Digital Detox during Covid-19 Lockdown
Do you frequently feel the need to take a break from the devices and disconnect from the virtual world? Are you yearning for a Digital Detox even now during the Covid-19 lockdown? Well, Digital Detox is a common term used to describe a period of time when a person stays away from digital devices for his/her mental well being. Now, most of you will agree that staying away from devices is not easy. But, if you have tried this detox therapy then you can’t disagree with its benefits too.
Trust me guys, it is extremely beneficial!
The simplest and easiest way to take a break from the digital world is to go offline for a certain period of time once or twice a day. But this may not be that helpful in taking away all your stress. One of the quickest ways to de-stress is to disconnect for the whole day (24 hrs). This will give your mood an instant boost.
Another popular way is taking Digital Detox Vacation to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul & come back recharged. You may want to check out our Travel Posts here!
But, things have changed now.
Why Digital Detox is important even during this Covid-19 lockdown?
We are under lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic and are forced to use digital devices for everything. Be it work, study, news, entertainment or social interaction!
And, no matter how much we crave for a break, we don’t want to miss anything that’s going on in the virtual world even if it’s taking a toll on our mental & emotional health.
Stages of Stress Build-up during Lockdown (my story)
I have realized that stress builds up over time, we can feel it but we keep ignoring it until we can’t take it anymore. This is my story of how stress took its toll on me. Only if I had realized the need for a digital detox sooner I wouldn’t have to go through all that mental & emotional agony.
Stage 1 of Stress build-up
We love travelling a lot and that is how we take constant breaks from digital life. But when Lockdown 1.0 (24 Mar) was announced in India for 21 days, we knew that it is the end of our upcoming travel plans. We accepted it since we had no other choice.
But deep down, it sowed the seeds of stress in me. As a result, I started spending most of my time with digital media, mindless scrolling on social media, reading everything related to the pandemic, binge-watching series on OTT media, constant checking phone for updates, etc., all that while doing other chores.
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Stage 2 of Stress build-up
My son, Nemit had to go to a formal school from April but now he is forced to attend school from home. This was completely new for all of us. When there were no online classes, we would do things at our own pace. But with online classes, we had to set a stricter routine for us. A routine which left no time for me! I was okay for a couple of weeks, trying to accept the #NewNormal that’s when Lockdown 2.0 (14 Apr) happened.
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Stage 3 of Stress build-up
Since I was not getting enough time for myself during the day, I started
compromising losing my sleep. Now, I was spending more time online but not doing anything productive. I would open my notepad to write something but would keep staring at it. And, it was not the writer’s block!
I knew stress was at its peak now, I wanted to go offline but I was afraid of disconnecting. I wanted to stay updated on the current topics, news or otherwise. On the work front, everyone was churning out amazing content while I was struggling to find even 5 mins to sit in peace.
And a day came when I woke up in the morning and couldn’t feel my body in sync with my mind. I had a throbbing headache, my whole body was sore & I just felt like crying aloud.
Yes, I cried and cried for hours that day!
Next day, I wrote a post on Instagram, asking this question, ‘Do we still need a Digital Detox while we are under a lockdown?’
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I genuinely wanted to know if there are others too who were feeling the need for a break. But, I didn’t wait for the answers because I knew I had to let go of the virtual world now to regain the happy state of my mind. I took a 2-week long break from all digital media, no online series, no social media, no online games & no mindless scrolling for hours.
Now, you may ask why 2 WEEKS when I could boost my mood with just 24 HOUR Digital Detox?
Well, within a day I realized I was addicted to my mobile phone. I was feeling too anxious to stay away from it even for 5 minutes so I needed more time.
Here are 5 easy ways which I tried for a Digital Detox–
1- Take it slow. Start with 5 mins away from your phone, as soon as FOMO hits, go back to your phone and again take a break for 5 mins. It took me a week to go from 5 mins to 24 hours break.
2- Disable the notifications. This is one of the easy ways to not get distracted by your phone. Try disabling the notifications for Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook & other such apps. Also, mute your groups, please.
3- Use the Zen Mode on your phone for some motivation. I used this feature on my phone for the first time & now I love it. Start with the lowest time duration and try to beat your own record.
