technology, specifically my cell phone.  Recently I've found myself checking my phone (email, Instagram, Facebook, etc) more often than I would like.  While it's important that I stay connected to my email and social media in order to grow my business, I think it's equally important that, as a health coach, I set boundaries for myself.  Additionally, recent studies have shown that disconnecting from technology helps us get better sleep, limit stress, and improve our overall happiness.  

image via shape.com

image via shape.com

How does one disconnect from something that has become such a large part of our lives?  Below are some practical tips I am going to work on implementing this month.  Note: I personally will be working on disconnecting from my phone, but these tips cover all types of technology (including TV and computer). 

- Wake up, naturally - Even if you use a phone for your alarm, resist the urge to read your emails and alerts in bed.  Practice taking a few deep breaths right when you wake up.  Thank your body and bed for a night of rest, and think about your goals for the day.  

- Focus on family, friends, and food - Put your phone/tablet away when you are eating or spending time with family and friends.  At meal times, practice enjoying every bite of your food, chewing it slowly and completely.  With others, focus on the conversation at hand and give your loved ones the full attention they deserve. 

- Turn off 'Push' Notifications - Decide when you will be active on email and social media.  Turn off push notifications so you are not tempted to log in anytime some one comments on your post or tags you in a picture. 

- Spring clean your social media wardrobe - Un-follow users/groups/blogs that you are no longer interested in, un-subscribe from mailing lists/newsletters that you never read.  Remove apps that you do not use. 

- Have a clear-headed commute - Put your phone out of sight while driving so you are not tempted to check for texts in traffic or a stoplight.  If you are walking, look up!  Put your phone in your bag or pocket and resist the urge to scroll while your stroll.  Enjoy your environment and notice everything going on around you.  If you have a long commute, try podcasts or audio books instead so you are not looking down at your phone for extended periods of time.

Turn off the tech to wind down - Practice turning off your TV, computer, and phone at least 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep.  Read a book, flip through your favorite magazine or practice gentle stretching to prepare yourself for bed.  Need the phone on for your morning alarm?  Simply switch it to do not disturb mode or airplane mode. 

How do you turn off the tech?  I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!