4- Use the phone for your happiness. Many of us don’t realize that we can be on our phone without feeling stressed. Use it to listen to some music, read a book, hear a podcast or try your photography skills using the phone camera. But refrain from the urge to share it online.
5- Focus on what really matters. You can make disconnecting fun by focusing on what matters the most. For me, it’s my family and nothing makes me happier than spending quality time with them.
Once I took a break for a continuous 24 hours, I felt extremely happy & thus wanted to carry it forward. So, I extended my digital break time for 1 more week. I ended my break on the day Lockdown 3.0 (4 May) was announced.
I really can’t explain the boost in my mood which I felt after this digital detox session. But, trust me, if you are feeling stressed, if you are not happy when online, you are getting irritated with little things then you should definitely try a 24-hour digital detox.
Don’t let the Lockdown 4.0 (18 May) take away your peace of mind. Your health & happiness matters!
If you liked this post, don’t forget to share it ahead and tell me in the comments if you too wish to take a digital detox during this Covid-19 lockdown.
I have done a week challenge of phone/technology detox( in which I had to stay away from my phone after a certain time for a certain period) sometime back and it wasn’t that hard. Infact I liked it. Coming to the lockdown, then you are right..the way things are going on, it is very easy for us to say that we have only phone to stay in touch with our friends. But the truth is we spend more time on it searching for random things or checking social media than actually checking on our friends.
Neither do I have WhatsApp notifications sound on my phone nor any social media accounts accept Instagram. And I never felt that I am missing out on something.
I would say it all boils down to habit and our acceptance.
Thanks for sharing this with me , it’s really important to keep away to from phone as we end up spending more time online.
I can completely relate to your story of stress building up. My daughter also started formal school in april in virtual mode and my stress also reached level of crying buckets.
The detox strategy is great. I hardly use my phone for two hours or less in the whole day.
It can be extremely stressful in situations lockdown being extended. However much I try to keep busy Ineed the comfort of my phone. Digital detox is impossible for me. However twice a day I charge my phone in airplane mode for an hour and dont touch it.
You’ve hit the nail on the head, Neha! A digital detox is what we need , to keep us away from the influx of information coming to us without a break! It is painful to start it, but once you go for it, a detox truly refreshes you!
Everyone is feeling the stress now with the lockdown of almost 2 months but like you said it hasn’t happened in a day. We take detox breaks by doing exercise everyday, playing board games, and even cooking together. Digital detox is beneficial!
I desperately need a digital detox Neha, but the digital world is booming right now, which means so much more work for us bloggers!! How do you manage to balance your work when in a long-term digital detox?
I agree, Noor. Now is the time to go all-digital since work is pouring in from all directions. But, for our mental well being it’s our responsibility to choose wisely, there has to be a work-life balance. I usually take long breaks when we are travelling & I don’t take any work assignments during that time. Other than that, weekends are my off days when I prefer to take a digital break. But now under lockdown, weekends have become working days for me hence I’m taking small breaks on a daily basis and 24 hr digital detox once a month.
Digital detox is necessary but hard to do on the other hand . Because of lockdown it is so hard for me at least to keep away my son from screen time.
The idea of a digital detox is very important. I have been following it for the past 2 years and it really improves the way of living in a much positive way. During these times when kids are at home all day, we need to follow it more often.
Agree with your points. In the start of lockdown my screen time increases and I feel lost. But when I started digital detox for a day i started feel better
I can so relate to your initial stress and anxiety Neha, I have often felt the same and now get in social media only for limited time slots. All my notifications are muted and I am guilty of missing some important messages too because it this but this how in like it
I agree with you a digital detox is such an important aspect of our health!
I am intrigued by your idea of the zen mode on the phone – what is this exactly?
I too have taken up the habit of only looking at my phone during designated times!
2 weeks – now that is really daring of you! but i can see it has obviously tremendously boosted you up.
Thank you, Ishieta. Zen mode is a feature on mobile phones which allows us to take a break for a selected time. Do check if you have this feature & give it a try.
Digital detox is necessary for all of us to stay away from social media and refresh our mind. Every week, i do take a day off social media.
I agree with your point… Nice written
Thank you 🙂